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No mask mandate outdoors for fully vaccinated persons

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Posted on May 03 2021
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In compliance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force have announced fully vaccinated persons are no longer mandated to wear a mask outdoors if it’s been two weeks after their final inoculation.

Since half of the adult population have yet to be fully vaccinated in the CNMI, CHCC still advises that practicing the 3 Ws—wearing a mask, washing one’s hands, and watching a distance—is still necessary for crowds where social distancing is not possible and in an indoor setting where unvaccinated people may be present.

“Fully vaccinated” means having already received two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

CDC’s guidance says that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues. Fully vaccinated people can also:

Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing;

Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing;

Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues.

Additionally, CHCC says quarantine protocols in the CNMI will not only depend on whether a person is vaccinated or not but will also continue to be accounted for to the risk considered by CHCC officials.

4 more test positive for COVID-19

Four individuals have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, this brings the overall total to 168 COVID-19 cases.

According to CHCC, two individuals tested positive last April 30 through travel screening and were confirmed positive through testing upon arrival on April 29.

Two more were also identified by travel screening and confirmed diagnosis through testing upon arrival on April 30.

CHCC says all these individuals have been moved to the designated isolation area for close monitoring.

The CHCC Communicable Disease Investigation/Inspection team has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts of the new confirmed case, including passengers on the same flight.

CHCC to vaccinate northern part of Saipan

CHCC and the task force will be hosting the next vaccination outreach event this Saturday, May 8, at the Tanapag Youth Center, from 8am to noon. Walk-ins for the first dose COVID-19 vaccinations will be accepted at all vaccination locations.

Last April 28, CHCC administered 36 Moderna Inc. COVID-19 vaccines at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe. Last Saturday, CHCC administered 135 Moderna vaccines and one Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine.

As of May 2, 2021, the CNMI has fully vaccinated 18,859 persons, representing approximately 50% of the eligible population.

Additionally, since CHCC has resumed using the Janssen vaccine as per the CDC recommendation, effective April 23, they recommend that women—those younger than 50 years old— should be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination, and that other COVID-19 vaccines are available where this risk has not been seen.

CHCC aims to vaccinate 200 individuals at all outreach sites. Individuals are encouraged to pre-register online at vaccinatecnmi.com, call the CHCC call center at (670) 682-SHOT/7468, or register in person at the CHCC call center in IT&E Chalan Laulau.

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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