March 18, 2020
Q: I’m worried about COVID-19 in the CNMI. What should I do?
A: If you feel well, practice good hygiene and social distancing. Laboratory testing for COVID-19 is only available for extreme cases. There is no voluntary testing in the CNMI for people who are feeling well.
How to practice good hygiene: Wash your hands for at least 20 second with soap and water, avoid touching your face, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve.
How to practice social distancing: Stay home if possible, and stay away from large gatherings. Avoid close contact with others such as kissing, hugging, or shaking hands. Avoiding close contact with people helps you to avoid catching the virus yourself and passing it on. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can pass on the virus to someone who may be more vulnerable.
Q. I’ve recently travelled to Guam and want to get tested for COVID-19. Where can I go?
A. If you don’t feel sick, practice good hygiene and social distancing. There is currently no testing available for those who do not have symptoms of COVID-19.
If you feel unwell, but don’t have a temperature higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit or don’t have difficulty breathing, stay home and take care of your symptoms.
If you feel unwell, and have a temperature higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit or have difficulty breathing, call your primary care provider or see a medical professional for screening in front of the CHCC main entrance beginning Wednesday, March 18th at 9am. This screening does not include laboratory testing.
If you have been contacted by a Guam public health official to let you know that you have been exposed to an individual that has been confirmed positive for COVID-19, then you should follow strict home quarantine if you feel well, and notify CNMI health officials by calling (670) 236-8209. If you have symptoms, call your primary care provider.
Q. Can I get a test for COVID-19 in the CNMI?
A. No. No laboratories in the CNMI are capable of testing for COVID-19 as of March 16th, 2020. Currently, Guam, which is the closest location for COVID-19 tests in the CNMI, will only accept tests from seriously ill, hospitalized patients who have a very high possibility of exposure and
who meet the surveillance and epidemiology criteria. CNMI and Guam authorities collaboratively decide which cases are high priority to be tested. Patients with no or mild symptoms will not be prioritized for testing.
Q. What treatment is available if someone tests positive for COVID-19?
A. There is no cure for the virus which causes COVID-19. Treatment for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 is limited to managing symptoms while the illness runs its course. If symptoms are mild, home management of symptoms is sufficient. Many people do recover fully from the virus.
Q. I have an upcoming trip planned next week. Should I go?
A. Travel is strongly discouraged at this time.
Q. Should I have my employees work from home?
A. If telework is a viable option for your business, yes.
Q. Should I require my employees to get a medical clearance before coming to work?
A. No. There is no “medical clearance” available for the COVID-19 virus. If an employee is sick, allow them to stay home or seek medical care, if needed. Requiring employees who do not feel sick to get a “clearance” from a medical professional does not reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and overwhelms our health care system.
Q. My prescription has run out, and I need to renew it. What should I do?
A. Call your primary care provider to see how you can get your prescription renewed.
If you are on Medicaid, Medicaid has approved medication fills for up to 90 days during this emergency.