No exemptions to quarantine

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Posted on May 27 2020

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Any traveler, returning resident, or visitor who will be flying to Guam will still have to go under quarantine, even if you have a certificate stating that you have tested negative for COVID-19.

Linda DeNorcey, director of the Guam’s Department of Public Health and Social Services, told CNMI reporters that the negative COVID-19 test only exempts you from being quarantined for 14 days at a GovGuam facility. You will still have to undergo the 14-day quarantine at home in Guam.

“When you have a negative polymerase chain reaction COVID-19 test, you still need to be home-quarantined, meaning that you have to have restriction of movement for 14 days,” she said.

DeNorcey stated that an individual who has developed symptoms will be seen by a provider and tested for COVID-19. Guam and the CNMI use the same Gene Xpert Machine, which is a PCR nucleus acid testing.

DeNorcey added that Guam does not accept antibody testing. Antibody testing is meant to check whether a person has already had the virus.

As for incoming travelers to the CNMI, a new directive gives travelers the option to either undergo the 14-day mandatory quarantine or get tested once they reach the quarantine facility, which is the Pacific Islands Club Saipan in San Antonio.

Effective May 18, a travel clearance is not needed for travelers entering the CNMI and does not guarantee the traveler will not be subjected to quarantine processing. Every traveler will be immediately transported to a quarantine site for evaluation, subjected to quarantine and testing within five to seven days of their stay, and monitored daily for COVID-19 symptoms.

To date, the CNMI has a total of 22 confirmed COVID-19 cases with two deaths, 13 recoveries, and seven active cases.

COVID-19 in Guam

One new probable case of COVID-19 was reported to the Department of Public Health and Social Services from May 24–25, 2020. The case tested positive through serology testing at Diagnostic Laboratory Services (DLS). While polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing indicates current infection, serology testing indicates the presence of antibodies from past infection with SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. Cases that test positive only through serology testing are classified as probable cases. A case investigation will be conducted to determine any epidemiologic links to known cases.

To date, there have been 167 cases in Guam confirmed through COVID-19 testing, with five deaths and 139 released from isolation.

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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