The Northern Marianas Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc. was closed starting yesterday, March 18, and until at least March 27 or until further notice is in response to the COVID-19 threat.
“Due to concerns regarding potential spread of COVID-19 and to heed local and federal emergency declarations we are taking the following precautionary measures to protect our staff, clients, and other members of our community at large especially those known to be most vulnerable to the virus,” NMPASI said in a pstatement.
NMPASI said they have asked their staff to work from home and to limit time spent in the office in accordance with an established schedule disallowing more than 50% of the staff in the office for any more than 50% of the time.
“Our staff will not participate in any in-person meetings at our office or other locations. We will use email, telephone, video conferencing and other means to communicate with clients and other partners within the community,” it added.
While their office will be closed to the public, NMPASI said their phone lines will remain open during regular work hours Monday-Friday. Staff will respond in accordance with in-house directives.
NMPASI added that any staff speaking engagements and/or travel (including travel to Tinian and Rota) are suspended until further notice.
“We urge everyone in the community to continue taking precautionary measures in accordance with guidance from health officials to include proper hand washing, social distancing, and more. Please bear in mind that our population of people with disabilities may be facing some unique challenges and other disability rights situations as a result of this pandemic,” it said.
“We will continue to monitor this unprecedented and rapidly evolving situation and provide updates as to any changes to our timelines or specifics on these preventative measures,” NMPASI added.
NMPASI is the state-designated protection and advocacy agency for individuals with disabilities in the CNMI. For further information, please contact us at (670) 235-7273/4 [voice], 235-7275 [fax] or on-line via www.nmpasi.org. (PR)