Negative results for 3 PUI samples from Yap; lab gets COVID-19 testing machine, kits

Yap state flag (PNC file Photo)

COVID-19 tests on samples taken from three PUIs in Yap, Federated States of Micronesia have come back with negative results, according to the Yap Department of Health Services.

The specimens were sent to Guam for COVID-19 testing on Thursday, April 16.

One of the three PUIs died in isolation at the Yap State Hospital last week. According to the state government, the individual who died did not have any off-island travel history and was sent to isolation upon arrival at the state hospital on April 14 with severe respiratory distress.

The patient passed away the following morning from pneumonia.

Meanwhile, the other two PUIs arrived in Yap from Guam around mid-March. Both were quarantined at the Yap Sports Complex for 14 days and then required to remain in self-quarantine at home for an additional 14 days.

While the two patients cleared the first test, they are required to pass through a second test, which will be administered locally.

However, the state laboratory is still waiting for its ID NOW™ COVID-19 machine and test kits to clear quarantine. So the tests would have to wait until the machine and kits have been cleared.

Lab staff would also have to be trained to operate the machine and perform the tests before local point-of-care testing could be done, according to the State Health Department.

While waiting for the second test to be performed, the two PUIs will continue to be kept in isolation.

Meanwhile, the Public Health and Community Health Center staff who conducted contact tracing on the patients have been placed under home quarantine, according to the State Health Department.

Statewide curfew 

Yap Governor Henry Falan enforced a curfew across the state last week after announcing the death of the patient under investigation. Reports also surfaced that the two PUIs did not follow self-quarantine procedures and were seen moving throughout the community.

“As a result of this latest development,” Falan said, “I have issued a ‘Restrictions on Movement of People Decree’  to prevent movement of all residents of Yap between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., seven days a week until such time as the restrictions are reviewed.”