SAIPAN — An individual who arrived to Saipan on Saturday tested positive for COVID-19, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. said.

The passenger, who is now quarantined at Kanoa Resort for close monitoring, was identified by travel screening and was diagnosed through testing upon arrival.

The CNMI now has 60 confirmed COVID-19 cases since March.

Of these cases, 34 were identified through port-of-entry screening procedures; 10 were identified as community contacts; and 16 were identified as known contacts.

Fee hike for PCR test

Also on Saturday, CHCC announced that the polymerase chain reaction test for outbound passengers now costs $300. The fee used to be $50.

CHCC Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said they do not require outbound passengers to get a PCR test, but she advised them to check if the countries they are flying to require the test.

Muna said the fee was increased to $300 from $50 to cover the expenses for personnel and laboratory services.

"When it was $50, there were only a few people a week (requesting the test), but now more people are asking for it and we can't accommodate them without paying overtime for laboratory, nursing and other costs," Muna said.

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