2 raise NMI infections to 8

Posted on Apr 03 2020


The CNMI announced yesterday two new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the CNMI’s total to eight confirmed cases and one death.

According to the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, two specimens that the Commonwealth Health Care Corp. sent to Guam for testing came back positive for COVID-19.

The two new cases involve a 55-year-old male and a 31-year-old male. Both have no recent travel history, are in stable condition, and remain in isolation.

As of April 2, the CNMI has submitted 33 specimens for COVID-19 testing to the Guam Public Health Laboratory. Of the 33 specimens, 23 have been processed, resulting in eight positives and 15 negatives. CHCC is still awaiting the results of 10 specimens.

Both newly confirmed cases are being closely monitored by CHCC medical teams. CHCC has also initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts like close family members, friends, and associates.

According to a 42-year-old local cashier, who requested her name and her place of work be withheld, she’s been having trouble sleeping at night with the number of positive cases rising and knowing that she has to go to work every day and be around many who might not even know that they’re carriers

“I know I’m not a frontliner like nurses and doctors, but I do come in contact with a lot of people every day. I’m scared because I have children to take care of. What if I get sick? What if they get sick. My mother is old, she is the most critical with this virus,” she said.

She added that, although there are social distancing rules in place and that she is equipped with masks and gloves, and has alcohol, there’s still a possibility of contracting the virus.

“If doctors and nurses get infected around the world, what more a cashier who only has a cotton mask and 70% alcohol as defense,” she said.

CHCC continues to work with the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force to expand designated isolation areas to closely monitor the wellbeing of individuals with symptoms.

Some of the confirmed cases have come in contact with those who have a travel history from a location with confirmed COVID-19 cases. Other cases have had no recent travel history or no evident indication of coming in contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19.

The new finding of cases occurring among those without close contact suggests that COVID-19 community transmission is occurring on Saipan. Community transmission means people have been infected within the community and not just imported from another COVID-19 outbreak jurisdiction.

COVID-19 in Guam

The Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 41 individuals for COVID-19 on April 1. Six tested positive and 35 tested negative.

The Guam overall count also includes six positive cases that were tested by the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego.

This brings Guam’s COVID-19 count up to 77, 37 being female and 40 being male, with three deaths.

Most of Guam COVID-19 known positive cases have epidemiological links to other confirmed cases.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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