EOs were 1st issued in 2020 due to COVID-19 threat
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has renewed for 30 days his two executive orders that he first issued in 2020 due to the imminent threat posed by COVID-19.
Torres renewed last week Executive Order 2020-04 declaring a State of Public Health Emergency and State of Significant Emergency to establish response, quarantine, and preventive containment measures concerning COVID-19.
He also renewed Executive Order 2020-07, which ordered the CNMI Homeland Security & Emergency Management Office, through the CNMI COVID-19 Task Force in partnership with the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., to undertake necessary COVID-19 containment measures by means of the development of emergency directives to protect the health and safety of the public.
Torres stated that COVID-19, through its variants, continues to pose a significant and imminent threat of harm to the community, environment, and people of the CNMI.
The governor cited that as recently as June-July of this year, a wave of COVID-19 infections spread throughout the community.
He said an emergency declaration is still needed to ensure the containment of COVID-19 in the CNMI.
Torres said as the CNMI continues to open up its economy to tourism from Asia markets, the chance of COVID-19 once again spreading in the community is heightened.
The governor noted that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services renewed its public health emergency last July 15 for a 90-day period indicating that federal public health officials still see COVID-19 as a threat to public health.
Torres has consulted with the CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office and the COVID-19 Task Force, and believes renewals of the two executive orders are warranted.
Some Democrat lawmakers have been questioning the governor’s continued renewals of the executive orders.