2 more test positive for COVID-19

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Posted on Jan 04 2021

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Two days into the new year, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. announced that two more passengers who recently traveled to Saipan have tested positive for COVID-19, raising the CNMI’s total to 124.

CHCC stated yesterday that the individuals were identified by travel screening and were confirmed through testing upon arrival. The individuals were already in quarantine and were moved to the isolation area at the Kanoa Resort in Susupe for close monitoring. CHCC has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts of the new confirmed cases, including passengers on the same flight.

In related news, a total of 2,709 individuals have already been vaccinated in the CNMI and CHCC expects to add a little over 200 more who have already been registered.

“We are expecting more vaccines, but until we see the shipping manifest, we’ll be making an announcement on when we’re going to be doing more vaccines for the first dose,” said CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muña, speaking at a radio news briefing last Dec. 31.

She confirmed that they are working on plans to get the doses to Tinian, and as well as the second doses.

With news that there is a new COVID-19 strain, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres stated in the same radio briefing that the administration, CHCC, and the COVID-19 Task Force have been closely monitoring reports about the new strain, and that they are concerned about the different strains and how strong it is. He emphasizes that, with the presence of a new, stronger strain, it is important that everyone in the community gets vaccinated.

According to the Associated Press, the first reported U.S. case of the COVID-19 variant has been discovered in Colorado. The variant was found in a man in his 20s who is in isolation southeast of Denver in Elbert County and has no travel history, state health officials said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time, and sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants emerge and start infecting people.

CDC stated that the multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic. Also, this variant seems to spread more easily and quickly than other variants. Currently, there is no evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death.

COVID-19 in Guam

The Joint Information Center was notified that Guam’s 123rd COVID-19-related fatality happened at the Guam Memorial Hospital last Jan. 2 at approximately 11:50am. The patient was a 68-year-old male with underlying conditions, and was admitted to GMH on Dec. 14, and was a known positive.

Guam’s 122nd COVID-19-related fatality occurred at the Guam Regional Medical City last Dec. 31 at approximately 2:37am. The patient was a 52-year-old female with underlying conditions, and was admitted to GRMC last Nov. 13 and tested positive upon admission.

To date, Guam has a total of 7,326 COVID-19 cases with 123 deaths, 156 cases in active isolation, and 7,047 not in active isolation.

Justine Nauta
Justine Nauta is Saipan Tribune's community and health reporter and has covered a wide range of news beats, including the Northern Marianas College and Commonwealth Health Care Corp. She's currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services at NMC.

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