78 new COVID-19 cases in the CNMI; total now 1,182

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Seventy-eight (78) new cases have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 3, 2021, bringing the CNMI total to 1,182 cases since March 28, 2020.

As of Dec. 3, 2021, there were 8 individuals hospitalized as a result of COVID-19 (7 unvaccinated, 1 vaccinated; 0 on a ventilator).

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.

The newly identified individuals were confirmed through surveillance testing from Dec. 3, 2021. The individuals have been isolated and are actively monitored.

Of the 78 cases identified on Dec. 3, 2021, 52 were identified via community testing and 26 via contact tracing. Of the 52 identified via community testing, 17 were identified while isolated; and of the 26 identified via contact tracing, all 26 were identified while in quarantine.

The vaccination statuses of the 78 cases identified on Dec. 3, 2021, are pending verification.

A total of 558 COVID-19 vaccine shots were administered on Dec. 3, 2021, resulting in 87.9% 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 891 new cases, of which 444 were identified via contact tracing, 435 were identified via community testing, and 12 were identified via travel testing.

A total of 750 COVID-19 tests were conducted on Dec. 3, 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. Our 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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