4 additional positive cases of COVID-19 in the CNMI

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The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) would like to inform the public that four (4) additional individuals have been confirmed positive for COVID-19. 154 people have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 in the CNMI since March 28, 2020. Within the recently identified community cluster, a total of eight (8) individuals have been confirmed positive for COVID-19.

These four additional individuals were identified through expanded contact tracing relating to confirmed cases 149 and 150. All four are asymptomatic and are in stable condition.

The immediate response, use of state-of-the-art tools and techniques by the CHCC contact tracing and laboratory team allowed for rapid containment and protection for our CNMI community.

The following is a timeline of containment measures conducted by CHCC and the COVID-19 Task Force:

Friday, March 12, 2021

· At 5:00 p.m., the first individual (case 147) was identified through outbound travel testing. The individual did not show any symptoms and completed their COVID-19 vaccination prior to testing.

· By 10:00 p.m., contact tracing identified 10 high-risk contacts and transported to Kanoa Resort (designated quarantine facility).

Saturday, March 13, 2021

· At 8:00 a.m., testing for all 10 contacts was conducted, inclusive of the use of redundant testing platforms. At 10:00 a.m., results were received, returning with three out of 10 individuals testing positive for COVID-19.

· All three additional cases are of familial relations to case 147

· Expanded contact investigation for person referenced in case 147 led to 10 additional high-risk contacts, bringing the total number of contacts to 20 individuals.

o All were in isolation and tested on redundant platforms.

· Additional contact investigation for case 148 led to 15 high risk contacts.

o All were in isolation and tested on redundant platforms.

· Expanded contact tracing for persons referenced in case 149 and 150 identified 14 high risk contacts.

· Between 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., results were made available for contacts connected to cases 149 and 150. Of the 14, four individuals tested positive on redundant platforms and are confirmed cases 151-154. Tests are still being processed for other contacts relating to this situation.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

· No additional positives from overnight testing as of 7:30 a.m.

As of 9:35 a.m., March 14, 2021, CHCC and the COVID-19 Task Force have identified 49 individuals through expanded contact tracing. All 49 contacts have been safely isolated away from the community. Contact tracing will continue to identify high-risk contacts and to isolate them away from the community.

At this time, CHCC is not seeing a widespread of community transmission. The concern right now is providing care to the individuals and potential individuals exposed to COVID-19. Early identification will help to protect our community.

As CHCC and the COVID-19 Task Force continue to investigate, the CNMI is reminded to be cautious when interacting with others outside of their immediate household. Take actions to protect yourself and your loved ones.

· Wash your hands. Watch your distance. Wear a mask.

· Practice proper hand-hygiene to minimize the spread of the virus.

· Get vaccinated for COVID-19 when it is available to you.

o Vaccination helps to prevent getting really sick from COVID-19 should you be exposed.

o Please follow CHCC through their social media accounts @cnmichcc and through CNMI media partners.

This is an evolving situation, and updates will be made available as CHCC and the COVID-19 Task Force continue to confirm results and information as part of this investigation.

The CNMI is reminded to watch out for misinformation and to follow updates directly from the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC). The spread of misinformation is just as dangerous as the virus itself.

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