THE governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. on Saturday evening announced two confirmed Covid-19 cases in the CNMI.
“The results of the two specimens sent to the Guam public health lab have been confirmed positive for Covid-19,” CHCC Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said during a press conference in the CHCC conference room on Saturday evening.
Dr. John Tudela said the patients are a 42-year-old male and a 49-year-old female, and they have been quarantined at Kanoa Resort since March 26.
He said one of them to traveled from Guam on March 12 while the other traveled to Tinian on March 13 and returned to Saipan on March 14.
Both began showing symptoms on or around March 17 and sought care at CHCC on March 25 and 26.
After both cases were determined to meet the CDC person under investigation criteria, specimens were obtained on March 27 and sent to the Guam Public Health Laboratory.
The governor’s task force said it has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts which include close family members, friends, and members of a faith-based organization. “We are monitoring their health closely while in quarantine. Both of these cases are linked to travel into Saipan.”
Dr. Tudela said they are also monitoring the patients’ health and are checking them on a daily basis.
“At this point, we don’t have any reason to have them hospitalized. We check on them whenever they have any questions or any issues and we ensure that they are stable and that they don’t need any additional health intervention,” Tudela said.
The patients are in isolation while the other individuals will remain under quarantine at Kanoa Resort.
“This will [help] prevent [the] spread [of the virus]. We have protocols that ensure that the patients who are sick do not have contact with those who are not sick.”
Covid-19 Task Force chairman Warren Villagomez advised all residents to be responsible in practicing good hand hygiene, social distancing, and in protecting the most vulnerable population, including the manamko’ and patients with chronic medical conditions.
In his remarks, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said the government will continue to implement directives to help stop the spread of Covid-19 in the CNMI. “All we ask is for you to cooperate. Stay home. Stop social gatherings, and that include the beaches, parks and walkways.”
He said effective March 29, Sunday, “our stores and retail establishments will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Stores will be mandated to implement strict social distancing as a condition for operating under these new hours.”
Previously, the stores could be open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. only.
Torres said “citations and enforcement are forthcoming for any establishment who does not observe social distancing of at least six feet.”
Asked about the possible lockdown of the island, the governor said: “We are almost there…the enforcement is forthcoming.”
Public gatherings, he added, are “not going to happen again.”
He said since January 29, the administration has been holding stakeholder meetings to ensure emergency preparedness in the CNMI.
In addition to active airport surveillance, he said the central government has enforced mandatory quarantine procedures and is screening travelers including residents returning to the CNMI.
In response to the pandemic, the governor said his administration has formed a task force that includes responders from the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, the Department of Public Safety, the Commonwealth Ports Authority and the Division of Customs, and has enlisted the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs to provide services at the quarantine facility.
The central government has likewise closed public and private schools, and notified the federal government about the two confirmed Covid-19 cases.
“We have done everything we could to be proactive so we are again asking our business partners and other community members to implement social distancing…. Please take this seriously. Stay home and stop social gatherings,” the governor said.

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Governor Ralph DLG Torres issued the following memorandum on March 27, 2020:
On March 19, 2020, I issued the Second Amended Executive Order 2020-04 (hereinafter “SAEO 2020-04”). SAEO 2020-04 declared a continuing State of Significant Emergency and a State of Public Health Emergency for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands due to the imminent threat of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19). Under SAEO 2020-04, I invoked my authority under Article III, § 10 of the Commonwealth Constitution, the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Act of 2013, 1 CMC § 20144, and the CNMI Emergency Health Powers Act of 2003, 3 CMC §§ 2181-2195, to take all necessary measures to address the threats facing the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Since the issuance of SAEO 2020-04, circumstances have changed necessitating amendments to the executive order. The continued threat of Covid-19 to the people of the CNMI along with complying with the President’s Covid-19 guidelines necessitates continuing the government shutdown.
Further, Covid-19 is spreading on Guam, our island neighbor. Discussions with CHCC indicate that, given the CNMI’s limited resources, prevention and containment of Covid-19 in the CNMI is an absolute necessity. This would be best aided by decreasing the amount of points of interaction and contact the population will have with each other. For example, by closing schools since they are a significant point of interaction that can lead to the transfer of Covid-19. In this way, a person infected with Covid-19 will have fewer chances of infecting others.
Further, it has come to my attention that some private schools have not closed or are planning to re-open despite the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) threat. This despite the fact that the Public School System and other private schools have closed due to the Covid-19 threat. Also despite the order on social distancing and the prohibition on large gatherings contained in my executive orders declaring a State of Public Health Emergency and continued State of Significant Emergency establishing response, quarantine, and preventive containment measures concerning Covid-19. This Directive 15 shall serve to make clear that all private schools are to remain closed until further order.
Accordingly, I amend SAEO 2020-04 by amending Directive 7 to read as follows:
DIRECTIVE 7: All government offices and all non-essential government functions are shut down until further notice. All non-essential personnel are asked to stay home until further notice. Essential personnel shall be identified for Covid-19 public health emergency related work. Mayors of the municipalities shall have discretion in designating employees that engage in public health emergency related work.
Further, I amend the SAEO 2020-04 by adding Directive 15:
DIRECTIVE 15: CLOSING OF ALL PRIVATE SCHOOLS. Pursuant to my authority under the Second Amended Executive Order 2020-04, 13 CMC § 2191(d)(2) and NMIAC 140-10.3-340, I hereby direct that all private schools shall close and remain closed until the emergency is ended or this Directive is ended. All private schools are encouraged to continue student instructional services through distance or online learning, if available. CHCC, assisted by other agencies as is necessary, is directed to ensure that this Directive is followed.
These amendments are effective immediately. Through these measure, as well as the other measures authorized by SAEO 2020-04, it is hoped that the Covid-19 infection will be prevented or contained in the CNMI.

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HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center/The Guam Daily Post) — The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 18 individuals for Covid-19 on Saturday, March 28, with conclusive results. Four tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 14 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.
A total of 366 tests were performed from March 12, 2020 through March 28, 2020 with conclusive results. To date, a total of 55 cases tested positive and 277 cases tested negative for Covid-19 with seven patients who have recovered and one death.
This total does not include the 23 sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt who tested positive.
Guam has had a "spread rate" of 33%, on average, according to the local government on Friday.
The governor of Guam will extend her Public Health Emergency declaration for Guam if the numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases continue to increase.
“Life shouldn’t feel normal right now,” Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said Friday afternoon during a news briefing held at the governor's office at Adelup. “Every time you think about meeting up with someone, ask yourself if it is really necessary. If it is not, please, do not do it.”
At least 31 of the patients remain in home isolation and are stable, four are at the Covid-19 isolation unit in Barrigada Heights and nine are at Guam Memorial Hospital.
Two of those at GMH are in the intensive care unit.
The governor has extended the public health emergency and the closure of nonessential businesses and facilities to April 13. It includes the closures of schools and public parks and beaches.
“We are moving away from what the spread would have done if we didn’t put in these mandates and restrictive actions,” she said. “We are bending it a little, but we are not yet at the 16.5%. We are still at the average of 33%, which is much better than a 200%” spread rate."
While Leon Guerrero said efforts to flatten the curve of the number of Covid-19-positive patients in Guam are working, she said the spike in recent days is being monitored to determine if the public health emergency would be extended past April 13.
“All of this must be done in order to continue living here in our beautiful island, and in order for us to do that, everybody must pitch in,” she said.
“I know it’s a very stressful time,” said Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio. “A lot of people are very anxious out there, but if everybody does their part, stay at home, encourage others to do the same, I think we will be able to see this through and minimize the risk and impact this has had on our community.”
Adelup said Guam was promised by FEMA that 500 tests would be sent to the island, while Public Health anticipates another 1,000 kits.
GovGuam awaits FDA approval to use test kits from other countries in Asia.
The governor also explained what she does daily to help her get through these difficult times.
“I’m feeling good,” she said. “I’m looking at seven small progresses as very positive. I think we could have been worse off if we really didn’t put all the actions together. I’m healthy. I go out and walk every day. Strength-wise, I’m holding up. When I get home, I just space out. I watch my NCIS and Rachel Madoff and our president on the television.”
She said she's been uplifted by members of the community who are helping others.
“People that are feeding our nurses, our health care workers, people that are concerned about first-line responders and health care workers. Those are the kinds of things that make me feel more energized and good,” she said. “As governor of Guam, I really want to protect our people, our health and our community. I am very concerned about the economy, but I first have to stabilize our health and then stabilize our government.”

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(Office of the Governor) — Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, pursuant to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres's Executive Order 2020-05, Directive #8, all individuals entering the CNMI have been ordered to quarantine at a designated site for 14 days. Incoming travelers will also be enrolled into the Text Illness Monitoring system, which alerts Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. staff when enrollees report symptoms.

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HAGÅTÑA (Press Release) — United States Attorney Shawn N. Anderson for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands today urged the public to report suspected fraud schemes related to Covid-19 by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud or NCDF hotline (1-866-720-5721) or to the NCDF e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — A third coronavirus relief bill, passed by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday now includes funding for state and territory governments to meet the costs of the coronavirus, U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan says.

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(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzed water samples collected this week from Saipan's recreational western beaches and storm drainages as well as marine water samples collected from Rota's recreational beaches and storm drainages.

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(MINA) — The Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance has recently received notification of an award through a special fund established by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in partnership with NOAA’s Marine Debris Program specifically for Hurricanes Michael and Florence in Florida and North Carolina, and Typhoon Yutu in the CNMI. The grant is for the assessment, removal and proper disposal of in-water debris that resulted from the devastation left in the wake of these storms.

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HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Yigo Mayor Rudy Matanane said crime in his village has neither increased nor decreased since the first cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Guam and the governor ordered residents to “socially isolate.”

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HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center) — The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 38 individuals for Covid-19 on Thursday, March 26, 2020 with conclusive results. Eight tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 30 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

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