NO COMMUNITY SPREAD IN CNMI IN 2 MONTHS

9 travelers test positive

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Posted on Oct 19 2020

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Nine arriving travelers tested positive for COVID-19 last Thursday, Oct. 15, and Saturday, Oct 17, with three testing positive on Thursday and six more testing positive on Saturday, making it the second highest single-day increase of positive cases since Sept. 20. All nine new cases raise the CNMI’s total number of positive cases to 86.

Despite this cumulative increase, the CNMI has not seen a community spread within two months since the 54th COVID-19 case last Aug. 18, who had come in contact with the CNMI’s 50th positive case last Aug. 14.

In the latest positive cases, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. said in a statement that all nine passengers were identified by travel screening and confirmed positive through testing upon arrival. All nine were immediately transported to the CNMI’s designated isolation area, which is the Kanoa Resort in Susupe. CHCC has already conducted contact tracing for the most immediate contacts of the new cases, including passengers on the same flight.

According to Warren Villagomez, who heads the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, efforts to protect the borders on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota, continues and that, in order to successfully get the whole population vaccinated when the time comes, the Office of Homeland Security is already putting together a vaccination plan for the CNMI, as part of the government’s holistic approach to COVID-19 vaccinations. This early, plans are being put in place to campaign, make people aware, and do plenty of promotions and marketing to be ready when the COVID-19 vaccine is already available, Villagomez said.

COVID-19 in Guam

In Guam, four more lives were lost to COVID-19, raising the island’s cumulative total to 66 fatalities.

According to the Joint Information Center in Guam, Guam’s 63rd COVID-19-related fatality happened at the Guam Memorial Hospital at approximately 5:49am. last Oct. 15. The patient was a 51-year-old male with underlying comorbidities that were compounded by COVID-19. He was admitted to GMH last Sept. 4 and was a known positive case.

The island’s 64th COVID-19-related fatality happened last Friday, Oct. 16, at approximately 6:45pm, with a 57-year-old male with underlying comorbidities that were compounded by COVID-19. He was admitted to GMH on Oct. 6 and tested positive upon admission.

Guam’s 65th fatality occurred at Guam Regional Medical City at approximately 10:15pm last Saturday, Oct. 17. The patient was a 47-year-old female and was admitted to GRMC last Oct. 17 and tested positive upon admission.

The 66th COVID-19-related fatality occurred at the GMH at approximately 2:27am. The patient was a 57-year-old male with underlying health conditions that were compounded by COVID-19. The patient was admitted to GMH last Oct. 5 and tested positive upon admission.

“[First gentlemen] Jeff [Cook], Lt. Gov. Josh [Tenorio], and I offer our sincerest condolences and sympathies,” said Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. “Scripture tells us that even in the midst of mourning, we should not let our hearts be troubled nor should we be afraid. We must remain unwavering in our resolve to protect each other from this virus because we must be the frontlines in this fight.”

All these come with the 197 new positive cases in Guam.

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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