The Commonwealth Health Care Corp. submitted last Feb. 10 a specimen for the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCov, for testing to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory in Atlanta, Georgia.
However, this does not mean that the CNMI has a confirmed case, according to a CHCC statement, adding that the CNMI remains safe and coronavirus-free and that CHCC will provide further updates on this case when it is available.
CHCC emphasized in the statement that, although this patient does not meet the full coronavirus case definition, they are taking precautionary orders in order to protect the CNMI.
This case is not related to a post that was circulating on social media yesterday of an alleged case of a man with coronavirus who reportedly escaped from a quarantine area from Wuhan, China, and made his way to the CNMI.
CHCC is still investigating the source of this false information and will be able to provide updates when it becomes available.
According to a separate statement, CHCC said doesn’t take these rumors lightly and that any awareness of suspected or confirmed cases of the virus is of the utmost importance to them and will continue to provide timely and clear information. “At this time, it is most important to not believe [allegations] or rumors on social media unless there is an official statement from CHCC,” it added. “Until then, CHCC would like to remind the public that the best way to protect yourself 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, staying home when you are sick, covering your cough/sneeze with a tissue and properly disposing of it, and cleaning and disinfecting touched objects and surfaces frequently.”