CNMI has highest spike of COVID-19 so far at 98 new positive cases

PIHOA regional epidemiologist Stephanie Kern-Allely

The CNMI has experienced its highest number so far of new COVID-19 positive cases.

In a news conference, PIHOA regional epidemiologist Stephanie Kern-Allely reported that as of Nov. 22, the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the CNMI has spiked up to 98.

Of that total, she said 82 were identified through community testing and there were new emerging clusters linked to most of these new cases, including a large number of cases associated with a congregate living facility.

However, Kern-Allely said there are also 16 to 18 cases that have no linkages to ongoing clusters.

“We’re continuing to do contact tracing, continuing to identify cases, and quarantine contacts to further reduce the spread and record linkages and transmission of COVID-19,” she said.

Despite the rise in new cases, Kern-Allely said there are no severe cases of COVID-19 in the CNMI, which she said is a testament to the CNMI’s high vaccination coverage, which reduces the risk of severe disease.

She said this is also a testament to the treatment options offered by the CNMI government to those afflicted with COVID-19, including the monoclonal antibodies treatment.

With the holidays coming up, and the gatherings that go with it, Kern-Allely said the best prevention against COVID-19 is still vaccination and she encouraged those who are still unvaccinated to get their shots now.

And for those who’ve already been vaccinated, Kern-Allely said all adults 18 years and above are now allowed to get booster shots. She urged all vaccinated persons to get their booster shots as soon as possible.