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Governor: ‘We’re in this together’

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GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Tuesday reiterated his gratitude to community members for helping to keep the CNMI safe.

“I know I’ve said this since day one, but especially seeing how the rest of the world is handling Covid-19 and other issues… we continue to see cities in the U.S. [with] riots happening, people fighting [and] killing each other — I just want to thank all of our community [members] for making CNMI —  our community — safer,” he said during a press briefing on KKMP radio.

“We can impose all kinds of regulations [and] directives, but if our community doesn’t believe in the leadership and doesn’t believe [in] the directives that [are] being imposed, it’ll be a challenge for all of us.”

The governor said although it has not been easy, he is sure that everybody feels that the CNMI is safer than a lot of the other places around the world.

He said he recently visited Saipan Community School and was  amazed by the safeguards implemented to protect the staff and students.

These include checking temperatures upon arrival, implementing new protocols for school meals, limiting room occupancy, rearranging seating to maintain the six feet social distancing, installing sanitizer stations, and placing clearly marked arrows to remind students to keep a distance of six feet from other people.

The governor thanked private schools and the Public School System for moving forward with the resumption of classes.

“I will look forward to having our PSS and our education back to normal, hopefully by next week,” he said.

“Decisions are made based on scientific data,” he added. “Professionals, doctors, [Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna], the task force — they look at all [pertinent] information, and they [make] a collective decision on how [to] move forward safely.”

The governor also thanked first responders for their continued sacrifices.

With regard to the newly created enforcement task force, the governor said the Alcohol Beverage & Tobacco Control is out in the community every day to ensure that businesses are complying with regulations, including displaying clear and proper signs, as well as requiring employees and patrons to wear masks and maintain six feet social distancing.

“The whole purpose [of this] is not to go there and try to shut [a business] down. It’s just to monitor how the establishment treats customers and the way regulations, directives, or guidelines are being implemented,” the governor said.

“Like I said in the past, we’re fighting against Covid-19, not against each other.”

“If you look at the number of positive coronavirus cases in the CNMI,” he added, “more than half are inbound passengers.”

“Our [lives] have become more normal now, but [ABTC] is still out there every single day, making sure that our community is safe,” the governor said as he thanked ABTC for its service to the community.

“I just want to thank everyone, all of our partners, for their continued efforts [and] commitment in making sure that not just our children [but also] our other community members [and] business partners are all in this together.”

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