WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan said he received confirmation from the Treasury Department that $36,284,217.70 in Coronavirus Relief Funds from the CARES Act should have been fully received by the Commonwealth government last week. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES,” Act provided $150 billion for state, local, and tribal governments to manage the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and all funds have now been paid out. Funds were distributed in part by population, although non-state areas, like the Marianas, received about $702 per person, as compared to an average $424 per person in states.

(Marianas Variety) —  On early Saturday morning, family members will make one last stop with the late Abed E. Younis by his former office in Garapan as a way to say a final farewell before heading to the Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center for his memorial services.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres, his cabinet, the Covid-19 Task Force, and U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan will see to it that the CNMI people will go back to work, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna told the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday.

DURING an emergency meeting held on Wednesday by the Northern Marianas Technical Institute board of trustees, chief executive officer Agnes M. McPhetres emphasized the importance of having a united educational system in the CNMI.

THE Northern Marianas Trade Institute board of trustees met briefly with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios on Wednesday morning to discuss the next steps that the trade school will take amid the global pandemic and economic downturn.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump erupted at his top political advisers last week when they presented him with worrisome polling data that showed his support eroding in a series of battleground states as his response to the coronavirus comes under criticism.

SPECTATOR USA columnist Daniel McCarthy says Covid-19 has “uncovered…a longing for something very different from freedom among the very people who make a habit out of claiming that freedom is a universal human aspiration.” What they really want is “moral reassurance through the obliteration of dissent.” For them “freedom” only means “doing exactly what people like me want you to do.”

HONOLULU, Hawaii (Federal Bureau of Investigation) — The FBI anticipates cyber actors will exploit increased use of virtual environments by government agencies, the private sector, private organizations, and individuals as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Computer systems and virtual environments provide essential communication services for telework and education, in addition to conducting regular business. Cyber actors exploit vulnerabilities in these systems to steal sensitive information, target individuals and businesses performing financial transactions, and engage in extortion.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — Veterans in a vocational rehabilitation and education program will now be protected, if their schooling ends because of the coronavirus. President Donald Trump signed into law legislation drafted by U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan on Tuesday, as part of the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020.

THE Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation members were in the middle of asking questions to the three nominees to the Commonwealth Casino Commission when power at the legislative building went out Wednesday.

A LAWYER of the seven workers who sued Imperial Pacific International and its construction contractor and subcontractor, MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co. and Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI), for forced labor and human trafficking allegations says the motion for attorney substitution is a bad-faith tactic on the part of IPI.

 

DURING the Board of Education meeting on Wednesday morning, vice chair Herman Atalig expressed deep concern over the failure of the Public School System to pay its employees for the past two paydays.

SENATOR Paul A. Manglona is asking Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and the Covid-19 Task Force to keep up the good work in combating the pandemic in the CNMI by keeping the borders closed until the community-based tests reach a reasonable sample size of favorable results.

 

PUBLIC School System federal programs manager Tim Thornburgh delivered the PSS federal programs report during a Board of Education meeting on Wednesday morning.

THE Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has received $778,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to purchase a mini-granular activated carbon or GAC filtration system, CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho said.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) —  An invoice dated March 26 shows the government of Guam is being billed for 389 rooms at the Pacific Star Resort & Spa — for two weeks from March 23 to April 5 at a cost of $100 a night for a total of $544,600.

(NMC) —  In its efforts to support higher education in the CNMI, the Matson Navigation Company Scholarship Program recently awarded academic scholarships to three deserving Northern Marianas College students.

(Press Release) — The Tan Siu Lin Foundation joins the community in welcoming the news on the no active Covid-19 cases in the CNMI and pays tribute to the front-liners helpings us battle the pandemic.

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer) — President Rodrigo Duterte may relax quarantine restrictions in low to moderate-risk parts of the Philippines in a phased reopening of the economy while the country tries to beat back the onslaught of the new coronavirus.

ON April 15, 2020, The Hill published an opinion piece titled, “The Incomplete Coronavirus Map — U.S. Territories Left Behind,” in which the author linked the federal government’s coronavirus response and maps used by media outlets to a broader point of criticism on America’s treatment of the U.S. territories. 

WITH the latest reports of plummeting death rates from all causes, this crisis is over. The pandemic of doom erupted as a panic of pols and is now a comedy of Mash-minded med admins and stooges, covering their ifs ands and butts with ever more morbid and distorted statistics.

GENEROUS payments to the unemployed are encouraging layoffs. The coronavirus relief passed by Congress last month temporarily increased unemployment compensation by $600 per week, to more than low-income employees were receiving for working. As a result, some workers are asking to be laid off, because being unemployed pays better than working.

AT the closing plenary session of the Fiscal Response Summit on Tuesday, the CNMI government presented a strategy for addressing fiscal year 2020’s projected $65 million shortfall. Without action, the CNMI government was on course to increase its accumulated budget to $150 million at the end of the fiscal year.

CITING local mechanic’s lien statute, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona on Tuesday said the notice of mutual termination provided proper notice to Pacific Rim Land Development LLC that its obligations under the contract with Imperial Pacific International were complete.

(NMC) — Students who are interested in pursuing a career in nursing can apply to become part of the Northern Marianas College Nursing Department’s newest cohort in the Fall 2020 semester. Those who meet the program’s requirements can submit their application before Friday, May 22, 2020.

(Office of the Governor) — In conformance with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ extended Public Health Emergency declaration and for ensuring the protocols for social distancing are in place, the CNMI Nutrition Assistance Program will be distributing benefits through drive-thru service again at their office location in As Lito from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. from May 1 to 15, 2020.

(DPS) — On Tuesday, April 28, 2020, at about 8:51 a.m., the Department of Public Safety received a 911 call reporting a burglary and theft incident at the Northern Islands Mayor’s Office on Capital Hill. Police were dispatched to the scene.

THE federal court has entered a civil judgement in the amount of $5.6 million against Imperial Pacific International, after finding that it has breached a promissory note with its former contractor, Pacific Rim Land Development LLC.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Saturday signed House Local Bill 21-39, which appropriates $800,000 in amusement machine licensing fees for personnel and operations of the Tinian Mayor’s Office and Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission.

(DPS) — On Friday, April 24, 2020, at about 3:25 p.m., the Department of Public Safety received a 911 call reporting a theft incident that had occurred at Paupau Beach in San Roque. Police were dispatched to the scene.

(DPS) — On Friday, April 24, 2020, at about 6:25 a.m., the Department of Public Safety received a 911 call reporting a burglary and theft in Papago. Police were dispatched to the scene.

THE Governor’s “unprecedented challenge” letter was just another “gaslighting fireworks event” to sensationalize COVID-19 for the People but the REAL story is WE the People are facing “unprecedented Leadership.” There has clearly been a lot of corruption in our Government in the past with both Houses of our Legislature and even the Executive Office being represented as “inmates in our Local and Federal Prison Systems. But this Black Swan Event has exposed the WORST leadership in CNMI History as WE watch the Governor and his Cabinet scramble to “protect family & GOP supporters” that I wrote about in Epitaph 108.

THE day the prophets of public finance long foretold has come to pass: Illinois has requested a federal bailout of its struggling public-employee retirement plans, which had unfunded liabilities topping $469 billion in 2018, according to a Federal Reserve study. As difficult as the coronavirus crisis has been for state governments and their pension systems, Washington shouldn’t bail out Illinois or any other perennial bad actor without first requiring stringent and permanent reforms.

YET again the news from Pyongyang is both disconcerting and vague. Yet again North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is rumored to be seriously ill or dead. Kim went missing from public view on April 11 and has not yet reappeared. It was an abrupt disappearance after several public engagements and ample news coverage at the beginning of the month.

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer) — The government’s stay-at-home order in Metro Manila and other parts of the main island of Luzon may have to be imposed until the middle of this year as the Department of Health or DOH has yet to fully account for all people infected with the new coronavirus, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said on Sunday.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On April 22, 2020, David W. Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia, signed Public Law 21-105, which temporarily diverts funding from the FSM’s fishing access fees and from revenue derived from major corporations to the Economic Stimulus Package (as opposed to the FSM Trust Fund).

PORT MORESBY (Sydney Morning Herald/Pacnews) — Papua New Guinea is running low on reagent and extraction kits needed for testing Covid-19, sparking Australia to source the material for its neighbor.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Chief Executive Officer Esther L. Muna announced on Monday that the CNMI will begin community-based testing for Covid-19 at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

THE Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., in collaboration with the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force, will start the drive-thru community-based Covid-19 tests today, Tuesday, April 28, at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Monday led the opening of the Medical Care and Treatment Site or MCAT, a facility that will be used to handle coronavirus-related cases, in the upper parking lot of the Commonwealth Health Center.

 

ON Monday, the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. announced that it is accepting public review and comments on its Substantial Amendment to the Five-Year Consolidated Plan (2015-2019) and Program Year 2019 Annual Action Plan.

THE CNMI government opened its Fiscal Response Summit on Thursday morning with two tasks at hand: assess the size and nature of the CNMI’s current economic crisis and identify potential solutions. The participants of the summit, composed of nearly 50 representatives from the public and private sectors, will present their results in a closing plenary session on Tuesday, April 28, at 1:30 p.m.

MAJURO — Pacific islanders living in the United States have an infection rate two to three times the average in at least four American states, according to data released Sunday by the Pacific Islander Center of Primary Care Excellence, a California-based group.

OFTEN, when I bring up the subject of piracy, someone makes a clever remark about Captain Jack Sparrow and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. But piracy is alive and well in the modern world. Think back about 10 years when the Horn of Africa and the waters around Somalia were as dangerous a place as any in the world.

PORTLAND, Ore. — My company works with local chefs to open and operate their restaurants. We are currently a partner in more than 20 of them. We closed our dining rooms March 15, two days before the governor mandated we do so, and had to lay off some 700 employees. We are doing our best to stay alive by providing takeout and delivery service at about half our restaurants. Our goal is to survive until we are allowed to reopen.

MANILA (The Philippine Star) — Various private school organizations are against the proposal to open classes in September, warning the government that many of their members are on the verge of closure after operations were suspended due to the coronavirus disease 2019 or Covid-19 pandemic.

(MCS) — Mount Carmel School was recently notified that its first-grade students won the Read to Succeed 2 Contest hosted by Achieve3000. In addition to the first-graders accomplishment, other grade levels at MCS were recognized as high achieving. Students in grades four, five, six, and seven have completed 16,330 activities, which is an equivalent to 75% percent of completed online activities for this school year.

(Office of the Governor) — The governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. would like to inform the public of the CNMI’s ongoing efforts to ensure the transmission of coronavirus is broken.

NORTHERN Marianas College will start disbursing funds made available by the CARES Act to its students over the next few days. The funds are specifically allocated to NMC students by the federal law to help students with the impacts of Covid-19.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — Members of the U.S. House of Representatives returned to the Capitol Thursday to pass another spending bill responding to the economic and health impacts of the coronavirus. The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act now goes to the White House for the President’s signature. U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan said the popular Payroll Protection Program that allows small businesses and non-profits to keep paying staff was replenished with $310 billion. An initial $349 billion for the PPP in last month’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES,” Act was completely used by April 16.

WE are supposed to be BETTER after learning the lessons from this Black Swan Event not the same old BS! I knew when I first started writing these Epitaphs I would NEVER run out of topics from the many episodes of corruption and bad governing that would be provided by the Governor and most of his GOP Crew. The corruption behavior of “nepotism, favoritism and crony skullduggery-ism” is in their nature and they just can’t help it because that’s HOW they have stayed in POWER for over two decades.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — A record 26 million Americans likely sought unemployment benefits over the last five weeks, confirming that all the jobs created during the longest employment boom in U.S. history were wiped out in about a month as the novel coronavirus savages the economy.

MANILA (The Philippine Star) — The number of actual Covid-19 cases in the Philippines could be much higher than the current tally of confirmed infections due to under-reporting, as well as asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic cases, according to researchers from the University of the Philippines.

(CUC) — In anticipation of the coming dry weather months that the CNMI is just beginning to experience, the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. would like to encourage its customers to think ahead and to anticipate your water service needs over the next several months up and into September.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzes water samples collected from Saipan's recreational western beaches and storm drainages every week as part of a regularly scheduled sampling program. None of the samples collected from Saipan’s west beaches contained excessive concentration of fecal indicator bacteria nor did they exceed the CNMI’s marine water quality standards.  Therefore, BECQ assigns all of the sampled beach sites a green flag.

The following are the governor’s welcoming remarks, via Zoom, during the CNMI Fiscal Response Summit’s opening plenary session on April 23, 2020:

GOOD morning, and thank you all for your time in joining the opening of this unique and important summit.

(DPS) — On Wednesday, April 22, 2020, at about 4:51 p.m., the Department of Public Safety received a 911 call reporting that an individual had pointed a gun in Chinatown. Police units were dispatched to the scene.

I WAS supposed to send editorial article for publication on Friday of last week, but withheld it to allow Governor Torres more time to give retirees and PSS responsible, honest and consoling responses for the cruelty and hardship he was solely responsible putting us through this man-made economic calamity. Instead of more honest and practical solutions to the crisis he created, he put up his website and dumped into it his personal and political propaganda garbage.

On April 23, 2020, the Office of the Governor held the Commonwealth Fiscal Response Summit. The summit’s purpose is to “support a broad-based participatory leadership event” allowing stakeholders in the Commonwealth to foster an understanding of the current fiscal crisis and work collaboratively on policy options in response to the fiscal crisis. In addition to members of Graduate School USA, the CNMI executive and legislative branches, and the private sector, the judiciary participated in this summit.

Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro provided the following welcoming remarks:

(NMC) — Individuals interested in enrolling in Northern Marianas College’s summer 2020 session can access Federal Financial Aid to help pay for tuition and other education related expenses through the Federal Financial Aid Program, which uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA form.

AFTER seeing our people struggle in their daily lives, I can see why our government is facing this fiscal challenge especially when we don't have the safety net to soften the impact when we hit rock bottom. The Covid-19 may be partly to blame from the shortage of 25% funding for the retirees to the unpaid teachers at the public schools and from the layoff private sector employees to the furloughed civil service workers.

(Press Release) — To help us serve you better, StayWell Insurance will be relocating its Saipan office to the 1st floor of the RJ Commercial Building on Chalan Monsignor Guerrero Road across from the Commonwealth Utilities Center.

WASHINGTON (Los Angeles Times) — President Trump on Wednesday signed a proclamation on immigration that will restrict some people from entering the country over the next 60 days, but does not shut off applications for permanent residence as he had publicly declared just one day earlier.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The number of sailors afflicted with Covid-19 from the USS Theodore Roosevelt has jumped to 710.

TWO more patients have recovered from Covid-19 and have been released from Kanoa Resort, the designated quarantine site, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said on Wednesday.

TWO Star Marianas planes are on standby 24/7 to transport any persons under investigation or PUI for Covid-19 as the need arises, Star Marianas Air president Shaun Christian said.

THE Empty Vessel Ministry Foundation on Monday, April 20, distributed food packs to over 300 individuals as part of the second round of its emergency food program that was launched amid the Covid-19 crisis which has resulted in the unemployment of many community members on Saipan.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres has vetoed Senate Local Bill 21-2 which proposes to create a medical subsistence allowance program for the First Senatorial District, or Rota, saying it presents a “serious separation of power issue” and violates federal law.

SOME island residents interviewed by this writer said they are worried about the Covid-19 pandemic and haven’t been sleeping well because of it.

I’LL admit to using this line all the time: “The Howard Stern Show” asked Ringo Starr, “What did you do with the money?” “What money?” “The money your mother gave you for singing lessons.”

THE Trump administration’s dream of reducing the trade deficit is finally coming true. According to data generated from the U.S. International Trade Commission website, for the first two months of 2020, the U.S. trade deficit dropped to $113.5 billion. That’s down from $130.4 billion over the same period last year, a 13 percent decrease. If this keeps up, then we are on track to reduce our trade deficit from $852.2 billion for the entirety of 2019 to $742.3 billion in 2020.

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer) — The World Health Organization expressed alarm on Tuesday over the “very worrisome” trend of an increasing number of Filipino health workers afflicted with the new coronavirus disease, which was at least four times more than the average in the Western Pacific region.

APIA (Samoa Observer/Pacnews) — Samoa Police Commissioner Fuiavailiili Egon Keil has confirmed that Customs uncovered 200 grams of cocaine on Tuesday in a rare seizure with a street value of an estimated $72,000.

KOROR (Palau International Coral Reef Center) — Palau Aquarium aquarists Harrison Umang, McGee Mereb, and Trinity Misech joined CoralAssist researchers in conducting research during the April full moon coral spawning event in Palau.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan reports that negotiations are now complete on adding another $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program established in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, CARES, Act. The original $350 billion for PPP was used up last week. 56 applicants in the Marianas were awarded loans worth $12.6 million, but other Marianas applicants were turned away because funds were exhausted.

THE Board of Education on Tuesday afternoon failed to pass a proposal to authorize the education commissioner to negotiate a $3.4 million loan from the Marianas Public Land Trust.

MANILA (The Philippine Star) — In a recent phone call with President Rodrigo Duterte, his American counterpart Donald Trump offered additional assistance to the Philippines as it deals with the deadly coronavirus disease which first emerged in China late last year.

RAROTONGA (Cook Islands News/Pacnews) — Overseas, the Covid-19 economic slowdown and home lockdowns have enabled the most sudden and dramatic improvement in environmental measures like air and water pollution in modern history. But not in Cook Islands.

(NMC) — Northern Marianas College is inviting new and current students to enroll in its summer session so they can earn additional credits and earn their degree sooner. The summer semester, which will be offered through virtual and online classes, includes business, education, math, nursing, and science courses.

(DPS) — On Monday, April 20, 2020, at about 4:45 p.m., the CNMI Department of Public Safety received a call reporting an auto burglary incident in the Ladder Beach parking lot, in Obyan.

(Office of the Governor) — In light of the recent governor’s Executive Order 2020-06, issued on April 15, 2020, renewing the Declaration of State of Public Health Emergency and continued Declaration of a State of Significant Emergency for 30 days, which also includes all memoranda, directives, waivers of regulations, and other measures taken in accordance with Executive Order 2020-04, as amended, due to the imminent threat posed by Covid-19, the CNMI Energy Division Office under the CNMI Department of Public Works regrets to inform the public that all program services for the Weatherization Assistance Program and the State Energy Program shall remain temporarily suspended for another 30 days.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality has announced that it will be providing limited services to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic. BECQ will be minimizing direct contact between staff and applicants, permittees, and visitors by receiving and processing permit applications, as well as issuing permits, electronically when possible. Social distancing will continue to be strictly enforced.

(CPA) — On April 20, 2020, the board of directors of the Commonwealth Ports Authority agreed to provide rent relief to CPA tenants due to the negative impact that Covid-19 has had on the CNMI economy. Specifically, the board discussed Covid-19’s effect on the tourism industry, the subsequent decrease in users at CPA’s ports, and the economic hardship CPA tenants now face.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan reports that 56 Marianas small businesses successfully applied for $12,619,835 in Paycheck Protection Program loans before funds were exhausted nationwide last Thursday. The Paycheck Protection Program was created in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES,” Act to help small businesses and non-profits keep their staff on payroll during the coronavirus crisis. Recipients who use the money to pay staff for 8 weeks and meet other conditions can have the loans converted to outright grants. Up to 25 percent of the loan may be used to pay rent, utilities, and other business expenses.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios announce Tuesday the launch of a new website for the CNMI Office of the Governor, https://governor.gov.mp/, to provide residents of the Marianas the latest information on Covid-19, as well as other updates from the Commonwealth government.

THE Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation is now using Situation Awareness Response Assistance or SARA Alert to track community members who may have Covid-19 symptoms.

NEW YORK (AP) — As residents at a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, began dying in late February from a coronavirus outbreak that would eventually take 43 lives, there was little sign of trouble at the Cobble Hill Health Center, a 360-bed facility in an upscale section of Brooklyn.

SUVA (Pacnews) — Fiji's has recorded it 18th case of Covid-19. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in his address to the nation Monday said the latest victim is a 51-year-old woman from Ba.

(Office of the Governor) — Over the weekend, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres met with Brig. Gen. Tracy L. Smith, commander of the 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support), to discuss a way forward on how the Department of Defense can best support the CNMI in its response efforts to combat Covid-19.

(Marianas Visitors Authority) — Arrivals to Saipan, Tinian and Rota dropped 85% to 5,226 visitors in March 2020, compared to 35,295 visitors received in March 2019.

(Office of the Governor) — To help ensure the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation continues to provide access for individuals seeking VR services during the Covid-19 pandemic, it has established the following process in order to continue to provide orientations/intakes.

(NMC) — Despite the recent events that have caused closure of face-to-face classes across the Marianas and a significant disruption to everyday life, the ROTC Cadets at Northern Marianas College remain committed to seeing their goal of becoming Army officers come true.

(DPS) — The Department of Public Safety has noticed an increase in the display of vehicle hazard lights during the 7 p.m. through 6 a.m. curfew. Following numerous traffic stops, operators stated that they were told by friends and family members that if they displayed their vehicle hazard lights while driving during curfew hours they would not be pulled over.

THE prices of gasoline went down by 10 cents on Friday. This is the sixth time that fuel prices have been rolled back this year.

WITH the approval of its board of trustees, the Northern Marianas Technical Institute on Friday issued furlough letters to 18 of its 28 employees.

(Press Release) — To ensure the continued safety of the public, the CNMI Cannabis Commission is partnering with the CNMI Drug Enforcement Task Force or DETF, comprised of officers from the Department of Public Safety, Department of Corrections and the Division of Customs Services, to remind recreational cannabis users who are 21 years of age or older to consume responsibly and to utilize sober transportation.

(JKPL) — First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries of all types across the country each April. The original theme for our 2020 National Library Week, “Find Your Place at the Library,” was chosen months ago before the emergence of a global pandemic would force libraries to close their buildings. In response to our rapidly-changing times, our national theme was revised to “Find the Library at Your Place” to bring attention to we are open virtually, offering the electronic services and digital content our community needs now more than ever.

(Commonwealth Utilities Corp.) — There will be a scheduled water service interruption for portions of Gualo Rai mainly for customers located along Gualo Rai Road on the west side of the Gualo Rai traffic light on Thursday, April 23, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Customers in the affected areas should expect restoration of water services soon thereafter.

(Press Release) — On Saturday morning, 5 a.m., local time, there was a live virtual National Geographic GeoBee celebration for all the school champions who qualified for their state level competitions. Saipan Community School is so proud of its very own 8th grader, Paul Camacho, for making it to the state level and representing SCS school with his hard work and dedication.

A REPUBLICAN businessman who’s developed somewhat of a following in the post-2017 world recently blamed "the Chinese" for an economic contraction foisted on us by U.S. politicians. What’s that line about there not being a “dime’s worth of difference” between Democrats and Republicans?

SEOUL (The Wall Street Journal) — More than 160 South Koreans have tested positive a second time for the coronavirus, a development that suggests the disease may have a longer shelf life than expected.

COTABATO CITY (The Philippine Star ) — The Bangsamoro regional police and the military’s Western Mindanao Command or Westmincom have launched operations to identify and arrest the Abu Sayyaf Group bandits that encountered and killed 11 Army soldiers and wounded 14 others in Patikul, Sulu on Friday.

(DPS) — On Friday, April 17, 2020, at about 11:20 a.m., the Department of Public Safety began receiving numerous complaints of an individual who posted a threat of violence toward another human being via video through an online platform.

A GROUP of about 30 locally hired construction workers staged a peaceful protest Friday morning, saying they have not been paid by their employer, a local company called AM Group LLC which is a contractor of Imperial Pacific International.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Thursday issued Executive Order 2020-7 to authorize the Commonwealth Homeland Security & Emergency Management Office to undertake necessary Covid-19 containment measures — through the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and in partnership with the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. — by implementing emergency directives.

THE Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force will conduct mass Covid-19 tests, CHCC Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said. “The governor wants it done, and it is going to be free — this is about controlling [the virus],” she added.

IN its obituary for Alfred Sherman, one of Margaret Thatcher’s economic advisers, the Times of London relayed a story that spoke to one of his pet themes: the utter fecklessness of the British workingman.

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

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzed water samples collected from Tinian's recreational beaches and storm drainages this week.

(CUC) — Since 2016, the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation has regularly detected levels of PFOS and PFOA that exceed the United States Environmental Protection Agency lifetime health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion or ppt in a limited area of its drinking water system.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan said efforts to have the U.S. Treasury issue $1,200 “recovery rebates” automatically to Supplemental Security Income recipients have been successful.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — Vice Chairman for Insular Affairs Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan and Delegates Michael San Nicolas, D-Guam, and Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, R-American Samoa, have again joined forces to identify priorities in a coronavirus relief package. The three Pacific Members teamed up successfully last month during negotiations on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, “CARES Act,” and want to have the same influence on a future CARES II.


(CNMI Emergency Operations Center State Warning Point) — A drier than normal trade-wind pattern has persisted across much of Micronesia the past few months. Although the synoptic pattern has been typical for this time of year and El Niño/Southern Oscillation or ENSO-neutral conditions prevail, rainfall has been inadequate for many islands. This has been primarily due to a fairly weak Intertropical Convergence Zone or ITCZ which has been largely confined to areas east of 150E.

IMPAIRING the obligation of contracts is clearly unconstitutional under both the U.S. Constitution and the CNMI Constitutions. The recent proposal of the CNMI governor to suspend contractual obligations and foreclosures is quite shocking coming from the chief executive. Either he has no comprehension of the CNMI Constitution which he swore to uphold and defend when he took his oath of office as governor of the Northern Mariana Islands several years ago; or he is now blinded by the power of his office and thinks that he can dispense of certain provisions of our Constitution as he sees fit.

SUPERIOR Court Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja has denied the demand for jury trial of Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig, Dennis Mendiola and Josepha Mendiola. Dennis Mendiola is Rota’s former Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services resident director while Josepha Mendiola is the island’s Department of Finance resident director.

(DPS) — On Thursday, April 16, 2020, at about 12:22 a.m., a Department of Public Safety officer was conducting routine patrol through the village of Kagman, when she observed that the Kagman Head Start entrance gate was unsecured.

(DPS) — On Monday, April 13, 2020, at about 12:40 p.m., a Department of Public Safety police officer was conducting routine patrol through the village of Chalan Kanoa. The officer noticed a sedan with a faulty brake light. The officer displayed his blue lights to conduct a stop.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Four more sailors assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt have been hospitalized at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam and are being treated for Covid-19 symptoms, according to the April 14 update on the Navy's official blog.

 

 

 

 

 

Hopwood Middle School administrators led by principal Rizalina P. Liwag, right standing, and vice principal Karen Alla Manuel, second left, standing, display copies of the independent study packets that were distributed to hundreds of its students on Wednesday.

PSS photo

SHAWN C. Appleby, 40, was arrested for domestic violence and disturbing the peace at his residence in Dandan on March 24, 2020 according to a copy of his parole violation citation obtained by Variety.

CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin Newsom recently issued an executive order that creates a statewide moratorium on evictions. Such orders are just a fancy term for an edict — something passed unilaterally by the governmental leader without the normal legislative process that includes public hearings, public votes and other checks and balances.

IF we can spend a lifetime preparing for the Day After our death then certainly, we can and should put some time and effort into the Day After Covid-19. My previous Epitaph 105 gave rise to the need to extend the topic on “what we do today will determine what our tomorrow will be” because tomorrow IS ours to soar or to continue floundering in this GOP Sea of _ ? Just laugh and give the Sea your own name just to keep from crying during these troubling times. But I’m not only talking about our Local GOP but the National GOP too as too much poli–tricking is taking place at the Federal and our Local level.

MANILA (The Philippine Star ) — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the immediate purchase of about 3.3 billion pesos or $65.1 million worth of polymerase chain reaction-based and rapid testing kits through the Office of Civil Defense, as the Philippine government embarks on the mass testing of people for Covid-19.

PAGO PAGO (RNZ Pacific/Pacnews) — American Samoa's Gov. Lolo Moliga and U.S. Congresswoman Aumua Amata Radewagen are filing an appeal in federal court in the American Samoa citizenship case.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On April 14, 2020, Livingston A. Taulung, secretary of the Federated States of Micronesia’s Department of Health & Social Affairs and chair of the Covid-19 Task Force, received Huang Zheng, ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in a handover ceremony wherein the ambassador presented, on behalf of the people and government of China, medical supplies and a cash donation of $100,000 to assist the FSM in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic. Ambassador Huang noted that he is working hard to acquire a second shipment of medical supplies, to include ventilators, for the FSM.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, signed Executive Order No. 2020-06 to renew his “Declaration of State of Public Health Emergency and Continued Declaration of State of Significant Emergency Establishing Response, Quarantine, and Preventive Containment Measures Concerning Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19).”

(Press Release) — This is to inform the general public that the Saipan Zoning Office will begin providing services via telephone starting April 15, 2020 from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Monday to Thursday and will be closed on Fridays.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres announced on Wednesday that CNMI government employees affected by the Covid-19 pandemic are officially eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation or FPUC under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act.

(Commonwealth Utilities Corp.) — There will be a scheduled water service interruption for portions of Gualo Rai mainly for customers located along Gualo Rai Road on the west side of the Gualo Rai traffic light on Friday, April 17, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Customers in the affected areas should expect restoration of water services soon thereafter.

(DPS) — On Sunday, April 12, 2020, at about 6:27 p.m., the Department of Public Safety  was responding to a case in the parking lot of San Jose Market. While tending to another individual, officers were also speaking to a second female individual. The second individual continuously asked officers if she could leave the area. 

(DPS) — On Tuesday, April 14, 2020, at about 12:16 a.m., the Department of Public Safety received a call reporting a criminal mischief incident at the former Mariana Country Club in San Roque.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzes water samples collected from Saipan's recreational western beaches and storm drainages every week as part of a regularly scheduled sampling program.

(American Red Cross-NMI Chapter) — The Red Cross has been working closely with its NMI government partners and other non-profit organizations over the past several weeks by providing support to frontline workers involved with the Covid-19 response.

(CPA) — On March 27, 2020, the CARES Act appropriated nearly $10 billion to eligible airports to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus impacts, including support for continuing airport operations. The Commonwealth Ports Authority is pleased to announce that it will be receiving $22.8 million under the CARES Act airport grant to support continued airport operations. These funds will be used to ensure that CPA’s airports are reliable and safe, support the economy, keep airport workers employed, and keep airport credit ratings stable.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday to repeal the cap on federal Medicaid funding for the U.S. insular areas. Unlike the states, which have unlimited federal funding, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands each has an upper limit on annual funding set by law. The result is healthcare rationing for the over 4 million Americans living in these insular areas and a system that forces local officials to make life and death decisions based on money.

(MCS) — On Thursday evening, Mount Carmel School’s TED-Ed Club will host the region’s first ever TED-Ed Student Talks. The talks will be streamed on April 16 at 7 p.m. online via the school’s Facebook page and YouTube channel and will feature a number of students delivering TED-style talks on topics and ideas that they have been working on all school year.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres has nominated Edward C. Deleon Guerrero, former Speaker Ralph S. Demapan and former Rep. Mario Taitano to serve as members of the Commonwealth Casino Commission representing the Third Senatorial District.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The United States is turning to South Korea — a country with an aggressive testing regime that President Donald Trump previously downplayed — to bring approximately 750,000 more coronavirus tests to the U.S., according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

PORT VILA (Vanuatu Daily Post/Pacnews) — Vanuatu caretaker Prime Minister Charlot Salwai has acknowledged China for responding positively to Vanuatu’s request to provide the necessary supplies and equipment, in order to support its health system in case there are confirmed cases of Covid-19.

MOST governors in the United States have shut down their economies, requiring people to shelter in place. The measures are destroying one of the world’s strongest economies before our very eyes. We’re also relying on the very same governments that spent many weeks sending contradictory messages, blocking testing, and generally being ill-prepared also to manage us out of this mess.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, his Covid-19 Task Force, and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. on Tuesday confirmed two new Covid-19 cases, bringing the CNMI’s total confirmed case count to 13.

TAMUNING, Guam (Press Release) — Docomo Pacific, regional leader in innovation, telecommunications, & entertainment, donates 30 smart phones with service to students of the University of Guam.
To comply with social distancing mandates, schools and college campuses around the world have been forced into remote education. Students without smart phones or internet access are left behind.

THE goal of his administration, the Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. is to test everyone for Covid-19, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said on Monday evening at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport to witness the arrival of over 20,000 test kits from South Korea.

WASHINGTON (Press Release) — U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Douglas W. Domenech has formally invited the governors of the territories and the presidents of the Freely Associated States to submit requests for funding made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan reports that $36,284,217.70 is now available to the Commonwealth, as its government’s share of the Coronavirus Relief Fund that Congress appropriated last month in the CARES Act. A special $3 billion set-aside for the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia was distributed by population with each territory receiving $702 per capita. States received an average of $424 per capita.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The sailor assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt who was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of U.S. Naval Hospital Guam on April 9 died of Covid-19-related complications on Monday, the Office of the Navy Chief of Information confirmed.

OF the 11 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the CNMI, eight remain in stable condition and are “isolated” at Kanoa Resort, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said on Monday.

“WITH deepest regrets and profound sadness,” Tinian Mayor Edwin Aldan announced that the island’s municipal government will implement a 50% budget cut for the remainder of fiscal year 2020 which ends on Sept. 30. Most likely, he said, the budget cut will remain in effect in FY 2021.

THE Commonwealth Utilities Corp. received last week a $300,000 payment from the central government which still owes CUC $9 million in utility bills, CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho said.

PHOENIX (AP) — The $2.2 trillion package that Congress approved to offer financial help during the coronavirus pandemic has one major exclusion: millions of immigrants who do not have legal status in the U.S. but work here and pay taxes.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — A Guam woman who shared her experience during the first week of her fight with Covid-19 has recovered and hasn't had symptoms of the virus since, but she said she will remain in isolation to ensure she and those around her are safe.

 

LOS ANGELES — The masks are long gone, replaced by face covers fashioned from pillowcases. Cleaning supplies are dwindling. And when Maria Cecilia Lim, a licensed vocational nurse at an Orange County nursing home, needs a sterile gown, she reaches for a raincoat bought off the rack by desperate co-workers.


MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer) — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Saturday said he would fight an order by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or POEA temporarily suspending the deployment of Filipino health care workers abroad, denouncing the move as an “abomination.”

A FRIEND posted on Facebook that her son’s college had closed for the rest of the year: “He and his friends are devastated.” I scrolled down to the comments. “At least he’s not a senior!” someone offered. “My daughter will never get to go back to campus.”

(Office of the Governor) — The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation has temporarily closed its offices to the public in response to Covid-19. While in-person services are suspended until further notice, OVR staff will continue to provide services by phone and email during business hours.

TINIAN — After reviewing samples of her work, Cadet Capt. Dea Patio was chosen by the U.S. Army Cadet Command to write an article for Army Echoes, the U.S. Army’s official newsletter for retired soldiers, surviving spouses and their families. A dedicated cadet, she has been part of the Tinian JROTC program for the past three years and is the current Stallion Battalion Public Affairs Officer, or S-5. She will represent the Stallion Battalion and CNMI as a whole, with her article discussing the impact of the U.S. Army JROTC program on her community, school, and herself.

 (Press Release) — The Marianas office of Micronesian Legal Services Corp. continues to be closed to public contact during this time of Covid-19 pandemic prevention efforts. We are available by telephone at 234-7729 or 234-6243. People may apply for assistance through our telephone intake process.

(DPS) — On Friday, April 10, 2020, at about 12:10 p.m., the Department of Public Safety received a call reporting a stolen generator from an apartment building in the village of San Vicente. A patrol unit was dispatched to the scene.

WE really knew there was a crisis when San Francisco, which 13 years ago banned single-use plastic bags in grocery stores, would now prohibit reusable bags as part of its effort to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus.

I JUST finished an excellent book and I want to recommend it to you. “Melal” is a fictional story about a family on Ebeye, in the Kwajalein atoll of the Marshalls. The author lived on “Kwaj” for years and knows his subject. In fact, everything about the story felt like it was real, the characters actual people whom the author knew.

THE phrase of deaf & dumb and handicap were once very familiar terms prior to the 1990s when they were deemed inappropriate for addressing and referring to people with “disabilities.” But I’m not referring to people with disabilities in this Epitaph and instead I am referring to how the Governor and the GOP in general have pretended to be DEAF to public outcries for nearly two decades and how they have played on keeping the people dumb.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzes water samples collected from 85 beaches and storm drainages on Saipan, Tinian, Rota and Managaha islands as part of a regularly scheduled sampling program. These samples are analyzed to determine if they contain excessive concentration of fecal indicator bacteria and meet CNMI water quality standards.

SAIPAN Lagoon User Education Plan Workshop
The 2017 update to the Saipan Lagoon Use Management Plan resulted in a recommendation to produce a user informed education plan for the Saipan Lagoon and popular tourist sites, such as the Grotto and Laolao Bay. The stakeholder workshop originally scheduled for March 26, 2020 has been postponed until further notice.
For more information, please contact Kelsey McClellan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MAJURO — Although the Marshall Islands has no confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, Marshall Islands residents are increasingly on edge about the possibility of its introduction despite a government ban on inbound travelers.

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer) — The first localized, targeted Covid-19 mass testing began in Valenzuela City, Metro Manila on Saturday, with the procedure being administered for free to medical front-liners, returning overseas Filipino workers and residents being monitored for coronavirus symptoms.

WASHINGTON (Press Release) — U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Douglas W. Domenech announced $2,685,610 in Compact Infrastructure grant funding for the Republic of Palau to maintain the Palau Compact Road and to purchase hardware for Palau’s new financial management system in addition to providing training and annual maintenance for the system.

(Office of the Governor) — The Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority under the Office of the Governor is set to receive over $1 million in Federal Transit Administration grants to assist with response efforts to the Covid-19 outbreak, according to the special assistant for public transportation, Alfreda P. Camacho.

HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center) — At approximately 6:55 p.m. Saturday, a 79-year-old woman with Covid-19 passed away at the Guam Memorial Hospital. The woman was initially admitted to GMH on April 10, 2020 and had a history of diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease. The patient had no travel history.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres announced on Saturday that the U.S. Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration has confirmed that the CNMI is eligible for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation or FPUC program, in addition to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

THE PSS funding controversy was triggered by the not-so specific language in the constitutional provision that guarantees PSS 25% of the “general revenues of the Commonwealth.” The Board of Education says this means that PSS is entitled to 25% of all of the government’s revenues. But according to the administration — and the attorney general — general revenues do not include the special revenues earmarked for specific purposes (retirees’ pension, bond payments, etc.).


U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan in a statement on Thursday said CNMI workers on CW-1 permits should receive the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provided in the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act.

(CNMI Office of the Attorney General) — The Office of the Attorney General has seen an increase in reports of stolen cars. These cases are largely crimes of opportunity by younger individuals acting in a group. In 2019, a total of 6 theft of vehicle charges were received by the Office of the AG whereas, in the first three months of 2020, the office has received 5 reported cases of stolen vehicles. Perhaps this is a good time to remind everyone how they can do their part to reduce the likelihood more cars are stolen.

HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center) — The Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 34 individuals for Covid-19 on Thursday, April 9, 2020 with conclusive results. Three tested positive through DPHSS and 31 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

IMPERIAL Pacific International chief financial officer Ed Chen resigned last week amid the suspension of the casino's operation due to the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing lawsuits filed by former workers and contractors.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist whose progressive agenda pushed the Democratic Party sharply to the left, ended his White House campaign on Wednesday, clearing the way for a Nov. 3 election battle between former Vice President Joe Biden and Republican President Donald Trump.

SACRAMENTO (Los Angeles Times) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to lend 500 state-owned ventilators to New York and other coronavirus hot spots outside the state caught some local California officials off guard, particularly in Riverside County where health officials have been scrambling to acquire the critically needed medical equipment.


WASHINGTON (Press Release) — U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Douglas W. Domenech applauded the Joint Economic Management Committee or JEMCO for its quick review and decision to allocate up to $7,000,000 from prior-year unexpended Compact of Free Association funding to provide emergency support to the Federated States of Micronesia to address coronavirus disease 2019 health-related needs. The JEMCO approved the Compact allocation in connection with the FSM government’s Covid-19 Response Framework and Budget. Funds provided to Yap, Chuuk, and Kosrae States will be used to strengthen hospital and quarantine infrastructure and support outreach by health personnel to the outer islands of Yap and Chuuk during this global Covid-19 pandemic.

WASHINGTON (Press Release) — U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Douglas W. Domenech announced a final award of $11,833,000 to the American Samoa government under the American Samoa Government Operations grant for fiscal year 2020. These funds provide critical support to the hospital, the community college, and the judicial system in the territory.

SUVA (Reuters/Fiji Met/Pacnews) — A powerful tropical cyclone battered the South Pacific island nation of Fiji on Wednesday, witnesses said, destroying buildings and causing injuries in Suva, the capital, pressuring a population already bracing for the coronavirus outbreak.

NUKU'ALOFA (RNZ Pacific/Pacnews) — Tongan residents were being told to hunker down and prepare for the arrival of Cyclone Harold Thursday morning.

I'VE been here at my apartment self-quarantined, except for the occasional trip to the grocery store, for some time over two weeks. At first it was difficult… Not the actual alone part, but the idea that I could not come and go as I pleased.

THE hospital’s capacity has not yet been reached, but the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. is already setting up a field hospital in the upper parking lot area of its Navy Hill campus, CHCC Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said.

THERE is no evidence indicating that Covid-19 is being spread through mail, U.S. Postal Service strategic communications specialist Duke Gonzales said, citing information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. surgeon general.

THE Marianas Public Land Trust over the weekend approved the release of the remaining $5 million of a $15 million loan to help the CNMI government meet its obligation to the Settlement Fund and pay for “extraordinary expenses made under extraordinary circumstances” in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu.

SAYING that USA Fanter Corporation has satisfied lien requirements, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona on Monday said the company “shall have a mechanic’s lien to attach upon the improvements of the Imperial Pacific Resort hotel-casino complex and the real property interest of IPI in Garapan…for the lien amount of” $2.089 million.

(Office of the Governor) — In an effort to enforce social distancing and help prevent the spread of Covid-19, the CNMI State Medicaid Agency has announced that they have installed a new drop-box as a way for applicants to submit their applications and supporting documents during the global pandemic.

LIKE most of us, I have a lot time on my hands and writing is my “hobby & quest to help society” and the many words of encouragement from commenters and people in the community are the main reason why I keep writing. This Covid-19 pandemic is literally a “black-swan event” that I studied in Economics that is unprecedented in modern times which is sweeping the globe with sickness & death and literally followed by social, economic and political firestorms. A Black Swan event is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation like Typhoons and it has potentially severe consequences. Black Swan Events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the widespread insistence that are obvious in hindsight. Our Governor doesn’t seem to get it that “EVERYTHING” he does is now under the People’s microscope and he will be faced with the “widespread insistence of things that will be obvious in hindsight” that comes with Black Swan Events.

(CDA) — Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, notice is hereby given that the Commonwealth Development Authority is postponing until further notice the public auction scheduled for April 14, 2020, at 2 p.m. in the CDA conference room.

(Office of the Governor) — The governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation would like to update the public that CHCC will begin to utilize Diagnostic Laboratory Services in Honolulu, Hawaii for specimen testing of Covid-19 in addition to the Guam Public Health Laboratory. Specimens sent for testing will follow the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 3-level testing strategy:

(CNMI Judiciary) — On April 6, 2020, the local Supreme Court issued an order mandating that all documents filed in criminal, civil, traffic and small claims cases be filed and served electronically. The judiciary initially began accepting electronic filing in 2006 in limited civil actions.

(HANMI) — The Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands reported a 12 percent average occupancy rate among 10 member hotels for March 2020. The figure reflects an 84 percent decrease for HANMI hotels compared to March 2019 and a 67 percent decrease in the number of total rooms sold.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, his Covid-19 Task Force, and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. on Wednesday confirmed three new Covid-19 cases, bringing CNMI’s total confirmed case count to 11.


DESPITE the rise of anti-immigrant political discourse, public support for immigration is on an upswing. A Pew Research Center poll found far more Americans view immigrants as a strength than a weakness, a complete reversal of the 1990s. The immigrant share of the U.S. population is now on an upward trend — 13.7%, the highest it’s been in a century.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The White House said Monday that 500 ventilators on loan from California will be shipped to Nevada, Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam as the nation faces a crush of coronavirus-related hospitalizations.

HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center) — The Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 32 individuals for Covid-19 on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 with conclusive results. Eight tested positive through DPHSS and 24 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

TINIAN Mayor Edwin Aldan, in a statement, is “strongly urging” island residents to wear cloth face coverings in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s findings that Covid-19can spread between people in close proximity.

A KAISER Health News article by Markian Hawryluk states that in addition “to lung damage, many Covid-19 patients are also developing heart problems — and dying of cardiac arrest.” Hawryluk said this could “change the way doctors and hospitals need to think about patients, particularly in the early stages of illness. It also could open up a second front in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, with a need for new precautions in people with preexisting heart problems, new demands for equipment and, ultimately, new treatment plans for damaged hearts among those who survive.”

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres announced that the CNMI Department of Labor continues its ongoing preparation to implement the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program under the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act.

NEW YORK (The Wall Street Journal) — New York City scrambled on Sunday to get more hospital equipment as it faces the possibility of running out of ventilators in the next few days.

NEW YORK (The Wall Street Journal) — Intensified manufacturing efforts aren’t moving fast enough to meet the rising U.S. need for ventilators that can keep critical coronavirus patients breathing, hospital and medical-device company officials said.

NEW YORK (The Wall Street Journal) — Facing looming shortages of supplies needed to conduct coronavirus tests, some laboratories are taking matters into their own hands.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, his Covid-19 Task Force, and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., have confirmed that a second Covid-19 patient passed away today, April 7, 2020 at CHCC.

MAJURO — Three Marshall Islands fishermen have not been seen since last Thursday, when their small outboard engine boat experienced engine problems and drifted out of Kwajalein Atoll’s southwestern pass and into the ocean.

SENATOR Paul A. Manglona and House Minority Leader Edwin Propst said Gov. Ralph DLG Torres should not blame three members of the Board of Education for his administration’s inability to pay 25% of the retirees’ pension.

AS part of its social-distancing measures, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s Outpatient Pharmacy on Monday started dispensing medications to customers who remain in their cars.

A THREE-HOUR unscheduled power outage on Friday morning that affected different areas on Saipan was caused by a damaged power pole in San Vicente, Commonwealth Utilities Corp. Executive Director Gary Camacho said on Monday.

THERE are some places in the U.S. where, as I write, you can still go into a bar, order a drink and have a meal within a few feet of fellow diners. “Take me there!” we may be tempted to say, especially those of us who are already weeks into a mandatory lockdown diet of home-cooked food, experimental cocktails and takeout.

JUST as I was preparing to write an Epitaph thanking the Governor for all his efforts even though some were flawed, but I get the news over Social Media that Retirees are being bamboozled AGAIN! WHERE is the nearly 100 million that IPI OWES the CNMI and WHY hasn’t the Governor tried to collect any of this extraordinary amount of money is the question that ALL retirees, PSS and Voters should be asking the Governor. My other question is, will the 25% cut be reimbursed in a lump-sum payment when the Stimulus Funding arrives as that is one of the main reasons WHY the CNMI is getting the stimulus funds? Governor, you were so busy blaming BOE that you forgot to fully explain HOW and WHEN retirees would be “made-whole AGAIN”!

(Press Release) — The Marianas Agupa Chamorro Radio Talk Show is pleased to release its scale/measurement of economic pain model, called “Mididan Puti” in the Chamorro language, for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center) — The Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 13 individuals for Covid-19 on Monday, April 6, 2020 with conclusive results. One tested positive through DPHSS and 12 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

(CNMI Judiciary) — On April 6, 2020, the local Supreme Court issued an order adopting the child support guidelines. The guidelines provide uniformity in child support awards, maintenance of financial security, and a reduction in litigation and costs in child support disputes, as well as encourage equitable settlement between parents. The guidelines were drafted through the collective effort of a committee comprised of representatives from the judiciary, the Office of the Attorney General, Micronesian Legal Services, the Nutritional Assistance Program, and the Department of Commerce.

(Press Release) — Every year, the CNMI judiciary hosts contests to celebrate Law Day. Those include a poster contest capturing the Law Day theme for 3rd – 5th grade students, and an essay contest, often reflecting how the Law Day theme influences the CNMI, for 6th – 8th grade students. Awards are usually given on Law Day, held every year on May 1. The judiciary, along with the Office of the Governor, the House of Representatives, and the Senate, also hold a proclamation signing ceremony for Law Day, signifying the importance of the rule of law in our island communities.

(Press Release) — Beginning on April 6, 2020, the Settlement Fund office has reduced its service hours to half day. “We are still restricting access to the public and will continue to receive and respond to inquiries by phone, fax and email only from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday – Friday.” This schedule will be in effect until further notice. Fund staff will be available to assist members only by telephone, fax, or email.

(CHCC) — The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Cancer Center is now located in the outpatient services area of the main campus — in between the Dialysis Center and the outpatient clinics. Patients should enter at the Dialysis Center door and follow the signs to the new location.

MANILA (AFP) — Priests delivered blessings from the back of trucks and motorized tricycles in the Philippine Sunday, adapting the deeply Catholic nation's traditions to the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center) —The Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 38 individuals for Covid-19 on Sunday, April 5, 2020 with conclusive results. Seventeen tested positive through DPHSS and 21 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

THE Federal Emergency Management Agency acknowledges that the national stockpile alone “could not fulfill all requirements” in the states, tribes and territories, but the U.S. government “will exhaust all means to combat Covid-19 pandemic.”

(Office of the Governor) — At the request of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, FEMA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Defense shipped over critical medical supplies and equipment, as well as a 50-bed Federal Medical Station from the Strategic National Stockpile to Saipan on Saturday.

MAJURO — A large group of missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints departed the Marshall Islands and Kiribati Saturday on a specially chartered Fiji Airways aircraft.

FOR this Holy Week and Easter Sunday message to his constituents, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang said: “Though we may be apart, we must all come together in prayer and strengthen the bonds that hold us together as a caring and loving community.”

SAN DIEGO — I write this an hour after finishing my shift in the hospital emergency department. It’s 1 a.m. A nurse I have known for a long time said to me as she left the shift, “In 18 years, I never felt the need to take a shower in the staff locker room so I could feel safe to go home.” Earlier she was at the bedside in a negative pressure room, wearing a powered air-purifying respirator as she helped intubate a possible coronavirus patient who’d crashed. The precaution and gear make the work feel more dangerous. “Will that equipment be enough,” she asks, “to keep the virus out of my body?”

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — "I beat Covid-19! Thankful to God always," 63-year-old Lilliemae Cundiff Nauta shared on Facebook with a photo of herself smiling and healthy.
But it wasn't too long ago when the Agat resident started feeling sinus pressure and coughing.

HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center) — The Department of Public Health and Social Services  tested 19 individuals for Covid-19 on Saturday, April 4, 2020 with conclusive results. Six tested positive through DPHSS and 13 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. 

The DPHSS overall count also includes nine positive cases that were tested by the Naval Health Research Center or NHRC in San Diego.

THE supplies needed for a 50-bed field medical hospital arrived at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport on Saturday afternoon in response to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s request for federal assistance in combating the Covid-19 pandemic in the CNMI.

HAGÅTÑA — My heart raced when the Joint Information Office released the latest Covid-19 tally last week. It listed the numbers of confirmed positives, negatives and inconclusive results. Where do I fall into these statistics? My heart was going tump-tump, tump-tump,tump-tump. The anxiety of waiting can be tormenting.

MAJURO — In the face of the Covid-19 coronavirus spread worldwide, the Marshall Islands on Thursday extended its “total suspension of international travelers coming into (the country) via air travel until May 5,” according to a new travel advisory issued late Thursday. It also ramps up restrictions on fishing vessels following an incident earlier this week with fishermen coming ashore before they had met the 14-day quarantine period.

HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center) — Three additional cases tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 through the Naval Health Research Center or NHRC in San Diego. On Friday, the Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 19 individuals for Covid-19 with conclusive results. Two tested positive through DPHSS and 17 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. Only one batch of tests was run by the Guam Public Health Laboratory or GPHL due to a quality assurance issue with the first batch. These tests will be rerun and included in results Saturday evening. To date, a total of 87 cases tested positive with 20 patients who have recovered and four deaths.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres rescinded Directive 17 or the boating restriction directive of the Second Amended Executive Order 2020-04 also known as the CNMI Public Health Emergency Executive Order.
After consultation with the U.S. Coast Guard and the governor's Covid-19 Task Force, Governor Torres has determined that the capacity for enforcement of boating safety operations is sufficient to lift the restrictions.
Effective immediately boat ramps and docks on Saipan are reopened.
As always, vessel owners and operators must take personal responsibility to practice social distancing at the ramps and docks.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres amended Directive 14, or the Enhanced Social Distancing Directive, of the Second Amended Executive Order 2020-04, also known as the CNMI Public Health Emergency Executive Order.

(DPS) — On April 2, 2020, at about 12:30 a.m., a Department of Public Safety patrol unit was conducting routine patrol in Chalan Kanoa when the officer noticed two individuals laughing and sitting in the parking lot of the Mount Carmel Cathedral. As the officers approached the individuals they detected a strong odor of alcohol.
As officers attempted to educate the two individuals about the importance of the curfew, one individual thanked the officer and said he would return home, but the second individual refused to return home and continued to push the officer each time the officer approached him. After numerous attempts to calm the individual. He was arrested and transported to the Department of Corrections where he was booked and detained.
DPS highly encourages the public to call 911 anytime to report a crime or an emergency. Police officers are here to help you.

HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center) — The Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 41 individuals for Covid-19 on Thursday, April 2, 2020 with conclusive results. Five tested positive and 36 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. The DPHSS overall count also includes six positive cases that were tested by the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (House Natural Resources Committee Democrats) — Chair Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., and Rep. Gregorio Sablan, D-MP, sent a letter t to Pete Gaynor, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, seeking more information on the administration’s Covid-19 response plans in U.S. territories, where weak economies and recent natural disasters are now putting hundreds of thousands of Americans at particular risk.

THE islands’ oldest and most trusted news source is going online only temporarily starting Monday, April 6, due to safety requirements and the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic that is shuttering most small businesses in the Commonwealth.

(MCS) — Despite the global impact of the Covid-19 virus, Mount Carmel School students returned to school this week through online synchronous sessions on Wednesday, April 1 and Thursday April 2, 2020.

THE Empty Vessel Ministry Foundation wants to develop a monthly partnership with community members and business entities to help sustain the charitable organization’s monthly operations, EVM president and board chair Rosalyn Ajoste said.

REPRESENTATIVE Sheila J. Babauta posted the first episode of her “Let’s Talk About It” live videos, in the hopes of addressing concerns that community members have regarding Covid-19.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres, his Covid-19 Task Force, and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. on Thursday announced the confirmation of two new Covid-19 cases in the CNMI.

IN the midst of all the unprecedented and consequential deaths and economic destructions, the coronavirus is causing the CNMI and throughout the world, its most cruelties effect is the “force-denial” of families to care for their love ones in their dying moment. What a surreal hopeless case to witnessed this heartbreaking and an unbelievably hard-wrenching phenomenon taking the CNMI and the world by the unstoppable, invincible and an army of one force, the coronavirus.

CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all “nonessential businesses” in the state to close in response to Covid-19. The order closes all businesses except for those deemed to be part of America’s critical infrastructure. While it’s not possible to determine exactly which businesses will have to close — the order’s implementation is still being worked out — it is clear that immigrants are disproportionately likely to still be on the job this week, putting their health at risk to keep the state afloat.

LIKE many people around the world, Angelo Factor, a former Mount Carmel School basketball player and NMI Rollers Basketball Association member, is coping with the Covid-19 situation.


(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, his Covid-19 Task Force, and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. on Thursday announced the confirmation of two new Covid-19 cases in the CNMI.
These two new cases of Covid-19 include a 55-year-old male and a 31-year-old male. These two individuals have no recent travel history. Both are in stable condition and remain in isolation.
Both individuals are being closely monitored by CHCC medical teams. CHCC has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts (close family members, friends, and associates) of all confirmed cases. CHCC continues to work with the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force to expand designated isolation areas to closely monitor the well-being of individuals with symptoms.
As of April 2, 2020, the CNMI has submitted 33 specimens for Covid-19 testing to the Guam Public Health Laboratory. Of these 33 specimens, 23 have been processed, resulting in eight positive specimens and 15 negative specimens. CHCC awaits the results of nine specimens.
Community transmission
Some of these cases have come in contact with those who have a travel history from a location with confirmed Covid-19 cases. Other cases have had no recent travel history or no evident indication of coming in contact with someone who is positive for Covid-19.
This new finding of cases occurring among those without close contact is suggestive that Covid-19 community transmission is occurring on Saipan. Community transmission means people have been infected within our community and not just imported from another Covid-19 outbreak jurisdiction.
Teleconsultation
Consistent with its message urging residents to practice social distancing, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation is enabling people to connect with doctors virtually, while staying at home.
Medical teleconsultation is a pivotal tool for helping to reduce the spread of Covid-19, while still connecting patients with advice they need from medical professionals.
Members of the community who are concerned about Covid-19-like symptoms they are experiencing can call CHCC’s Covid-19 Infoline to describe their symptoms, and determine if they should speak with a medical professional. Callers can choose to talk to medical staff via a video chat or the telephone about the symptoms they’re having.
“We’re excited to make this an option for those who don’t want to come to a clinic or our screening tent to inquire about their symptoms. It’s important that we protect both our patients and our staff by reducing the need for face to face interaction as much as possible,” says CHCC CEO Esther Muna.
“The software we’re using to conduct the web-based video teleconsultations does not require the patient to download anything. Patients just click the link they receive on their smart phone, tablet, or computer, and they’re in a virtual waiting room,” explained Muna.
CHCC is urging community members with mild illnesses to treat their symptoms at home and to practice self-quarantine while sick. This means not leaving the house except to get medical care, remaining separate from others in the home, and not sharing dishes, food, or bedding with others in the household. A complete guide to self-quarantine can be found on the CHCC’s Covid-19 webpage.
Text Illness Monitoring
To assist health officials to track symptoms of our community members, the CHCC has implemented the use of Text Illness Monitoring, or TIM. TIM is a mobile texting tool developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow individuals to easily communicate their symptoms to CNMI health officials. CHCC staff have begun enrolling individuals into the TIM system at the airport and at the CHCC health tent located at the Navy Hill campus.
Individuals enrolled in TIM receive one to two messages each day for up to 14 days asking about any symptoms that are consistent with Covid-19. CHCC staff will immediately be alerted when an enrollee responds that they are experiencing symptoms and when an enrollee fails to respond to two messages in a row. Based on responses, CHCC staff may choose to follow up with an enrollee for further information. At the end of the 14-day monitoring period, individuals will receive a final message informing them that they have completed monitoring and will be unenrolled from T.I.M. If you would like to enroll in TIM, call the Covid-19 Info Line.
Stay at home, stop the spread
The governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and CHCC remind the public that the best way to protect yourself and others from Covid-19 and other illnesses is to continue to practice social distancing, which means avoiding close contact with people in order to avoid catching the virus yourself and to avoid passing it on.
• Please stay home as much as possible. Avoid unnecessary travel or exposure in public places.
• Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10.
• Avoid eating out at restaurants. Use drive-thru, take-out, or delivery options.
• Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. People at high risk should stay at home as much as possible.
• Create a household plan of action
o https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/checklist-household-ready.html
• Ensure a 30-day supply of all medicines.
Continue good hand hygiene:
• Wash your hands for at least 20 second with soap and water, avoid touching your face, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve.
• Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.
Know the signs and symptoms of Covid-19 and what to do if you become symptomatic:
• Stay home when you are sick and if you recently traveled to a place with Covid-19. Self-quarantine looks like:
o Choose a room in your house that can be used to separate sick household members from others.
o Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
o Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
o Limit visitors
To obtain information about Covid-19, please reach out to the CHCC Covid-19 Infoline at the following numbers: 285-1542/1672/1352/1854. These numbers are available 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Friday.
For mental health assistance and health tips during a crisis please reach out to the Mental Health Support Line at the following numbers: 285-1856/1857. These numbers are available 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

(Office of the Governor) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Thursday informed Gov. Ralph DLG Torres that additional federal emergency aid has been made available for the CNMI to supplement the Commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic beginning on Jan. 20, 2020, and continuing.
Federal funding is available to the territorial and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures (Category B), including direct federal assistance under Public Assistance, for all areas affected by Covid-19 at a federal cost share of 75 percent.
Governor Torres' additional requests for access to the Individual Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grant programs are still undergoing review by FEMA and the White House.
FEMA Region IX Administrator Robert J. Fenton has been named as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further assessments.
"Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and I are sincerely grateful for the continued support and assistance from the White House and FEMA," said Governor Torres. "We've been working closely with President Trump and FEMA Region IX Administrator Bob Fenton and the White House as they reviewed my request for a major disaster declaration for the CNMI."
With additional access and support through the president's major disaster declaration, the CNMI will now have additional resources to further increase its coordinated response efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — In early March, as Covid-19 had just begun affecting Guam, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero stated that the financial impact the global pandemic would have on government revenues was projected at about $31 million by the end of the fiscal year, in October. Now, with businesses shuttered and the government partially shut down, there is no word yet from the governor’s office on whether those projections have changed.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Adm. John Aquilino, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, confirmed the Navy is looking at putting sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt in hotels outside the Navy base on Guam to stem the spread of Covid-19 among the aircraft carrier’s nearly 5,000 crew. The admiral spoke with international media during a conference call on Wednesday morning.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — Veterans in a vocational rehabilitation and education program would be protected, if their school is unable to transition to online learning during the coronavirus, under terms of legislation introduced by U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday. Kilili’s bill was added to the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, a bill with multiple provisions to help veterans keep their benefits intact if the coronavirus pandemic disrupts their education.

HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center) — On Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 11:58 a.m., Guam’s third Covid-19-related death occurred at the Guam Memorial Hospital.

IMPERIAL Pacific International will terminate the existing lease of its central offices as part of cost-cutting measures, attorney Kelley Butcher said in a declaration filed in federal court on Tuesday.

“WORRYING,” wrote Lewis Thomas, “is the most natural and spontaneous of all human functions.” Thomas — physician, philosopher, essayist, administrator (dean of the Yale and New York University medical schools, head of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) — thought we worry too much about our health, as though a human being is “a teetering, fallible contraption, always needing watching and patching, always on the verge of flapping to pieces.”

SOME people thought the disease was a bioweapon. Others were sure the whole thing was a hoax — a story spread, one writer said, so the public would accept “restrictive curbs upon their freedoms.” Another tale, fanned at times by the Chinese Communist Party, claimed that the outbreak had actually originated not in China but in the United States. In the U.S. itself, one Asian restaurant after another had to fend off whispers that a staffer had contracted the illness.

BECAUSE of Covid-19 concerns, Cuki Alvarez has temporarily closed his Trench Tech Gym where he conducts Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ classes. But through the use of the Zoom video-conference app, he remains in “touch” with Trench Tech members.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres on Wednesday amended Directive 14 of his Second Amended Executive Order 2020-04, also known as the CNMI Public Health Emergency Executive Order, effectively closing down all businesses engaged in gaming, including the casino, video poker establishments, and e-gaming facilities, as well as recreational or amusement facilities such as roller-rinks, child play facilities, and arcades in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the CNMI.

HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center) — On Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 11:58 a.m., Guam’s third Covid-19-related death occurred at the Guam Memorial Hospital. The patient was 81 years old with underlying health issues which were compounded by Covid-19. The patient had no recent travel history but initial investigations indicate the patient may have contracted Covid-19 from community contact.
The Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 28 individuals for Covid-19 on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 with conclusive results. Nine tested positive and 19 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. The DPHSS overall count also includes four positive cases that were tested by the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego. Additional results will be provided on Wednesday evening once the test results are finalized.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, his Covid-19 Task Force, and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. announced Wednesday the confirmation of four new Covid-19 cases in the CNMI.
As of April 1, 2020, the CNMI has submitted 31 specimens for Covid-19 testing to the Guam Public Health Laboratory. Of these 31 specimens, 19 have been processed, resulting in six positive cases and 13 negative cases. CHCC awaits the results of 12 specimens.
The four new cases include the 70-year-old male who passed away on March 30, 2020, as well as three females, ages 14, 60, and 77 years old.
Some of these cases have come in contact with those who have a travel history from a location with confirmed Covid-19 cases. Other cases have had no travel history or no evident indication of coming in contact with someone who is positive for Covid-19.
This new finding of cases occurring among those without close contact is suggestive that Covid-19 community transmission is occurring on Saipan. Community transmission means people may have been infected within our community and not just imported from another Covid-19 outbreak jurisdiction.
CHCC has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts (close family members, friends, and associates) of these four confirmed cases. CHCC continues to work with the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force to expand designated isolation areas to closely monitor the well-being of individuals with symptoms.
For more information, call the CHCC Covid-19 Infoline at the following numbers: 285-1542/1672/1352/1854 or follow the CNMI Office of the Governor on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @GovernorCNMI

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