2 passengers test positive

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Posted on Jul 27 2020

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Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport personnel wait as a United Airlines flight readies to release passengers to the buses that will take them to the CNMI’s quarantine facility. (Justine Nauta)

Two passengers who recently flew in from Guam tested positive for the COVID-19 virus over the weekend, increasing the CNMI’s total number of cases to 40.

One passenger, the 39th case announced last July 25, was identified through incoming traveler screening, while the 40th case, which was announced yesterday, July 26, was identified through contact tracing.

Both individuals were not on the same flight, according to Esther Muña, CHCC chief executive officer. The 40th case was confirmed positive on another flight. Both passengers are now safely isolated at the Kanoa Resort quarantine site in Susupe since arriving and are being closely monitored.

CHCC has already initiated contact tracing for both individuals for their most immediate contacts, which includes passengers on the same flight, close family members, and friends of the new confirmed case.

Before the new cases, the CHCC website’s dashboard, which outlines information about the CNMI’s COVID-19 cases, showed that of the 38 case at that time, 22 are male and 16 are female, with ages ranging from ages zero to 80. On July 26, the dashboard showed that 23 are male and 17 are female, which means that the newest cases are male and female.

So far, the CNMI has gone one month with no cases of community transmission. Muña said, “We have successfully done that in a way that are numbers are low, and we have not seen community transmission in over three weeks.”

She added that they are trying as much as possible to make sure that it does not get out of hand to the point where the CNMI will see community transmission.

To date, the CNMI has a total of 40 cases with two deaths.

Low-risk area

The Department of Public Health and Social Services of Guam has identified the CNMI as a low-risk area for travelers among Pacific countries and jurisdictions.

The department is using the COVID-19 Area Risk score as a primary tool used to assess the risk of an area’s potential spread of COVID-19.

The CAR was developed by Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s physicians advisory group. Their scoring systems factors three main assessments: Case Doubling Time, Test Positivity Rate, new cases per 100,000 population.

Case Doubling Time is the speed at which COVID-19 has the potential to spread throughout the community. “It measures, as the name would suggest, how many days it takes for the number of coronavirus cases to double. For example, during the first two weeks of Guam’s public health emergency, the Case Doubling Time was three days, which meant that our total number of cases on average doubled every three days during that two-week period. Currently, our Case Doubling Time over the past two weeks is calculated to be 189 days,” said the statement.

Test Positivity Rate is the percentage of the people who have tested positive for the virus out of the number of people tested. In the CNMI’s case, out of 11,338 people who have been tested, only 0.1% has tested positive for COVID-19.

New Cases Per 100,000 Population is a ratio used to track the rate of COVID-19 cases per capita in a jurisdiction.

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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