2 test positive for COVID-19

Posted on Oct 12 2020

Two more individuals were confirmed positive for COVID-19 last Oct. 10, raising the CNMI’s total to 77 since March 28, 2020.

According to the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., the two individuals were identified by travel screening and confirmed diagnosis through testing on arrival. The two have been safely in quarantine and were moved to the isolation area at Kanoa Resort for monitoring. CHCC has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts of the new confirmed cases, including passengers on the same flight.

Guam reported its 60th COVID-19-related death yesterday. According to the Joint Information Center press release, it was notified that Guam’s 60th COVID-19-related fatality occurred at the Guam Memorial Hospital at approximately 3:51am. The patient was a 60-year-old male with underlying health conditions that were compounded by COVID-19. He was admitted to GMH on October 3 and tested positive upon admission. 

The JIC statement included a statement from Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero: “[First gentleman] Jeff [Cook], Lt. Gov. Josh [Tenorio], and I send our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to those he cherished. You will remain in our thoughts and prayers during this most difficult of times. Making these announcements is very difficult, and each death brings sadness to our people. Let’s continue with our fight against this virus. Keep our guards up. Wear your masks, social distance and avoid social gatherings.”

Speaking at the weekly radio news briefing, COVID-19 Task Force chair Warren Villagomez assured that nothing has changed and that they are continuing all efforts to protect the CNMI community from the virus, that they haven’t lowered their “level of standards,” especially with neighboring islands and regions seeing a higher number of infections.

Villagomez adds that the CNMI is in “constant communication” with others in the region to ensure that the CNMI is synchronized with other regions in their COVID-19 response.

Although the economy took a hit since the beginning of the pandemic, efforts to revamp tourism has not slowed down, Villagomez said, adding that constant communication with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, the Marianas Visitors Authority, offshore contractors, etc., are still ongoing to ensure that there are updates on what’s going on.

Additionally, Villagomez stated that Torres is constantly being updated on everything, especially with potential plans of reopening the economy.

At the same radio briefing, Torres says they want the community to understand and embrace is that they are trying to open up the borders. “I think the most important [thing] is the process that we have today is working and is working very well. If we are going to open up for tourists, it’s going to be a separate system where it doesn’t interrupt the current system,” said Torres.

Questions such as “how do we plan to open up to our markets,” “how do we open up on our tourist,” and “how do we make sure that who’s coming in are also safe and leaving safe,” is something that they have been working on for the past few months.

“We continue to work on that because, at the end of the day, we do need our tourists back here…to start opening up our economy,” said Torres.

Justine Nauta | Correspondent
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.
Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.