3 more test positive

Commonwealth now has 11 cases
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Posted on Apr 09 2020

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Three more persons tested positive for the coronavirus yesterday, soon after the second COVID-19-related death in the CNMI last April 7, according to a statement from the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force.

The three individuals include two males, ages 45 and 53, and one 53-year-old female. The new cases raise the CNMI’s total of positive coronavirus cases to 11.

According to the statement, the three individuals are being closely monitored by the Commonwealth Health Care Corp. at the Kanoa Resort in Susupe, where they are in isolation.

CHCC is now doing “contact tracing”—identifying the people with whom a sick person has recently been in contact with—with the three individuals’ most immediate family members and close friends.

Additionally, CHCC is working with the COVID-19 Task Force to identify more isolation areas to closely monitor individuals with symptoms..

The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and CHCC also announced yesterday that they will begin to use the Diagnostic Laboratory Services in Honolulu, Hawaii for specimen testing of COVID-19, in addition to the Guam Public Health Laboratory.

In a live Facebook interview with Esther Muña, CHCC chief executive officer, through KUAM News, she said that isolation facilities are meant for individuals and immediate contacts who have shown symptoms and will be kept in mandatory quarantine until they are better. Quarantine facilities, on the other hand, are meant for the off-island travelers and/or returning residents, who have yet to show symptoms, that will undergo the 14-day mandatory that was ordered by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres.

Muna also stated that within the two designated facilities, CHCC has their medical teams stationed at each facility to assist the patients in isolation with treatment and patients in quarantine with monitoring their temperatures often to ensure that they don’t spike up a fever, which is one of the symptoms for the virus.

As of 4:30pm, April 8, the CNMI has submitted 45 specimens for COVID-19 testing. A total of 37 out of 48 have already been positive, leaving the CNMI with 11 positive COVID-19 cases, 27 negative, one specimen for retesting, six pending specimens, and two deaths.

Parking at CHCC

CHCC is prohibiting all vehicles from parking at the upper level parking area of the hospital on Navy Hill, where a 50-bed field hospital will be installed, with the help of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., and other agencies.

The field hospital will be another platform that will be used as a preparedness and infection control measure in case the CNMI sees a spike of patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 cases and are in need of immediate isolation once the identified isolation facility is full.

File photo shows one of the entrances to the Commonwealth Health Center in Garapan. CHCC is now prohibiting all vehicles from parking at the upper level parking area of the hospital on Navy Hill, where a 50-bed field hospital will be installed (KRIZEL TUAZON)

Effective immediately, patients who are visiting the hospital or have appointments must park at the lower level parking areas or at the tennis courts at the corner of Navy Hill Road and Chalan Pale Arnold. This service does not affect the drive-thru pharmacy service on the lower level.

The Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority will be providing shuttles from the tennis court to the hospital. It is highly advisable that every passenger must wear a mask or something to cover the nose and mouth if they want to use the shuttle buses.

COVID-19 in Guam

The Department of Public Health and Social Services in Guam tested 32 more individuals for COVID-19 last April 7. Of those 32 tests, eight tested positive and 24 tested negative.

Of the 124 positive COVID-19 individuals in Guam, two were clinically diagnosed cases and 11 were confirmed positive by the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, California, and one was confirmed positive case through Diagnostic Laboratory Services.

As of 3:30pm, Guam now has a total of 122 confirmed COVID-19 positives, two clinically diagnosed, 31 recoveries, and four deaths. According to the Joint Information Center in Guam, the numbers are subject to change with little to no notice.

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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