There have been seven more locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in the Northern Marianas that have emerged from the first community case in 204 days this weekend.

Although contact tracing has revealed the new cases, health officials have assured the public that there was no instance of widespread community transmission at this stage.

Despite the eight new local cases authorities say a community lockdown is not needed.

The local Covid-19 Taskforce Chair, Warren Villagomez, said there was also no discussion around expanding the curfew hours, currently from 2am to 4am.

Governor Ralph Torres underlined that everything was being down to show that the CNMI was still the “safest place in the US.”

However Torres also urged the community to continue to follow the Covid-19 directives and to refrain from disseminating false information.

As a precaution, the Public School System has suspended in-person classes for the next 14 days and licensed childcare have also been shut until 19 March.

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation said all new positive cases were asymptomatic and were identified after contact tracing and testing of 49 immediate contacts of the first case.

All 49 contacts have been isolated away from the community.

The CHCC is offering free Covid-19 testing at the Kanoa Resort Alternate Care Site until 19 March.

SOURCE – RADIO NZ

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