7pm curfew for all

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Posted on Mar 31 2020
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Starting last night, everyone must be home by 7pm. Violators will be given citations.

Following the death of a suspected COVID-19 patient and two positive cases in the CNMI, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres ordered yesterday a 7pm curfew for everybody, with those found to be violating to be cited according to law.

“Starting tonight, 7pm, if you are not part of the exception, you need to stay home. Starting tomorrow night, citations will be forthcoming to anybody that does not fall under the exception of curfew hours,” the governor said.

Not included in the curfew are law enforcement officers, first responders, and private sector employees whose work schedule falls within the curfew hours.

“Those that are exempted are law enforcement officers, first responders, private sector employees on duty during curfew hours, they will be the only person allowed to leave their home anytime after 7pm, and before 6am. Violators will be cited according to law,” Torres said.

This new directive expands the scope of the curfew the governor has ordered for all minors a week ago, under Directive No. 2020-005, in line with the declaration of the state of public health emergency in the CNMI, following the growing COVID-19 cases in Guam.

The curfew is part of the social distancing policy being enforced across the CNMI, to limit the rise of new COVID-19 infections in the Marianas.

Dr. Elizabeth Kohnen, of the Commonwealth Health Care Corp., also stressed the importance of social distancing and following hygiene protocols to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 threat on the islands.

“Don’t assume that it is just in one place. Assume it’s everywhere. Everyone needs to be careful. Everyone needs to stay home.

Everyone needs to wash their hands. It is not just in one neighborhood. It is everywhere. Assume it’s everywhere,” Kohnen said. “A lot of people don’t have symptoms. Even if you feel well, you need to wash your hands. Don’t touch your face, don’t touch your mouth, don’t touch your nose. Wash common surfaces. Assume everyone has it. Assume that you have it. Protect other people you are near with, and make sure that they are protecting themselves as well.”

The governor reiterated yesterday the call for everyone to stay home, stressing that it is being done for only one purpose—for everyone’s protection. “I will constantly change it to make it stricter for your protection. It’s not about convenience, it’s about saving your life,” he said.

There is an exception for those going to the hospital, especially those dialysis patients. “So I want to acknowledge that there’s a question or concern about dialysis patients. Regardless what time you come in, or what time you leave, you are exempted and those providers where there’s transportation or family members that will be taking you to your dialysis timeframe.”

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com
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