Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred B. Ada announced late this afternoon (March 13, 2021) that all public elementary, middle and high schools on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota will transition back to full remote learning for two weeks, beginning today, March 13, until March 27.
The decision was made at the advice of the Board of Education, led by chair Andrew L. Orsini, and in coordination with the CNMI Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force.
“Today at 11am, the Commonwealth Health Care Corp. informed the CNMI Public School System of a positive case of COVID-19. The case was identified via contact tracing. The impacted school, teacher, students and families of the affected class have been identified and quarantined as part of the continued contact tracing efforts.
“I want to assure all of our students, parents, teachers and staff, and our public education stakeholders that we are doing everything we can to get through this, and ensuring optimum safety of all our students, staff, and their families,” Ada said.
The Office of the Commissioner of Education said that school staff should self-quarantine for the next 14 days during the period covered, beginning Saturday, March 13, to Saturday, March 27, 2021.
School administrators and support staff will self-quarantine for five days after securing their campuses.
All campuses will continue regular deep cleaning and sanitation as it has been practiced prior to the resumption of in-person instruction through blended learning last Feb. 2, 2021.
Central office personnel will report to work enforcing the 3W’s, and all social distancing measures and protocols, among others.
“During this period covered, my office along with the COVID-19 Task Force will monitor the situation,” said Ada.
Further announcements will be made.
“We should continue to monitor our health and that of our household members, and communicate with our respective healthcare provider regarding any concerns,” Ada added.
Monitor health for any of the following symptoms:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Should you begin to exhibit any symptoms, contact your doctor or CHCC Emergency Room at (670) 234-8950 and report your symptoms before going to the Commonwealth Health Center. Your doctor, in consultation with public health officials, will determine appropriate care.
In the meantime PSS staff are asked to remain vigilant and follow these healthy practices:
- Wear a face covering in areas where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue (or sleeve), and then throw the tissue in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched.
- Take care of your health overall.
You may feel worried or anxious about the near future and your own health. Rest assured that you are invaluable to PSS and that your welfare is our priority. If you feel the need to reach out for help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or the Community Guidance Center at 670-323-6560. (PT)