Community Briefs – April 1, 2020

Posted on Apr 01 2020


CHC updates visiting rules
Effective immediately, the Commonwealth Health Center will allow an expectant mother to identify a birthing partner who can be present in the delivery room with her during labor. However, after the baby is born, the birthing partner will be allowed a moment of physical contact with their newborn and will need to exit the labor and delivery area immediately. (PR)

Updated Bank of Hawaii hours
The Gualo Rai branch of Bank of Hawaii will open during the following hours:
• 9am – 10am: Monday – Saturday (man’åmko hour)
• 9am – 4pm: Monday-Friday
• 9am – 1pm: Saturday. (PR)

Transfer station, landfill hours
The Department of Public Works has announced revised operation hours at the Lower Base Transfer Station and Marpi Landfill.

Beginning April 2, 2020, the Lower Base Transfer Station will be open all week from 7:30am to 1pm, except Wednesday. For more information, call (670) 322-2745 (Lower Base office)

Also, the Marpi Landfill will be open all week from 7:30am to 1pm, except Wednesday. For more information, call (670) 322-2761 (Marpi Landfill Office). (PR)

USCIS to continue processing employment authorization extension requests
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that it will reuse previously submitted biometrics in order to process valid Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, extension requests due to the temporary closure of Application Support Centers response to the coronavirus pandemic. This announcement is consistent with existing USCIS authorities regarding the agency’s ability to reuse previously submitted biometrics.

Applicants who had an appointment scheduled with an ASC on or after the March 18 closure or has filed an I-765 extension will have their application processed using previously submitted biometrics.  This will remain in effect until ASCs are open for appointments to the public. (PR)

Rip currents seen until Thursday
The public is being warned of a high risk of rip currents through Thursday afternoon along east facing reefs.

Based on the information received from the National Weather Service in Tiyan, Guam, and compiled at the CNMI Emergency Operations Center State Warning Point, there will be a persistent larger trade-wind swell the next several days. Breaking surf of 8 to 10 feet will continue to create dangerous rip currents along reef lines and exposed shorelines facing east.

Strong and frequent rip currents can pull even the best swimmer out to sea. Inexperience swimmers should stay out of the water. Strong rip currents will be life threatening along east facing reefs. If you become caught in a rip current, stay afloat while waiting for help. If you have to swim out of a rip current, swim parallel to shore and back toward the beach when possible. Do not attempt to swim directly against a rip current as you will tire quickly. (PR)

Notice of suspension of programs
The CNMI Energy Division Office is temporarily suspending all program services for the Weatherization Assistance Program and the State Energy Program until further notice. The Division of Energy will announce additional information and updates on program services once office operations resume and return to normal. (PR)

Court closures
All Judiciary facilities will remain closed to the public up to and including Friday, April 3, 2020. During the closure, most Judiciary personnel are teleworking and emergency and essential court services may continue. Visit the Judiciary’s website at for court information. For additional information or inquiries, contact Gretchen A. Smith, Esq., Clerk of Court, CNMI Supreme Court, at (670) 236-9715 or (670) 788-4363, or or Patrick V. Diaz, Clerk of Court, CNMI Superior Court, at (670) 235-5248, (670) 783-8417, or (PR)

Women’s Mini Expo, Women’s Summit postponed
The Annual Women’s Mini Expo and the CNMI Women’s Summit, scheduled for March 24 and March 27 respectively have been postponed until further notice. The CNMI Women’s Association shall remain closed until further notice. For assistance, call 285-8975 or email (PR)

Press Release
News under Press Release are official statements issued to Saipan Tribune giving information on a particular matter.

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