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CHCC reports 61st Covid-19 case; governor renews executive order

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ANOTHER newly arrived passenger has been confirmed positive for Covid-19, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. said Monday.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, for his part, renewed his declaration of state of public health emergency and continued declaration of state of significant emergency to establish response, quarantine, and preventive containment measures against Covid-19.

In a statement, CHCC said the latest case was identified by travel screening and confirmed diagnosis through testing upon arrival.

“The individual has been safely in quarantine and was moved to the designated isolation area for close monitoring,” CHCC stated.

CHCC has also “initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts (passengers on the same flight, close family members and friends) of the new confirmed case.”

CHCC said of the total 61 confirmed cases, 35 or 57% were identified through port of entry screening procedures; 10 or 16% were identified as community contacts; and 16 or 26% were identified as known contacts.

Of the 35 confirmed cases identified through travel screening, 24 or 71% originated from the U.S. mainland; three or 8% from a foreign country; and seven or 20% from U.S. territories, CHCC said.

EO renewed

Executive Order 2020-19 renewed the governor’s executive order directing the CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office, through the CNMI Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., to undertake necessary Covid-19 containment measures to protect the health and safety of the public.

The new executive order will be in effect for 30 days.

As of September 10, more than 27.9 million Covid-19 cases had been reported in over 188 countries and territories, resulting in more than 905,000 deaths. The administration reiterated that there is no confirmed treatment for Covid-19 other than quarantine, isolation and containment.

"The potential pandemic impact of Covid-19 on the Commonwealth cannot be understated. Action is necessary to protect the health and safety of our children, our senior citizens, businesses, and all other CNMI residents and visitors," the governor said.

On Jan. 29, Executive Order 2020-01 was issued declaring a state of significant emergency regarding the Covid-19 outbreak.  CHCC was also ordered to implement quarantine and preventive containment measures.

Through EO2020-01, the governor also directed the secretary of Finance and the special assistant for management and budget to assess the fiscal impact of the outbreak on the government budget.

Three days after the executive order was declared, U.S. Secretary of  Health & Human Services Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to Covid-19.

On Feb. 28, 2020, Gov. Torres issued EO2020-02, continuing the declaration of a state of significant emergency regarding the Covid-19 outbreak.

On March 13, President Donald J. Trump declared a national emergency over the Covid-19 outbreak in the U.S.

Torres, for his part, issued EO2020-04, amending his declaration of a state of public health emergency and a continued declaration of a state of significant emergency establishing response, quarantine and preventive containment measures concerning Covid-19.

On April 16, Executive Order 2020-07 was issued ordering the CNMI HSEM Office, through the CNMI Covid-19 Task Force and in partnership with CHCC, to undertake necessary Covid-19 containment measures to protect the health and safety of the public.

The first positive Covid-19 cases in the CNMI were reported in March.

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