8 test positive for COVID-19

Posted on Feb 22 2021


The CNMI saw its highest number of single-day recorded cases of COVID-19 since March 28, 2020, with eight people testing positive for the coronavirus yesterday.

According to the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., the individuals were identified by travel screening and confirmed diagnosis through testing upon arrival. The individuals have been safely in quarantine and were moved to the designated isolation site at the alternative care site 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. Saipan Tribune attempted to ask if this was a family but this could not be ascertained due to confidentiality concerns.

So far, of the 143 COVID-19 cases the CNMI has had, 117 were identified by travel screening while 26 were deemed to be local transmissions. There are currently 15 persons in isolation. The CNMI has had no local transmission in the past 186 days.

As of Feb. 19, the CNMI has been allocated 29,650 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, according to CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muña.

Speaking at a media briefing last Feb. 19, Muña said the CNMI has been “very successful” in its Dose 2 rate. “We’ve been getting 99%, 100% every day on people that are getting their Dose 2 so…when people get their Dose 1, they do come back for the dose when we have that ready for them,” said Muña.

She added that they will continue to prioritize the elderly, or the man’amko. This goes as far as allowing the man’amko to walk in and register to get the vaccine. Only the man’amko can walk in for their shots; everybody else have to have make an online appointment. The age range for man’amko is 55 years and above.

As of Feb. 19, Muña said there is still no clear date to when they will vaccinate the public or those who don’t fall under the any of the phases that CHCC has allowed so far.

COVID-19 in Guam

According to the Joint Information Center, Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has secured more COVID-19 vaccines for Guam, while 10 individuals tested positive for COVID-19 last Feb. 18.

The new 10 positive cases were identified out of 521, said JIC. Two had a travel history and were identified in quarantine. Six were identified through contact tracing.

According to the JIC, Leon Guerrero’s earlier request to Operation Warp Speed chief operating officer of Gen. Gustave Perna has secured additional COVID-19 vaccines for Guam. Last Feb. 20, early Saturday, the head of the White House’s vaccine distribution operation committed to increasing Guam’s March allocation, bringing the month’s total to 35,260 vaccines.

“Vaccine allocation is dependent on vaccine production. Also considered is the jurisdiction’s performance, Guam notably leading the nation with vaccination efforts,” said JIC.

As of Feb. 20, 14,200 Moderna and 21,060 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are expected to arrive within the first week of March. Because of the severe winter weather in the U.S., allotment cannot be advanced.

JIC said that the March allotment is the largest Guam will receive since COVID-19 vaccines were made available in December 2020.

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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