84 new cases; 1,559 recovered

‘We want to be able to have the best protection’
Posted on Dec 22 2021

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. announced Monday night that 84 positive cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Dec. 19, bringing the CNMI’s total to 2,506. CHCC said Monday that the individuals have been isolated and are being actively monitored.

CHCC also reported Monday that, as of Dec. 19, there have been 1,559 recoveries, 651 active cases, and five COVID-19-related deaths of the cases identified since Oct. 28.

As of Dec. 20, there are 12 active hospitalizations: seven patients are unvaccinated, five vaccinated, and two of the 12 are on a ventilator.

Of the 84 new cases, 67 were found through contact tracing and 17 through community testing, with the vaccination statuses of the 84 pending verification as of Monday night.

‘We want to be able to have the best protection’

Ahead of the holidays, CHCC chief executive officer Esther L. Muña advises the public to practice safety at gatherings, whether it be through holding them outdoors or opening windows so there is proper air circulation indoors.

Making a guest appearance during Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ radio news briefing yesterday Muña reiterated her message to the community to follow the “3 W’s” (wear a face mask; wash your hands; watch your distance), and even advised avoiding what the World Health Organization calls the “3 C’s” (crowded places, close-contact settings, and confined and enclosed spaces).

Muña said that she and CHCC are monitoring the effects the omicron variant of COVID-19 is having on the United States, and is taking into account the unknowns surrounding the variant’s possible impact on the CNMI’s health care system and community.

To keep yourself safe, Muña urged the community to receive their COVID-19 booster shots if due and eligible for it. “We don’t know what [impact] the omicron variant [may have] on this community, and we want to be able to have the best protection,” she said.

Briefly mentioning ongoing vaccination efforts, Muña said she was glad to see many people continuing to make the decision to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “When we had our first community case here in the CNMI, I did ask, ‘What are you waiting for?’ …and I have to say that I’m very, very happy to see a large number of individuals that did get vaccinated,” she said.

In its most recent news release, CHCC reported that 511 COVID-19 vaccine shots were administered on Dec. 20. In recent past releases from CHCC, vaccination turnout has hovered around the triple digits. Also, CHCC on its social media pages on Sunday marked one year since the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in the CNMI.

Currently, 92.2% of the CNMI’s eligible population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Muña said a larger portion of eligible individuals have received at least their first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, and she estimated that there may be less than or around a 1,000 individuals in the CNMI who have not yet received their first shot.

Joshua Santos | Reporter
Joshua Santos is a Mount Carmel School AlumKnight and University of Florida Gator Grad with a passion for writing. He is one of Saipan Tribune’s newest reporters. Josh enjoys golf, chess, and playing video games with friends in his spare time. Reach out to him @rarebasedjosh on all socials.
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