CHCC sends second specimen for testing

Posted on Mar 06 2020


The Commonwealth Health Care Corp has submitted a second specimen to a laboratory in Hawaii for COVID-19 testing.

According to a CHCC statement yesterday, the patient is considered low priority as he/she does not meet the full U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention case definition of a COVID-19 person under investigation. CHCC is currently taking a precautionary stance in order to protect the CNMI community.

The statement also clarifies that this does not mean that the CNMI has a confirmed case, and CHCC will provide more information and updates on the situation as soon as it is available.

According to CHCC spokesperson Zoe Travis, the CNMI still remains coronavirus-free, but the islands are still at a high risk for experiencing an outbreak.

The first time CHCC submitted a specimen for testing to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory in Atlanta, Georgia was last Feb. 11 and the patient was also a low interest patient, meaning that the patient didn’t meet the full CDC criteria of a person who has the virus. Last Feb. 21, CHCC received confirmation from the CDC that the sample was negative.

Until then, CHCC reminds everyone that the best way to protect oneself and others from the virus and other illnesses is to practice good basic health and hygiene such as:

-Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

-Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

-Avoiding close contact with people who are sick, stay home when you are sick

-Covering your cough/sneeze with a tissue and properly disposing of it,

-Cleaning and disinfecting touched objects and surfaces frequently.

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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