CHCC: 1 new confirmed Covid-19 case

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THE Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. on Saturday reported one new Covid-19 case, for a total of 14 cases in the CNMI. The patient is a 57-year-old woman.

The new case was confirmed in the CHCC laboratory using the Abbott ID NOW testing platform, CHCC Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said, adding that it took them six minutes to obtain the test result.

Since Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ public health emergency declarations, Muna said CHCC has been upgrading its testing capabilities by including laboratory-based testing platforms such as GeneXpert, BioFire, ABI 7500, DiaPlex and Abbott ID NOW.

With Abbott ID NOW, Muna said they can test more specimens based on the priorities.

As of April 18, she said CNMI has a total of 14 confirmed Covid-19 cases, two deaths and nine recoveries. In addition, 179 persons quarantined at the Pacific Islands Club and Kanoa Resort have been released.

Statement from the governor’s office

“This new case of Covid-19 is in stable condition. This case is being closely monitored by CHCC medical teams. CHCC has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts (close family members, friends, and associates) of this new confirmed case. CHCC continues to work with the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force to expand designated isolation areas to closely monitor the well-being of individuals with symptoms.

“Unlike previous testing conducted at Guam Public Health Laboratory, this new case was confirmed at CHCC Laboratory using a newly acquired testing device — ID NOW by Abbott/Alere. The ID NOW Covid-19 assay is now available for use under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization.

“The ID NOW Covid-19 rapid test delivers high-quality molecular positive results in as little as five (5) minutes, targeting the coronavirus (Covid-19) RdRp Gene. CHCC extends its gratitude to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or HHS for their purchase of this testing device. Please note that while CHCC is very fortunate to have this system to enable healthcare professionals to make appropriate and more efficient treatment and infection control decisions, CHCC will use this system in accordance with the HHS testing strategy listed below.

“As of April 17, 2020, the CNMI had submitted 62 specimens for Covid-19 testing to Guam Public Health Laboratory. All 62 have been processed, resulting in 13 positive specimens, 49 negative specimens. Through the ID NOW by Abbott/Alere in-house testing at the CHCC Laboratory, three specimens have been processed, resulting in one positive specimen, two negative specimens.



“There are different tests for Covid-19, and more tests are being developed every day. To decide which test to use, medical providers must factor in the circumstance of the patient, the availability of these test types, the characteristics and limitations of the test, and whether the test is FDA approved."

Who gets tested?

At this time, the governor’s office said providers are using the US Department of Health and Human Services Covid-19 Testing Strategy. This prioritizes testing for:

Priority 1

• Patients and healthcare facility workers with symptoms at the hospital or alternate care sites

Priority 2

• Patients in long-term care facilities with symptoms

• Patients 65 years of age or older with symptoms

• Patients with underlying conditions with symptoms

• First responders with symptoms

Priority 3

• Critical infrastructure workers with symptoms

• Individuals who do not meet any of the above categories with symptoms

• Healthcare facility workers and first responders

• Individuals with mild symptoms in communities experiencing high numbers of Covid-19 hospitalizations.

Stay at home, stop the spread

The governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and CHCC continue to encourage residents within the Marianas to 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.

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