In past media briefings, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive officer Esther L. Muña has shared that the evidence thus far does not point to widespread or accelerated community transmission of COVID-19. When asked last Friday for updates on these thoughts, Muña said this still remains the case.
What would “widespread” or “accelerated” community transmission of COVID-19 in the CNMI look like? Muña said this would be a rise in reported community cases that are unrelated to the original clusters. “Widespread would be something where it doesn’t have any connection with the current cluster—the main cluster,” she said.
So far, Muña said what she and CHCC are seeing is that the additional community cases of COVID-19 that are being reported so far are still linked to the clusters that originated the spread.
“[Through] the nucleus, the center of these cases, we’re seeing how [COVID-19 is transmitted] through a particular workplace, for example. …Because of everyone really practicing the 3 W’s…and [vaccinations] we are seeing basically the closure of that; there is no further connection,” said Muña.
She also said Friday that around 90% of the CNMI’s eligible adult population has at least gotten their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and that the CNMI’s vaccination numbers will continue to rise as more individuals are scheduled to receive their second dose and be fully vaccinated in two to three weeks’ time.
According to the vaccinatecnmi.com dashboard, as of Nov. 14, 84.2% of the CNMI’s eligible population is fully vaccinated. Also, 37,076 individuals have at least received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 35,709 are fully vaccinated, and 5,200 have received an additional vaccine dose.
“If [the high vaccination rate and 3 W’s] was not there, I believe we would have had worse. …The CNMI community has been armed to do this,” said Muña.