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 April 13, 2020, over 1.91 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories, with major outbreaks in mainland China, Europe, Iran, South Korea, and the United States among others. More than 118,000 people have died from the disease.
WHEREAS, COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease that can lead to serious illness and death, especially for the elderly and people who have severe underlying medical conditions. There is no confirmed treatment for COVID-19 other than quarantine, isolation and containment. The potential pandemic impact of COVID-19 cannot be understated. Action is necessary to protect the health and safety of our children, our senior citizens, businesses, and all other CNMI residents and visitors.
WHEREAS, on January 29, 2020, Executive Order 2020-01 was issued declaring a state of significant emergency regarding the COVID-19 outbreak that ordered the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation to implement quarantine and preventive containment measures and directed the Secretary of Finance and Special Assistant for Management and Budget to assess the fiscal impact of the outbreak on the government’s budget.
WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, the Secretary of Health & Human Services, Alex M. Azar II, declared a public health emergency for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.
WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, issued a proclamation suspending entry into the Unites States, including the CNMI, of all aliens, immigrants or nonimmigrants, who were physically present within the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States, subject to certain exceptions.
WHEREAS, on February 28, 2020, Executive Order 2020-02 was issued continuing the declaration of a state of significant emergency regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
WHEREAS, on March 13, President Donald J. Trump declared a national emergency over the COVID-19 outbreak in the continental United States.
WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, Executive Order 2020-04 was issued declaring a State of Public Health Emergency and a continued Declaration of a State of Significant Emergency establishing response, quarantine, and preventive containment measures concerning COVID-19. Executive Order 2020-04 was further amended on March 17, 2020 and March 19, 2020, and by means of Directive 2020-005 and Memoranda GOV20-110, GOV20-120, GOV20-130, GOV20-133, GOV20-140, GOV20-144 and GOV20-145 to implement necessary adjustments in the CNMI’s response, quarantine, and preventive containment measures due to the escalation in the severity of the ongoing COVID-19 threat to the CNMI.
WHEREAS, on March 28, 2020, the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) announced that two individuals on Saipan were confirmed positive for COVID-19 infection. Since that date, a total of 13 individuals have been confirmed positive with COVID-19. Of those individuals, two have died.
WHEREAS, COVID-19 continues to pose a significant and imminent threat of harm to the community, environment and people of the CNMI and thus emergency declarations are necessary to respond, quarantine and ensure the prevention of or containment of COVID-19 in the CNMI.
WHEREAS, by this Renewal of the Declaration of State of Public Health Emergency and Continued Declaration of a State of Significant Emergency, I intend to direct and instruct the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (“CHCC”), Commonwealth Homeland Security & Emergency Management Office (“HSEM”) and all other necessary Commonwealth agencies to undertake immediate emergency COVID-19 containment measures.
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:
1. Renewal of the Declaration of State of Public Health Emergency and continued Declaration of a State of Significant Emergency. 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, is hereby renewed and shall thus continue for an additional thirty (30) days from the effective date.
2. Effective Date. This renewal of the Declaration of State of Public Health Emergency and continued Declaration of a State of Significant Emergency set forth in 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) 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 15th day of April, 2020
RALPH DLG. TORRES