CNMI Covid-19 Task Force present updates on community response to coronavirus pandemic. Photo courtesy of the Office of the CNMI Governor/Facebook.
Saipan-- Two more people were confirmed to have contracted Covid-19. The CNMI’s Covid-19 count is now at 21 with seven active cases, 12 recoveries and two deaths, according to the Governor's Covid-19 Task Force.
The task force said the two new cases were identified through contact tracing. The individuals are in stable condition and are safely isolated at Kanoa Resort, the task force said.
"The cases are being closely monitored by CHCC medical teams. CHCC has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts (close family members, friends, and associates) of these new confirmed cases," the task force said.
The two new Covid-19 patients are a 31-year-old male and a 22-year-old female, asymptomatic, and are contacts of previously diagnosed cases who reside in the CNMI. Specimens were collected, processed, and confirmed positive at CHCC Laboratory today.
CNMI officials advised residents: "Even if you’ve tested negative for the virus, or have already been infected with the virus and recovered, it is essential for everyone in the community to continue to practice strict social distancing, and avoid public places as much as possible."
CNMI Gov. Ralph Torres on Friday renewed his declaration public health emergency, thus extending the pandemic-related restrictions for another 30 days.
"Covid-19 continues to pose a significant and imminent threat of harm to the community, environment and people of the CNMI and thus emergency declarations are necessary to respond, quarantine and ensure the prevention of or containment of Covid-19 in the CNMI," the governor's executive order states.
The governor's directive orders the CNMI Homeland Security & Emergency Management Office, through the CNMI COVID-19 Task Force, and in partnership with the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., "to undertake necessary Covd-19 containment measures by means of the development of emergency directives to protect the health and safety of the public, is hereby renewed and shall continue for an additional 30) days from the effective date."
The task force has also announced that CNMI Community-Based Covid-19 Testing Initiative will now expand to include Tinian and Rota beginning May 18. The testing process is being coordinated with the mayors' offices.
Community testing helps identify people who may be infected with the virus, especially those who may be pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic, so they can be directed to the appropriate care, contain the viru and prevent its spread using tools such as quarantine, isolation and contact tracing.
"Community testing may also help us understand how widespread the virus is in the community," the task force said. "Testing for Covid-19 is not mandatory. It is another tool to help the Task Force and CHCC detect and contain the SARS-COV2 virus, the virus that causes Covid-19. The Task Force and CHCC note that it is important to remember that testing is only a tool to help combat the virus by better containing it."
Official reminded residents that getting tested for Covid-19 does not improve response to the illness, nor does it reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting the disease. "Our goal is to provide results as quickly as possible within a reasonable time-frame. People who are tested and have a negative result are still vulnerable to the virus," the task force said.
The task force also provided the following updates:
In addition, the registration portal for all islands will now be using the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force site at www.governor.gov.mp/covid-19/testing.
· The Task Force, CHCC, and TurnKey Solutions optimized the Governor’s website to reflect the current testing schedule and locations as well as available slots. This information will be updated routinely.
· Specifically, at Saipan International Airport, there are workstations available at Station 5 (located at the tour bus parking lot near commuter terminal) for community members who have not registered. Please note that even though you register at Station 5, your testing date will be based on the next available slot.
· For businesses with 50 or more employees and for all government agencies, please contact the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force Hotline at 287-0046/0489/1089 for information on group registrations.