Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. have confirmed the CNMI’s seventh and eighth COVID-19-related death. Both patients passed this month: one patient was unvaccinated, and the other was vaccinated.
The patients tested positive for COVID-19 in December, were identified at CHCC, and isolated.
“The passing of members of our community is never easy to share, and it is a reminder for us to stay vigilant and vaccinated against this virus. If you’re unvaccinated, please get vaccinated,” said Torres.
As of Dec. 18, 2021, there have been a total of 2,422 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the CNMI.
“Our sincerest and heartfelt condolences go out to both families. It’s always difficult when you lose a family member and especially right before the holidays,” said CHCC chief executive officer Esther L. Muña. “I urge the CNMI community to please continue to practice preventive measures to keep yourself and your family living COVID-19 safe. Please consider vaccinations if you are able to and get your boosters when due to have this extra layer of defense against this disease. Continue to wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. Even during the holidays, you can celebrate safely with these measures in place, like celebrating outdoors; and if you are celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening the windows and doors, if possible. We should all look for the risks of transmission and focus on removing those risks.”
The CHCC highly encourages unvaccinated individuals to get vaccinated or get a booster shot against COVID-19 to help prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Data from small clinical trials show that vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection is waning after the primary series, but protection remains high against severe disease and hospitalization. Register for COVID-19 vaccination at www.vaccinatecnmi.com.
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms like coughing, fever, shortness of breath, or new loss of taste or smell, get checked by a health care provider right away, or call the CHCC Tele-Triage line (670) 233-2067 if you do not have a provider.
If you are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and it has been five to seven days since your exposure to a person who may have COVID-19, avail of the free Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services antigen testing (Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, 8am – 4pm, at Kagman, Garapan, or Susupe fire stations) or the free community-based testing (register at https://covidtesting.chcc.health; more dates will be announced).
While you wait to get tested or get your test results, live COVID-19 safe: practice the 3 W’s (wear your mask, wash your hands, watch your distance); avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces; cover coughs and sneezes; clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily; be alert for symptoms daily; and get tested for COVID-19. View the CNMI COVID-19 guide book at www.staysafecnmi.com/livecovidsafe. (PR)