3rd specimen found negative

Posted on Mar 20 2020

A third specimen that the CNMI sent to the Guam Public Health laboratory for COVID-19 testing last March 13 by has turned out negative.

Separately, in a statement from the Commonwealth Health Care Corp. and the Office of the Governor yesterday, it encouraged people to stay home to slow down the spread of the virus.

A day after Guam confirmed three cases of COVID-19 last March 15, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres signed Executive Order 20-04 declaring the CNMI under the State of Significant Emergency and a State of Public Health Emergency. Torres directed the community to practice social distancing (at least six feet), avoid activities that will have over 50 people, two weeks of government shutdown, and travel ban unless for health reasons.

According to Subroto Benerji, CHCC chief operating officer, the virus stays alive between three to six days and by having people not interact as they normally do—such as going to restaurants, stores, churches, etc.—this will allow the virus to get out of the transmittal mode.

“Our actions today can determine how long this will last,” said Esther Muña, CHCC chief executive officer. In addition, Muña stated that people can always say that the novel coronavirus crisis can end in July, “but if people aren’t staying home or going into self-quarantine, then it could take longer for this virus to go away.”

“It is extremely important to start practicing social distancing to avoid close contact with people in order to avoid catching the virus and passing it on.” she added.

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.
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