3 more positive COVID-19 cases

Posted on Jul 16 2020

In as little as four days, three more passengers from the July 9 flight have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 after getting tested on their fifth day after arriving last July 14, bringing the CNMI’s total cases to 36.

According to Esther Muna, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive officer, the new cases are all asymptomatic. Muna added that they have been at Kanoa Resort since they arrived.

A statement by the COVID-19 Task Force said that the three passengers will remain safely isolated at Kanoa Resort. Additionally, they will be monitored closely. The three passengers were tested twice, upon arrival, last July 9, and on the fifth day of testing, last July 14.

Additionally, all three passengers are asymptomatic which means that they don’t show any symptom. CHCC has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts passengers on the same flight, close family members, friends, and associates of the new confirmed cases.

Of the total 36 confirmed cases, 36% or 13 cases have been identified through port of entry screening procedures in line with the Governor’s Executive Order, Directive 8.

The COVID-19 Task Force and CHCC has also regenerated their community-based testing last July 14 this time at their isolation site in Kanoa Resort (See related story on Page 6). Individuals who wish to be tested can register and access their results at: www.governor.gov.mp/covid-19/testing and www.cnmicovidresults.com.

Community testing for COVID-19 is not mandatory. It is another surveillance tool to help the task force and CHCC detect and contain COVID-19 within the CNMI. Community testing can also help health officials know the wide spread of the virus.

Should you test positive for COVID-19 a CNMI health representative will meet with you to help you understand your infection risk. Additionally, you’ll be ordered to isolate at the designated isolation site to protect others around you. You will be connected to affordable medical treatment if needed, regardless of income or immigration status.

Anyone you have been in close contact with can also access help if you’ve been exposed to the virus. Your information and the information of your close contacts will not be shared.

Former Mariana Resort to open soon for quarantine

In an attempt to lower the capacity at the quarantine/isolation site at Kanoa Resort in Susupe, the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force chair, Warren Villagomez, said in a news briefing, that they will be utilizing former Mariana Resort & Spa in Marpi as another quarantine facility.

Villagomez added that Kanoa Resort now holds 122 people at the quarantine/facility site as of July 14. Additionally, the task force will be utilizing Mariana Resort soon.

“There are consequences for folks that are not adhering to the inbound protocol, and we are serious and taking things to the next level measure. You know, we need to minimize the risk of COVID-19 here in the CNMI,” said Villagomez.

“There’s some confusion, sometimes I think the travelers think that we are here to accommodate… they all want to be at home, I mean not all of them but a lot of them want to be at home and, you know, when we are following the protocols, we are considering the risk that is coming into the island.” said Muna.

Muna said that the top priority is to keep the CNMI protected. She added that everyone has an individual right to protect themselves but overall, CHCC and the task force are here to protect the rights of the people that are here, complying with the requirements of safety for everyone.

“A traveler, it is a higher risk than someone who’s not left to CNMI so our goal is to protect and, you know, like, chairman said, we’re very serious about it and if you don’t adhere to it, we are going to take actions,” said Muna.

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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