CNMI reports 6 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

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CNMI community testing (PNC file photo)

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) reported six confirmed positive cases in the CNMI over the weekend.

The new numbers bring CNMI’s total to 68 positive cases since March 28 this year.

According to CHCC, the positive cases were newly arrived passengers identified through travel screening and testing procedures.

The six are now quarantined in a designated isolation area for close monitoring.

CHCC also reported that staff already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts of the new confirmed cases, including passengers on the same flight,.

Out of the 68 confirmed cases in the CNMI, 42 cases (62%) have been identified through port of entry screening procedures; 10 (15%) cases identified as a community contact, and; 16 (24%) cases identified as a known contact.

Of the 42 confirmed cases identified through travel screening, 27 (64%) cases originated from the US Mainland; 9 (21%) from a foreign country, and; 7 (17%) from US Territories.

Community-based testing

The CNMI COVID-19 task force provided updates on the temporary suspension of the community-based testing program during the recent media briefing with the Governor.

Warren Villagomez, head of the COVID-19 task force, said they have temporarily shifted their focus on the testing of inbound travelers to the CNMI.

According to Villagomez, CHCC also had to deal with its current workforce challenges.

“We want to make sure that there is good quality control at CHCC with the current staff. But that doesn’t mean that we are stopping any immediate testing. CEO Muna is assisting us to make sure that results come back sooner than expected,” he said.