Covid-19 cases in CNMI reach 40 with Guam arrivals

12:34 pm on 27 July 2020

Back-to-back passengers from Guam have tested positive for Covid-19 in the Northern Marianas, taking their total number of coronavirus cases to 40.

Officials said the 40th case was identified through contact tracing on Sunday.

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A quarantine transit vehicle Photo: CNMI govt

The 39th, announced on Saturday, had been discovered through incoming traveler screening,

The two passengers were not on the same flight but were both now in isolation at the Kanoa Resort quarantine site.

Contact tracing for both people, including passengers on their flights, family members and friends, had already been initiated.

The two positive cases come after the CNMI government's decision to discontinue its self-quarantine procedures for arriving passengers.

Health authorities say self-quarantine at home could still be granted if an arriving passenger met certain criteria, although that criteria hadn't been detailed.

While home self-quarantine had been halted, all other procedures remained intact.

This meant all passengers, including returning residents, were still required to be tested on their first and fifth day of arrival.

So far, only the Kanoa Resort Alternative Care Site served as a quarantine facility on Saipan with the former Mariana Resort & Spa still not available to accommodate arriving passengers.

The Pacific Islands Club Saipan used to serve as a quarantine facility until its temporary contract with the government expired.

The evolving procedures in trying to stymie the spread of the coronavirus in the Commonwealth come with assistance from the US Department of the Interior which released over $US2.5 million in CARES Act funds to the CNMI.

The much-needed funds would be used to renovate and retrofit the Commonwealth Health Center's emergency care and isolation areas, prepare quarantine sites, and purchase medical equipment.

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Photo: wikicommons