The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. announced yesterday a new arrival procedure for all individuals entering the CNMI in order to prioritize the safety of Marianas residents and travelers.
Effective Thursday, July 9, 2020, the CNMI will be implementing a revised COVID-19 assessment criteria. This change is due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Guam, the U.S. mainland, and other areas around the Marianas.
“While the CNMI continues to have one of the lowest numbers of COVID-19 cases in both the U.S. and in the world, we know that there are increasing number of areas around us with spikes in cases, particularly in Guam and in the U.S. mainland, where most of our current travelers are coming in from,” said Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios. “As we have continued to do as a community since January under the leadership of Gov. [Ralph DLG] Torres, CHCC CEO [Esther] Muña, and our COVID-19 Task Force, the CNMI is taking additional action now to keep our islands safe and to maintain the safety of our gradual reopening plan for our residents, our businesses, and our travelers.
Any person entering the CNMI may be exempted from the CNMI government approved quarantine facility if they complete ALL of the following steps:
Fill out an online CNMI Mandatory Declaration Form at least three days prior to their arrival on Saipan at http://www.governor.gov.mp/covid-19/travel;
Register and respond daily to the Sara Alert Symptom Monitoring System* for 14 consecutive days, starting on the first day after arrival, and while awaiting results of testing, must exercise self-quarantine** as prescribed by CHCC;
Consent to specimen collection for COVID-19 testing upon arrival (before exiting the airport or seaport) and five days after arrival;
Provide proof of a valid polymerase chain reaction test from a specimen collected a minimum of three days to a maximum of six days prior to the individual’s arrival on Saipan to be reviewed by a CNMI Health Representative.
A valid proof PCR test result is defined as a traveler’s specimen collected within 3-6 days prior to arrival. The test result must be in English and have: the name of the traveler; name of the processing laboratory; specimen collection date; indication that the PCR test was conducted; the test result itself;
* The Sara Alert Symptom Monitoring System allows CNMI public health representatives to enroll and follow up with individuals at risk of developing a COVID-19 infection. Enrolled individuals can report daily on any symptoms they are having to reduce transmission and exposure in our community. If you are non-responsive or report any symptoms, a CNMI health representative will contact you and provide further instruction.
** The Department of Public Safety will conduct random quarantine compliance checks on all individuals registered in the Sara Alert Symptom Monitoring System and exercising self-quarantine. If the individual is found to be not in compliance with the CNMI entry requirements, then the individual will be quarantined for a 14 consecutive days in a manner prescribed by CHCC at the CNMI COVID-19 Task Force’s designated quarantine/isolation site at their own cost of $400 per night (including meals).
For returning residents
All residents will be scheduled for an appointment for a second specimen collection five days after their arrival. Returning residents of Tinian and Rota will be scheduled for specimen collection on Day 5 of their arrival at their respective island.
Residents who do not show up for their specimen collection appointment will be charged a $500 penalty and brought to the CNMI government-approved quarantine/isolation site by DPS for specimen collection and isolation while waiting for their results.
For essential workers
Essential workers requesting entry into CNMI must complete the essential worker request section within the online CNMI Mandatory Declaration Form at least three days prior to arrival. The request will be reviewed by the CNMI Territorial Health Official for a decision. Not all requests are automatically approved. Essential workers may report to work upon receiving their test results from specimen collected on the day of arrival. While waiting for results, approved essential workers must practice self-quarantine. Travelers in this category are urged to communicate with the CNMI Territorial Health Official via firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of planning your trip to CNMI.
An “essential worker” is one listed in the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Advisory List accessible from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity, and Infrastructure Security Agency at http://www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors.
Nonresidents must arrive with proof of a valid polymerase chain reaction test from a specimen collected at a minimum of three days to a maximum of six days prior to the individual’s arrival on Saipan that is reviewed by a CNMI health representative.
Nonresidents who do not show up for their specimen collection appointment will be charged a $500 penalty and brought to the CNMI government-approved quarantine/isolation site by DPS for specimen collection and isolation while waiting for their results.
Nonresidents who are not approved for entry as an essential worker will be subject to the minimum five-day quarantine at the CNMI government-designated site at their own expense of $400 per night (including meals) and will be scheduled for specimen collection on Day 5 of their arrival.
The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and CHCC remind the public and all individuals entering the CNMI that getting tested for COVID-19 does not improve response to the illness, nor does it reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting the disease. People who are tested and have a negative result are still vulnerable to the virus. The task force and CHCC encourage individuals entering the CNMI to wear a face covering, practice social distancing and good hygiene in order to avoid catching the virus yourself and to avoid passing it on to others.
CHCC and the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force will continue to frequently provide the island residents with health information and guidance to practice effective prevention measures to keep our community safe. In the meantime, the CHCC will continue to investigate all suspected cases and identify contact to ensure that transmissions of COVID-19 are contained.
For more information, refer to the CNMI COVID-19 Emergency Directives of 2020 at http://www.governor.gov.mp.
Also visit https://www.chcc.gov.mp/coronavirusinformation.php for the latest information on COVID-19 in the CNMI. (PR)