First COVID-19 case on Tinian

Posted on Jul 13 2020


There are two additional COVID-19 cases in the CNMI, including one from Tinian, making it the first case detected on that island. This raises the CNMI’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 33.

According to the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, the individual identified on Tinian was swabbed for specimen collection last July 11 soon after arriving at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport.

According to a task force statement, the individual had just transited through Saipan and immediately left for Tinian but then immediately returned to Saipan for additional testing and monitoring. It is unclear why the individual was allowed to leave for Tinian before the result came out.

The other individual was also swabbed and screened for specimen collection last July 11.

Both new cases are now in isolation at the quarantine site at Kanoa Resort in Susupe where CHCC is monitoring the two. Additionally, CHCC has done contact tracing for the two’s most immediate contacts such as passengers on the same flight, close family members, friends, and associates.

“Many interventions are in place to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19 within the CNMI, and care for those who are diagnosed. Our recent cases, identified through the CNMI Mandatory Declaration Form and COVID-19 testing required for all incoming international passengers, highlights the value of this border containment effort. Combined with immediate contact tracing, these interventions are key in minimizing the risk of exposure for COVID-19 to the community,” said the statement.

In addition to the two new cases, a source told Saipan Tribune that one individual had to be arrested as the person refused to be quarantined. When asked about this, Esther Muna, CHCC’s chief executive officer, said that CHCC and the task force had an issue with someone refusing to quarantine, but he is now in quarantine as of July 11. There was no further information about this as of press time yesterday.

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

COVID-19 in Guam

According to the Joint Information Center in Guam, one service member that traveled to Andersen Air Force Base last July 11 on a government flight was confirmed positive for COVID-19.

The service member presented a sample for COVID-19 testing in an earlier flight from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington and displayed no COVID-19 symptoms before boarding the flight.

“Officials at Andersen AFB were notified of the positive test result while the flight was en route to Guam. Immediately after processing at Andersen AFB, the COVID-positive service member was placed into isolation and all other military and civilian passengers were placed into quarantine in Department of Defense-supervised facilities,” said JIC.

Additionally, all passengers remain in mandatory quarantine for a minimum of 14 days in accordance with the Department of Defense and Guam government public health protocols. Military public health investigators are currently conducting contact tracing to determine where this member may have contracted the virus.

The case is not currently included in the Department of Public Health and Social Services official overall count. A determination will be made on whether the positive case will be included.

To date, Guam has had a total of 312 confirmed cases, with five deaths, 202 released from isolation, and 105 active cases. Of those cases, 266 are classified as civilians and 46 are military service members.

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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