IN SCRAPPING 14-DAY MANDATORY QUARANTINE

CHCC considers mental health in isolation period

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Posted on Sep 24 2020

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The 14-day mandatory quarantine that was implemented by the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force was dropped to five to seven days for people whose mental health will be harmed.

At the Rotary Club of Saipan’s general meeting at the Hyatt Regency Saipan last Tuesday, CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muña said she disagreed with the 14-day quarantine and considered that being isolated for two weeks won’t be bearable for those whose mental health is compromised.

Another factor that dropped the 14-day quarantine to five to seven days is that the virus can be detected on the fifth day, which is proven to be the “most effective” date of when you notice the virus in an individual’s system. Muña says that the virus can also be detected on the first day on arrival which is why they test on the first and fifth day. Testing on the first day will allow them to identify and isolate those who are positive.

Though people whose mental health will be compromised, Muña stated that there will be exemptions, but CHCC and the task force want to make sure that they identify those who are at high risk.

Additionally, with the help of Dave Baker, Saipan station manager for United Airlines, CHCC and the task force are able to know how incoming passengers are coming so that they will be able to get their registration system ready.

According to Muña, Baker has been responsible for informing individuals who are coming to the CNMI to be prepared for a mandatory quarantine, no matter what they are here for. Additionally, individuals are told to register on the CHCC or the governor’s official website so that they can be automatically enrolled in the Sara Alert system.

Muña credits Turnkey Solutions for powering the Sara Alert system, which runs smoothly. According to their official website, Turnkey Solutions is a local CNMI consulting firm that specializes in customized web development/design, database development and management, search engine optimization, and data analytics utilizing the latest technology trends.

Additionally, the system is set up to where CHCC can effectively process incoming passengers from the entry point up until the discharge from the quarantine facility.

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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