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Two more test positive in NMI

Guam’s COVID-19 deaths now at 94
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Posted on Nov 16 2020

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The CNMI has been without a community transmission of COVID-19 in nearly three months but its tally of positive cases continues to go up, most recently with the addition of two, mainly because of travelers who are caught in the COVID-19 dragnet that are in place for arriving passengers.

In the latest case, the two travelers tested positive for COVID-19 last Saturday, raising the CNMI’s cumulative total to 102.

According to the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., the two individuals were identified by travel screening and confirmed diagnosis through testing upon arrival and the routine fifth day of testing. They have been safely in quarantine since arriving and were moved to the designated isolation area, which is the Alternate Care Site at Kanoa Resort in Susupe, upon testing positive.

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

Of the 102 confirmed cases in the CNMI, 76 are incoming passengers (36 from the U.S. mainland, 29 from a U.S. territory, and 11 from foreign countries). Twenty-six cases were also from community transmission—10 from contact tracing and 16 from community testing conducted by CHCC, including two deaths. The CNMI hasn’t had any community transmission since its 54th case in early August.

COVID-19 in Guam

Guam’s tally of deaths from COVID-19 now stands at 94 after three more deaths over the weekend.

In the latest case, Guam’s 94th COVID-19-related fatality occurred at the Guam Memorial Hospital at 10:10am yesterday. The patient was a 73-year-old female with underlying conditions that were further compounded by COVID-19. She was transferred to GMH from the Guam Regional Medical City on Nov.7, 2020, and was a known positive case, according to the Guam Joint Information Center.

“To her family and friends, may you find comfort from the support of an island who mourns with you. Please accept our sincere condolences and sympathies,” said Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. “Our hearts may be troubled and our troubles and sorrows may seem everlasting, but if we remain true to our commitment, we can overcome.”

Meanwhile, construction companies and contractors in Guam are now allowed to resume operations, so long as they meet minimum requirements in the DPHSS Contractor Clearance Checklist. This comes soon after DPHSS issued a directive suspending all construction projects in Guam last Nov. 14, due to the finding of significant clusters of COVID-19 positive cases among the employees of local construction companies.

In related news, the Department of Public Health and Social Services completed COVID-19 testing at the Department of Corrections Hagåtña Detention Facility last Nov. 12. A total of 143 prisoners and 15 staff were tested.

Results confirmed four cases of COVID-19 involving two detainees and two officers. One detainee, with approval from the Attorney General’s Office, has been transferred to the Government of Guam isolation facility. This was also the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the DPHSS contact tracing team. The second detainee was transferred to DOC’s Mangilao facility for isolation.

The two officers who tested positive for COVID-19 remain in home isolation.

“Strategic contingency operations plans and preventive measures were implemented at the start of the pandemic in the event of an outbreak. DOC continues to work with CDC and DPHSS to mitigate further spread of the virus at both facilities,” stated the Joint Information Center in Guam.

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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