Contact tracing continues for new cases

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Posted on Jul 14 2020
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The two individuals found positive for COVID-19, now both in isolation at the Kanoa Resort in Susupe, were initially released for self-quarantine after landing on Saipan, according to Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive officer Esther Muña.

“They were released for self-quarantine but they were given the guidelines of how to do that,” Muña said at the government’s regular news briefing. “They actually did follow the instructions as given and we found out after our interview that they did limited exposure, limited movement. That is actually positive for us because even though they’ve been identified as COVID positive, it didn’t affect them so far.”

Muña also assured that contract tracing continues for the new COVID-19 cases.

Last Saturday, the returning residents were swabbed for specimen collection upon arriving on Saipan and were also called the same day when CHCC’s COVID-19 test results turned out positive.

“We’re still continuing with the contact tracing discussion and investigation but, so far, it looks like it’s just them. They were tested on arrival, they went to their home, and then we called them about 5 o’clock to let them know they are positive. They were asymptomatic,” Muña said

When asked whether the first positive case on Tinian could change interisland travel protocol, she said that thy are still talking about it. “Right now, it seems like the system works. We are able to identify quickly who’s positive or landing on our borders and are basically being tested right away and so we get the result basically before the end of the day.”

“Again, the discussion with them,” she added, “as soon as they land is that even if you are released, that you are going to follow the strict, restricted movement, making sure you wear a mask and all that.”

Currently, returning residents on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota may be considered for exemption from quarantine, and be able to self-quarantine if they fill out the CNMI Mandatory Declaration Form at least three days prior to their arrival on Saipan, register and respond daily to the Sara Alert Symptom Monitoring System and exercise self-quarantine for 14 consecutive days as prescribed by CHCC, and consent to specimen collection for COVID-19 testing five days after arrival.

To date, the CNMI has a total of 33 cases, with two deaths and three active cases.

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com
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