SAIPAN, 21 SEPTEMBER 2020 (MARIANAS VARIETY) —The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHC) on Sunday announced that six newly arrived individuals tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

This brings the CNMI’s total number of cases to 68 since March.

The six individuals came from a foreign country and were diagnosed through testing upon arrival at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport on Saturday.

They are now in quarantine and are being monitored in the designated isolation area. 

Of the total 68 confirmed cases, 42 have been identified through port of entry screening procedures; 10 have been identified as  community contacts; and 16 were identified as  known contacts.

Of the 42 confirmed cases through travel screening, 26  originated from the U.S. mainland, nine from a foreign country, and seven from U.S. territories.

In related news, the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force Chairman Warren Villagomez said the community-based testing has temporarily stopped as they focus more on port of entry screening procedures.

During a media briefing on Friday, Villagomez said CHCC also has to deal with workforce issues.

“We have our own hurdles with U.S. immigration that we are dealing with,” he said, adding that the Korean laboratory scientist group has yet to return to the island a month after they left because of the expiration of the 90-day visa.

The Korean group had been assisting CHCC in processing the community-based testing programme.

But the programme will resume, Villagomez said. “CHCC is assisting us in making sure that all these efforts are going to come back soon.”

In a statement, the Covid-19 task force said it had collected 19,345 specimens on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota, as of 14 September, 2020.

“This is approximately 34% of the CNMI’s population,” it added.

“The task force and CHCC remind the public that getting tested for Covid-19 does not improve response to the illness, nor does it reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting the disease. People who are tested and have a negative result are still vulnerable to the virus. Residents within the Marianas are encouraged to practice the 3 W’s: ‘Wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.’” …..PACNEWS

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