332 new COVID-19 cases in the CNMI Dec. 1-7; total positive cases now 1,514

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Three hundred thirty-two (332) cases have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 from Dec. 1-7, 2021, bringing the CNMI total to 1,514 cases since March 28, 2020. The individuals have been isolated and are actively monitored. As of Dec. 7, 2021, there have been 496 recoveries made, 725 active cases, and 2 deaths of the cases identified since Oct. 28, 2021.

As of Dec. 9, 2021, there are 12 individuals hospitalized as a result of COVID-19 (8 unvaccinated, 2 vaccinated, 2 partially vaccinated; 0 on a ventilator); and 2 were discharged from the Alternative Care Site.

Unvaccinated individuals are at risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and unvaccinated individuals spread the virus at a higher rate than vaccinated individuals, thereby increasing the spread and risk of serious illness toward other unvaccinated individuals.

Vaccines are the best protection against the highly transmissible virus, and are readily available at the Multi-Purpose Center, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Register for COVID-19 vaccines at www.vaccinatecnmi.com. Individuals age 18 or older are now eligible to avail of a booster shot.

The CHCC highly encourages unvaccinated individuals to get vaccinated or get a booster shot against COVID-19 to help prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Data from small clinical trials show that vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection is waning after the primary series, but protection remains high against severe disease and hospitalization.

Of the 332 cases, 1 was identified on Dec. 1, 116 were identified on Dec. 4, 37 were identified on Dec. 5, 72 were identified on Dec. 6, and 106 were identified on Dec. 7; 266 were identified via contact tracing, 65 were identified via community testing, and 1 was identified via travel testing on their 5th day.

The vaccination statuses of the 332 cases identified are pending verification.

A total of 538 COVID-19 vaccine shots were administered on Dec. 9, 2021, resulting in 89.9% of the CNMI’s eligible population being fully vaccinated, which affords the community more protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Since Oct. 28, 2021, there have been 1,223 new cases, of which 710 were identified via contact tracing, 500 were identified via community testing, and 13 were identified via travel testing.

A total of 2,437 COVID-19 tests were conducted from Dec. 4-7, 2021, which comprises travel testing and surveillance testing.

To register for community-based testing, visit https://covidtesting.chcc.health. No code is required to register. If there are no dates showing, it means all spots have been filled. More dates will be announced.

The community is reminded to practice the 3 W’s, especially around individuals outside of your household: wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.

When possible, follow additional U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on how to protect yourself and others: avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces; cover coughs and sneezes; clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily; be alert for symptoms daily, and register to get tested for COVID-19.

The CHCC Communicable Disease Investigation/Inspection team has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts of the newly confirmed cases, and this effort will continue until all probable cases are identified and tested.

Contact tracers will reach out to individuals who are deemed high risk. The associated risk of infection depends on the level of exposure, which will, in turn, determine the type of monitoring. Establishing the level of exposure can be difficult and requires investigation.

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