Villagomez recommends employers to help parents

Posted on Aug 26 2020

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive changes to our daily lives, changes that have often happened quickly and suddenly. One change in particular is that now students went from learning face-to-face to now learning online, this can be quite difficult for parents who are working and don’t have anyone to watch their child.

Warren Villagomez, head of the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, stated that they have reached out to the Public School System and employers to “bring flexibility to parents.” He added that this is also a model that is being used in the U.S.

“We don’t have entire control over that, but it’s a recommendation on how we can assist parents on homeschooling,” said Villagomez. On the radio briefing, Villagomez said that there has been people warning him of a protest, and to “prepare” in the event that it happens.

The new directives that were placed last Aug. 24, gave everyone the weekend to adjust, said Villagomez. Additionally, he added that with these directives, it’s meant to accommodate the community in all of our needs.

Esther Muña, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive officer, emphasized that there is a need to protect the community, more importantly, the health of the community. She added that with citations given out by the task force, it’s primarily to protect everyone.

“For the task force enforcing to make sure that as a business owner, you aren’t there to protect everyone, including your own staff. Having to exceed capacity, where no one is wearing a mask that puts everyone at risk, including the employees, and so that’s the intention here for us making sure that these directors are in place,” said Muña.

This doesn’t only go for establishments, Muña says that even with schools, they want to make sure that everything is in place to ‘secure and protect’ everyone, including the teachers, families, and the students as well.

“We’re not doing this just to upset anyone, but we’re doing this to protect those that probably won’t even say anything,” said Muña.

Justine Nauta | Correspondent
Justine Nauta is Saipan Tribune's community and health reporter and has covered a wide range of news beats, including the Northern Marianas College and Commonwealth Health Care Corp. She's currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services at NMC.
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