• By Pacific Island Times News

CNMI has 3 new Covid cases; community testing resumes today


Saipan-- The CNMI has three new Covid-19 cases, commonwealth officials said Monday.The CNMI’s Covid.19 count is now at 19 cases with five active cases, 12 recoveries, and two deaths.

The CNMI Community-Based Testing Initiative resumes operations today May 12. Officials said individuals who have been placed on priority scheduling before testing suspended last week have been rescheduled for this week.

The three new cases, identified through contact tracing, are in stable condition and are safely isolated at Kanoa Resort. These cases are being closely monitored by Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation medical teams, according to the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force.

CHCC has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts (close family members, friends, and associates) of these new confirmed cases.

The three new Covid-19 cases are all males, age 19, 25, and 27 years old, asymptomatic, and are contacts of previously diagnosed Covid-19 cases who reside in the CNMI. Specimens were collected, processed, and confirmed positive at CHCC Laboratory today.

It is not clear whether these cases tested positive because of current infections or if the tests are detecting viral debris of a previous infection from which they have already recovered. Contract tracing evidence indicates that these cases were most likely exposed through a small gathering of people from different households.

CNMI officials said residents who have been scheduled for testing who might not it to their testing date will be placed on the wait list to be rescheduled for the next availability.

The new testing schedule is as follows: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.' Monday, Thursday, and Saturday 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Officials advised the community to continue practicing social distance even if they have tested negative for the virus, or have already been infected with the virus and recovered, it is essential.

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The Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and the CHCC continue to make the best clinical and public health judgements possible with the tools that we have available to us, and ask for the community’s continued efforts to avoid contact with others, practice rigorous hand hygiene, and wear face coverings when in public places. These simple actions for prevention remain the best tools we have to keep ourselves, our loved ones and the most vulnerable safe.

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The Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and CHCC continue to encourage residents within the Marianas to practice social distancing, which means avoiding close contact with people in order to avoid catching the virus yourself and to avoid passing it on to others.

1) Stay home as much as possible. Avoid unnecessary travel or public places. Wear a face covering when you must be in a public place, such as the grocery store or bank.

a) Avoid social gatherings of groups of more than 10 people, and gatherings which involve members from outside your immediate household.

b) Pick up food through drive-thru, take-out, or delivery options.

c) Only one healthy adult from the household should run necessary errands, such as getting groceries or picking up medications. Leave children, elderly, and other vulnerable people at home as much as possible. When returning home from an errand, wash your hands before doing anything else.

d) Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. People at high risk should stay at home as much as possible.

e) Create a household plan of action https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/checklist-household-ready.html

f) Ensure a 30-day supply of all prescription medications.

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2) Continue good hand hygiene:

a) Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, avoid touching your face, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve.

b) Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.

3) Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you become symptomatic:

a) If you have symptoms which may indicate a COVID-19 infection such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, go to the CHCC health tent, located at tent #13 of the Medical Care and Treatment Site at the CHCC Navy Hill campus open daily 8am to 5pm, OR call the CHCC COVID-19 Infoline 285-1542/1672/1352/1854 available Monday to Sunday 7:30AM-8:00PM.

b) Stay home when you are sick and practice self-quarantine measures. This means:

i) Choosing a room in your house to separate yourself from other household members from others who are not sick.

ii) Wearing a face covering when you can’t avoid being around others in your household.

iii) Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

iv) Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

v) Not accepting visitors to your home.

vi) Using a separate bathroom, if possible.

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