The Governor's COVID-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. on Thursday announced that two more people have been confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, bringing the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands current case count to 42 since March 28.

Both CNMI residents were identified by travel screening and diagnosis was confirmed through fifth-day testing under the CNMI arrival protocol, according to a statement from the CNMI Office of the Governor.

"The individuals have been safely in quarantine and were moved to the designated isolation area for close monitoring. CHCC has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts (passengers on the same flight, close family members, friends and associates) of the new confirmed cases."

Of the total 42 confirmed cases, 18 cases have been identified through port-of-entry screening procedures in accordance with the CNMI COVID-19 Emergency Directives.

"Through the Governor's COVID-19 Task Force, many interventions are in place to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19 within the CNMI, as well as care for those who are diagnosed," the governor's office said in the statement. "Proactive isolation of recent cases, identified through the CNMI Mandatory Declaration Form and COVID-19 testing required for all incoming passengers, highlights the value of this border containment effort. Combined with immediate contact tracing, these interventions are key in minimizing the risk of exposure for COVID-19 to the community."

Beyond these border protection measures, the Governor's COVID-19 Task Force and CHCC remind the community "to continue to practice good hand hygiene, wear a face covering, social distancing and limit time spent in public places as much as possible."

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