No travel bubble tourists have tested positive so far—Villagomez
A day after reporting a stunning 98 positive cases of COVID-19 in the CNMI last Tuesday, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. announced Wednesday that 32 more cases of COVID-19 were identified through surveillance testing on Nov. 23, bringing the CNMI’s total to 604.
CHCC said all 32 individuals have been isolated and are being actively monitored. CHCC also reported that, as of Nov. 24, there are 210 active cases and two active hospitalizations.
Of the 32 new cases, 20 were identified through community-based testing and 12 through contact tracing. By vaccination status, 19 are fully vaccinated, eight are unvaccinated, three are partially vaccinated, and two are ineligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Regarding testing efforts, CHCC reported that 622 tests were conducted on Nov. 23 and made a correction to Nov. 22’s testing numbers, reporting that 463 tests were conducted on Nov. 22.
Since Oct. 28 there have been 313 new cases. Of the 313, 144 were identified through contact tracing, 158 through CBT, and 11 through travel testing.
Before Tuesday’s announcement of 98 new cases, the CNMI has been posting single-digit increases in its number of COVID-19, trickling in at one or two.
In related news, Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force chair Warren F. Villagomez said Tuesday that no tourists taking part in the South Korea-CNMI travel bubble have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.
“The Korean travelers have been very safely coming into the CNMI, [and] we are doing everything as protocol [such as] pre-arrival swabbing [before flying to] the CNMI,” said Villagomez during a virtual news briefing that was also attended by CHCC chief executive officer Esther L. Muña, regional epidemiologist Stephanie Kern-Allely, and the governor’s authorized representative Patrick Guerrero.
The travel bubble agreement was signed and made official by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Vice Minister Seong-Kyu Hwang of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of the Republic of Korea on June 30 this year.
One provision of the agreement requires travelers from South Korea to the CNMI and vice versa to complete vaccination against COVID-19 at least 14 days ahead of departure with vaccines approved and provided by their respective governments.