‘Two negative tests before release’

Posted on Aug 14 2020

What is considered safe after a person has tested positive for COVID-19? An individual has to have two negative test results before they are released to the community, according to Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive officer Esther Muña.

What is “strange” about the virus, though, is that the person will still be carrying a viral load. At the same time, the 14-day incubation period of when an individual first tested positive will determine if they are infectious or not, based on the advisory of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Muña.

“An individual can have a viral load and remain positive even after 21 days. …There’s a clinical decision then, and that is the medical team doing a clinical assessment and making a determination, consulting with CDC, and making that decision to say, okay, this individual is no longer infectious,” said Muña.

As for the medication that is offered for someone who has tested positive, Remdesivir, which was once used to fight the Ebola disease, is now the medicine that is being used to treat COVID-19.

Although the Food and Drug Administration has approved Remdesivir to treat COVID-19, an individual would have to be in a more critical state to be administered the medication than someone who has just tested positive, with no symptoms, Muña said.

“There is Remdesivir…[which] has been approved by FDA to treat COVID-19. But that that individual has to be in, I guess, in a more critical state, rather than someone who is just…positive…and has no symptoms, then you don’t treat that individual with such medication,” said Muña.

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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