SUBJECT: RENEWAL OF 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); AND,
RENEWAL OF ORDER DIRECTING THE CNMI HOMELAND SECURITY & EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE, THROUGH THE CNMI COVID-19 TASK FORCE, AND IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE COMMONWEALTH HEALTHCARE CORPORATION, TO UNDERTAKE NECESSARY COVID-19 CONTAINMENT MEASURES BY MEANS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF EMERGENCY DIRECTIVES TO PROTECT THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF THE PUBLIC
WHEREAS, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel virus that is the cause of severe acute respiratory illness. It was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, People’s Republic of China in December of 2019. As of November 2, 2022, more than 631 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported world-wide resulting in more than 6.59 million deaths.
WHEREAS, COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease that can lead to serious illness and death, especially for the elderly and people who have underlying medical conditions. The potential pandemic impact of COVID-19 on the vulnerable population of the Commonwealth cannot be understated. Vaccines and treatments are available but measures such as isolation and containment are still important tools in the fight against COVID-19 and need to be available for use by health officials. Action is necessary to protect the health and safety of our senior citizens, medically vulnerable, and all other CNMI residents and visitors.
WHEREAS, COVID-19, through its variants, continues to pose a significant and imminent threat of harm to the community, environment and people of the CNMI. As recently as June-July of this year, a wave of COVID-19 infections spread through the community. An emergency declaration is still needed to ensure the containment of COVID-19 in the CNMI.
WHEREAS, as the CNMI continues to open up its economy to tourism from Asia markets, the chance of CVOID-19 once again spreading in the community is heightened.
WHEREAS, the United States Department of Health and Human Services renewed its COVID-19 public health emergency on October 13, 2022 for 90 days indicating that federal public health officials still see COVID-19 as a threat.
WHEREAS, the Office of the Governor has consulted with the CNMI Homeland Security & Emergency Management Office and other agencies and believes renewals of EO 2020-04, as amended, and EO 2020-07 are warranted.
WHEREAS, by renewing the Declaration of State of Public Health Emergency and Continued Declaration of a State of Significant Emergency embodied in Executive Order 2020-04, as amended, and by renewing Executive Order 2020-07, I intend to direct the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation, the CNMI Homeland Security & Emergency Management Office and all other necessary Commonwealth agencies to undertake containment measures as necessary to meet the threat of COVID-19.
NOW THEREFORE, I, RALPH DLG. TORRES, pursuant to the authority vested in me as Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands by Article III, § 10 of the Commonwealth Constitution, the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Act of 2013, 1 CMC § 20144, and the CNMI Emergency Health Powers Act of 2003, 3 CMC §§ 2181-2195, do hereby declare a State of Public Health Emergency and State of Significant Emergency for the entire Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands due to the imminent threat posed by COVID-19 and order the following:
(A) Renewal of Executive Order 2020-04:
(1) The Declaration of a State of Public Health Emergency and Continued Declaration of a State of Significant Emergency embodied in Executive Order 2020-04, as amended, is hereby renewed and shall thus continue for an additional thirty (30) days from the effective date.
(2) This renewal of Executive Order 2020-04, as amended, shall take effect immediately and remain in effect for thirty (30) days from the date of this Executive Order. All memoranda, directives, waivers of regulations, and other measures taken in accordance with Executive Order 2020-04, as amended, shall remain in effect for thirty (30) days from the date of this Executive Order.
(B) Renewal of Executive Order 2020-07:
(1) Executive Order 2020-07, which ordered the CNMI Homeland Security & Emergency Management Office, through the CNMI COVID-19 Task Force in partnership with the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation, to undertake necessary COVID-19 containment measures by means of the development of emergency directives to protect the health and safety of the public, is hereby renewed and shall continue for an additional thirty (30) days from the effective date.
(2) This renewal of Executive Order 2020-07 shall take effect immediately and remain in effect for thirty (30) days from the date of this Executive Order. All memoranda, directives, waivers of regulations, and other measures taken in accordance with Executive Order 2020-07 shall remain in effect for thirty (30) from the date of this Executive Order.
This Executive Order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the CNMI, its departments, agencies, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
SIGNED AND PROMULGATED ON THIS 7th day of December, 2022
RALPH DLG. TORRES