CNMI: Three recently arrived travelers test positive for COVID-19

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The CNMI Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force reports that three travelers who recently arrived on Saipan have contracted COVID-19. That brings the CNMI’s current case count to 36 since March 28.

The three were screened and swabbed for specimen collection on July 9th when they arrived at the Saipan International Airport. They were escorted to the designated quarantine site at the Kanoa Resort.

In compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order they underwent a scheduled fifth day test yesterday, Tuesday July 14. The results came back positive for COVID-19.

The individuals were confirmed last night and are in stable condition.

They remain safely isolated at the designated quarantine site at Kanoa Resort and are being closely monitored.

The CHCC has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts (passengers on the same flight, close family members, friends, and associates) of the new confirmed cases.

Of the total 36 confirmed cases, 13 cases (36%) have been identified through port of entry screening procedures in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order, Directive 8.

Through the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, many interventions are in place to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19 within the CNMI and care for those who are diagnosed. Our recent cases, which are identified through the CNMI Mandatory Declaration Form and the required COVID-19 testing for all incoming international passengers, highlight the value of this border containment effort. Combined with immediate contact tracing, these interventions are key in minimizing the risk of exposure for COVID-19 to the community.

As a reminder, beyond these border protection measures, it is essential for everyone in the community to continue to practice good hand-hygiene, wear a face-covering, social distancing, and limit time spent in public places as much as possible.

Practice the 3 W’s – Wash your hands. Watch your distance. Wear a face covering.

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, avoid touching your face, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.
  • Practice social distancing, which means avoiding close contact with people in order to avoid catching the virus yourself and to avoid passing it on to others.
  • The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading.(https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/considerations-for-events-gatherings.html)
  • Wear a face covering
  • Be cautious when dining out and pick up food through drive-thru, take-out, or delivery options when possible.
  • Only one healthy adult from the household should run necessary errands, such as getting groceries or picking up medications. Leave children, elderly, and other vulnerable people at home as much as possible. When returning home from an errand, wash your hands before doing anything else.

○      Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. People at high risk should stay at home as much as possible.

Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you become symptomatic:

  • Stay home when you are sick and if you recently traveled to a place with COVID-19. Self-quarantine means:

○      Avoid or limit visiting public places. Do not visit your place of work. You may leave to get necessary medical care, food, or other supplies if no one else in your household is able to fulfill these needs for you.

○      Separate yourself from others in your home, especially if you are experiencing symptoms or if others in your home are not in quarantine. Limit visitors

■      Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom if possible.

■      We encourage you and people in your household to wear a face covering.

○      Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

○      Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

○      Cover your coughs/sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If there is no tissue, use your sleeve. Not your hands!

○      Practice social-distancing and wear a face-covering. If you need to go out, maintain at least 6 feet distance away from others. Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

○      Take your temperature and keep a log of any symptoms you might have. A fever is 100.4°F or 38°C

The CHCC and the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force appreciate the patience and understanding of the community at this time.

The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force continues to manage COVID-19 inquiries and residents are encouraged to utilize this resource for additional information. The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force numbers are 287-0046, 287-1089, or 287-0489. These numbers are available Monday to Friday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.

For mental health support and helpful tips during a crisis please call the Mental Health Support Line at 323-6560 or 323-6561 These numbers are available Monday to Friday 7:30AM-4:30PM.

For the 24/7 Disaster Distress Helpline please call SAMSHA at 1-800-985-5990

For more information about DIY face coverings, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html

For more information about CHCC programs, please follow CHCC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter at @cnmichcc, check out our website at www.chcc.gov.mp or call us at (670) 234-8950.

For more information on the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, visit governor.gov.mp and please follow @GovernorCNMI on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

This health advisory may be found online at http://www.chcc.gov.mp/pressrelease.html

Rumor Control – Stop the Spread of Misinformation

During crises like this, oftentimes the spread of misinformation is just as dangerous as the virus itself. The CNMI is reminded to only share official and verified notices, press releases, and advisories from the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and CHCC.