One more positive case

Age threshold for vaccination down to 50 years old
Posted on Mar 09 2021

The CNMI saw its first back-to-back positive COVID-19 case yesterday when the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. announced that one more person tested positive for COVID-19, raising the CNMI’s total to 146.

Speaking at the governor’s media briefing, CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muña said they have also expanded the vaccination eligibility in the CNMI to include persons 50 years or older. Tinian’s COVID-19 phase 1B has also expanded to 50 years old or older and CNMI infrastructure workers for public and private sectors.

As for the new positive case, CHCC said the individual was identified through travel screening and confirmed positive through testing upon arrival. The individual has been safely in quarantine and was moved to the designated isolation area at the Kanoa Resort Alternative Care Site for close monitoring.

CHCC has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts of the new confirmed case, including passengers on the same flight.

Out of the 146 total COVID-19 cases, CHCC said 120 were identified through travel screening while 26 were local transmissions. Of the 120 identified by travel screening, 75 are from the U.S. mainland, 32 from a U.S. territory, and 13 from a foreign country. There are currently seven persons in isolation and the CNMI has had no local transmission for the past 202 days.

Muña said there has been a slight increase in the number of vaccinations for the 65-years-old and older group. She added that CHCC will be doing more outreaches on how to get the vaccines out to the vulnerable population.

As of March 8, a total of 8,476 people in the CNMI (Saipan, Tinian, and Rota) have completed the vaccination series. A total of 11,922 people has received their first COVID-19 dose.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, the CNMI was allocated 13,360 doses—9,360 of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines and 4,000 Moderna Inc. vaccines—last Friday.

Justine Nauta | Correspondent
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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