AG advises task force to charge noncompliant

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Posted on Aug 11 2020

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The CNMI government has yet to file charges against anyone who fails to comply with quarantine and testing requirements, despite the strong advice of Attorney General Edward Manibusan for the COVID-19 Task Force to do so.

Warren Villagomez, who heads the task force, said in a radio briefing last Aug. 4 that they have not charged yet those who have defied quarantine executive orders. “We haven’t charged anyone, we haven’t put anyone away but the attorney general had come out with a strong statement and actually we’re going to be enforcing that to the people that are noncompliant will face consequences,” said Villagomez.

He said that they are still working to make sure that the structures and process will be followed. Villagomez stated that if there are no shows on the fifth day of testing, as required, the Department of Public Safety has warrants to bring them in for testing.

Additionally, in the CNMI, Saipan is the only island to not only have one but two quarantine sites and, even if Rota and Tinian do not have quarantine sites, DPS and the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services are involved with those who need to be in home quarantine.

“If a person needs to be in home quarantine, DPS will be at your front door [and] making sure that the island is safe,” said Villagomez. The same procedure also goes for Saipan.

As for employee health screening for those who are at the quarantine sites, Kanoa Resort in Susupe and the former Mariana Resort and Spa in Marpi, Villagomez says that there is a system in place within DPS, DFEMS, and the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, including the nurses that are working at these sites. “We have a log,” said Villagomez. He assured that their personal protective equipment, along with hazmat suits and those who are in direct contact with an individual who have tested positive, are at their highest quality.

Villagomez stated that those who are going into the quarantine sites are tested, understand how crucial the level of threat that they’re going into, and take part in trainings that are in place. “I just want to reassure the community that we’re paying close attention to employees’ health to make sure that they don’t bring it home as well as bringing their infection out to the community if ever exposed,” said Villagomez.

Also, Robert Arrington, host of Deer Meat for Dinner, recently donated fish from his Northern Island trip to the first responders at Kanoa Resort and CHCC.

“I just want to…thank Deer Meat for Dinner, Rob Arrington, and his family for contributing, as well as the governor and lieutenant governor [for] these efforts,” said Villagomez.

“Within DPS, DFEMS, DCCA for employee health protection along with the

Justine Nauta
Justine Nauta is Saipan Tribune's community and health reporter and has covered a wide range of news beats, including the Northern Marianas College and Commonwealth Health Care Corp. She's currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services at NMC.

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