Scheduled testing for COVID-19 available

Posted on Apr 24 2020

In an attempt to organize mass testing, the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. are now offering individuals who wish to get tested for COVID-19 a chance to schedule a testing appointment.

According to a statement on CHCC’s official website, in order to facilitate the COVID-19 testing process, those who wish to get tested have to complete a form. Once completed, a CHCC staff will contact the individual to verify information and schedule an available testing date.

Questions will include if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms. Even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms, you will still be able to fill out the request for testing. An individual will have to provide their first and last name, birth date, gender, contact number(s), email, village, and how many people will be tested, including the individual filing.

In an earlier interview with Esther Muña, CHCC chief executive officer, said testing for the COVID-19 is intended to be free.

In the case of undocumented persons, Muña said her intention is to ensure that every individual will be comfortable enough to know that they won’t be reported to immigration authorities even if they are undocumented.

Test kits

Three days after CHCC received more medical supplies, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres took to Facebook again in a livestream video to announce that CHCC received additional medical supplies through another charter flight from the U.S. mainland yesterday.

The cargo included additional ventilators and personal protective equipment for doctors, nurses, medical workers, and first responders.

Present with Torres while waiting for the cargo to arrive was Todd Hoose from the Federal Emergency Management Agency external affairs, FEMA COVID-19 response. “It’s been an honor to work here in the CNMI, working with the governor, the excellent team they have, [and] CHCC,” said Hoose. “While we’re coordinating the effort with our federal partners, FEMA efforts and the Commonwealth’s CHCC are doing an excellent job.”

“Always maintain your patience, and thank you for your understanding and cooperation,” said Torres. “Let’s continue to fight the coronavirus.”

A separate statement from the Office of the Governor said, “The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, CHCC, and FEMA continue their strong partnership to protect the people of the Marianas.”

To date, the CNMI has 14 positive cases, one active case, two deaths, and 11 recovered cases.

COVID-19 in Guam

After days of back-to-back news of zero people testing positive for COVID-19, Guam has added two more person to the list of individuals who have tested positive for the virus last April 22, bringing its overall total to 138 positive cases.

The Department of Public Health and Social Services in Guam tested 34 individuals for COVID-19 on April 22; all 34 tested negative. The additional positive cases were tested at the U.S Naval Hospital in Guam. That brings Guam’s overall total to 138.

Guam’s government has expanded the criteria with its new guideline: “If you have any [COVID-19] symptoms, you must get tested right away.”

Additionally, there’s a chance that the peak of COVID-19 in Guam can be seen in September or October.

According to a PowerPoint presentation that was released to the Guam community on April 22 during Guam’s Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s press briefing, Dr. Michael Cruz, executive officer of Guam Regional Medical City (a government of Guam-contracted facility) stated that Guam “has the potential to keep this pandemic from exceeding our hospital system’s threshold.”

Cruz is optimistic that Guam will be able to reopen some parts of the island “in a coordinated fashion.” This can be carried out with a “well-defined plan with clear checks and balances.”

To date, Guam has a total of 138 positive cases, with 119 recoveries, and five deaths.

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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