CHCC: NMI remains coronavirus-free

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AS of Monday, CNMI remained a coronavirus-free destination, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. public relations and communication specialist Zoe Travis said.

Like other jurisdictions in the Pacific region, she said the CNMI is a high-risk area and there is a possibility of getting a case. “We will tell the public as soon as we get a suspected case,” she added.

She advised the public not to believe rumors or to first verify “alerts” that are being circulated on social media.

“I want to stress that it is important for people to check the source [of information],” she said.

She advised the public to check the CHCC website or its Facebook page for the latest information: http://www.chcc.gov.mp/ or https://www.facebook.com/cnmichcc

“Every rumor circulating on social media so far has been false. But we are continuing to make sure we follow up and have our protocols in place,” she added.

Travis assures the public that if CNMI gets a case, CHCC has protocols in place to quarantine the individual. “We will have contact tracing and we will check who they have seen and who they might [have] infected,” she said.

CHCC also has procedures in place to help people quarantine themselves in their home or at the hospital, she added.

“If there is someone who is a person of interest [known to have come from] China, we would interview him/her and do the background information,” Travis said.

If the person of interest is not showing symptoms, CHCC will not bring in the person for testing, she added.

Health advisory

CHCC said it has submitted a specimen for novel coronavirus 2019-nCov testing to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory in Atlanta, GA.

“While the patient does not meet the full CDC case definition of a 2019-nCov person under investigation or PUI and is considered a suspect of low priority, CHCC is taking a precautionary stance in order to protect the CNMI community,” CHCC stated.

CHCC added that the best way to protect yourself and others from 2019-nCoV and other illnesses is to practice good basic health and hygiene:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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