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 CORONA VIRUS 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 April 3, 2022, more than 490 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported world-wide resulting in more than 6.15 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 quarantine, isolation and containment are still important in the fight against COVID-19. Rapid 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 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 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 (“CHCC”), the CNMI Homeland Security & Emergency Management Office (HSEMO) and all other necessary Commonwealth agencies to undertake containment measures as necessary to meet the threat of COVID-19.
WHEREAS, due to a recent opinion by the Attorney General, it is necessary to clarify the powers conferred on the HSEMO and CHCC regarding Directive 1 and make clear that the regular procurement process is suspended in regards to prevention, containment, mitigation and remediation efforts of the Commonwealth.
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, subject to the following amendment:
“DIRECTIVE 1: Pursuant to 1 CMC § 20144 and 2 CMC § 2186, the HSEMO and CHCC are hereby granted temporary exemption from NMIAC §§ 70-30.3-001-760 (“Procurement Regulations”) because the continued imposition of such regulations will tend to prevent, hinder, or delay actions necessary to assist and support the Commonwealth’s effort to respond to the public health emergency and the state of significant emergency. Exemptions from the procurement regulations are granted only with regards to the procurement of items and services necessary to the prevention, containment, mitigation and remediation of the COVID-19 pandemic threat to the Commonwealth. Other items must still be obtained through the standard procurement process.
It is further directed that, when procuring items and services necessary for the prevention, containment, mitigation and remediation of the COVID-19 pandemic threat to the Commonwealth, HSEMO may utilize the streamlined procurement procedures adopted by the HSEMO. For purposes of this exemption, the approved streamlined procurement procedures are attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference. The CHCC may adopt any streamlined procurement procedures that it sees fit to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic threat to the Commonwealth”
(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.
(BL 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 8th day of April, 2022
RALPH DLG. TORRES