“We are part of one of the few nations in the world that provide free testing to everyone,” he added. “The more [participants] in the community-based testing, the better we are in knowing where we are at.”

Asked about his experience during the specimen collection, he said there was some discomfort, but it did not hurt.

“But my daughters and sons did it. My wife did it. You have to do it. We are encouraging all the government employees and all our private partners to get the test,” he said. “For what it is worth, there’s no pain with what you are saving — whether you are saving your family or someone else’s family. Let’s all get tested.”

Through community testing, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force had collected a total of 2,873 specimens.

As of May 13, the CNMI had 19 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with five active ones, 12 recoveries, and two deaths.

Contact tracing for four of the five active cases suggested that they had been in contact with people who have contracted Covid-19, Press Secretary Kevin Bautista said.

“We’re not clear whether or not these [four] individuals contracted Covid-19 from individuals who either had Covid-19 but then recovered, or they are people who are new cases,” he said. “This is just another proof of community transmission.”

He said people should assume that everyone has it, adding that the last three patients who were tested positive for Covid-19 are males who are 19, 24, and 27 years old.

“They are all asymptomatic because their immune system is not as deteriorated as the older individual. This is why we put out our message that our manamko’ and individuals with pre-existing conditions are most vulnerable to the virus. Young people like us could be the carriers of the virus,” Bautista said.

The fifth confirmed case is a 67-year-old man, a Guam resident who was tested at the airport.

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