CHCC: 1 new confirmed Covid-19 case

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THE Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. on Saturday announced that an individual had been confirmed positive for Covid-19.

This brings the  total number of cases in the CNMI to 58  since March.

The individual was identified by travel screening and confirmed through testing upon arrival at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport.

Of the total 58 confirmed cases, CHCC said 32 were identified through port of entry screening procedures; 10 were identified through community-based testing; and 16 were identified as known contacts.

CHCC said it has already initiated contact tracing for the immediate contacts of the new confirmed case.

There have been two Covid-19 deaths in the CNMI: the first was a 70-year-old man who passed away on March 30, 2020, and the second was a 77-year-old woman who died on April 7, 2020.


In other news, Covid-19 Task Force Chairman Warren Villagomez said CHCC will run the Alternate Care Site at Kanoa Resort once it opens this week.

“We are going through a lot of discussion with CHCC on the transfer and the level of care they will be providing at ACS,” he said.

But he said there are “wraparound services” that the CNMI government will continue to provide, such as facility management to make sure that all the necessary infrastructure is in place, including a power backup system.

The CNMI government started constructing the ACS at Kanoa Resort in March.

CHCC Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said the ACS will address any patient surge in the hospital.

“We were projected to have 6,000 Covid-19 individual cases here in the CNMI,” she said. “So we needed to prepare. It is always about preparedness and prevention. Having this facility built to meet the standards of a hospital was the key to response.”

Citing the rising number of Covid-19 patients on Guam where hospital beds are quickly filling up, Muna said the CNMI is trying its best to avoid a similar situation.

She added that CHCC managing the ACS will ensure that the facility is ready if there is a surge and that it meets the standard of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  “The staff that are involved in running a hospital facility are ready should there be any situation that requires it,” she said.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said “everything that we are doing is for pandemic response and to alleviate the burden on the hospital, its doctors and nurses, by having a proper facility for Covid-19 cases.”

Torres hopes that “we never get to use the facility — but if we do, it is ready for all of us.”

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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