Two more individuals who recently traveled to Saipan have tested positive for COVID-19, both through travel screening, raising the CNMI’s total confirmed cases to 56.
According to the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s statement, the 55th case was identified upon arrival and the 56th case was identified on the fifth day of testing. Additionally, both have been safely quarantined and were moved to the designated isolation area which is the Kanoa Resort in Susupe.
CHCC stated that they have conducted contact tracing for the immediate contacts which include: passengers on the same flight, close family members, and friends.
CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muña also said that the CNMI expects to receive COVID-19 vaccination in January 2021.
Speaking on the weekly radio briefing last Aug. 27, Muña said the vaccine is not ready yet, but she received a call on Thursday morning from the White House task force regarding Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership initiated by the federal government “to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.”
Muña stated that they were assured that the vaccine will be “safe and effective” once it is ready for distribution. She added that the target date is January 2021 for the mass vaccination distribution. In preparation, Muña says that the hospital is constantly checking if there is refrigeration and other equipment needed so that once the distribution comes, they [CHCC] is also ready to receive it.
Saipan won’t be the only one to receive it, Rota and Tinian will also receive vaccination, Muña added. Also, she wants to remind the community to get their regular flu shots as the flu season is coming.
Warren Villagomez, who heads the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, is asking parents to coordinate with their children’s schools regarding the school-based vaccination outreach. Its goal is to bring children up to date with recommended immunizations.