COVID-19 Public Guidance: New Quarantine Procedure for All Individuals Entering the CNMI

The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) announce a new quarantine procedure for all individuals entering the CNMI, effective Saturday, June 20, 2020.

Any person entering the CNMI may be exempted from quarantine and be able to self-quarantine if they complete ALL of the following steps:

·      Fill out an online CNMI Mandatory Declaration Form at least three (3) days prior to their arrival on Saipan at www.governor.gov.mp/covid-19/travel

·      Register and respond daily to the Sara Alert Symptom Monitoring System* and exercise self-quarantine** for 14 consecutive days as prescribed by CHCC

·      Consent to specimen collection for COVID-19 testing five (5) days after arrival

o   Non-residents are further required to have proof of a valid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test from a specimen collected a minimum of three (3) days to a maximum of six (6) days prior to the individuals’s arrival on Saipan to be reviewed by a CNMI Health Representative.

§  A valid proof PCR test result is defined as a traveler’s specimen collected within 3-6 days prior to arrival. The test result must be in English and have:

·      The name of the traveler

·      Name of the processing laboratory

·      Specimen collection date

·      Indication that the PCR test was conducted

·      The test result itself

* The Sara Alert Symptom Monitoring System allows CNMI public health representatives to enroll and follow up with individuals at risk of developing a COVID-19 infection. Enrolled individuals can report daily on any symptoms they’re having to reduce transmission and exposure in our community. If you are non-responsive or report any symptoms, a CNMI Health Representative will contact you and provide further instruction.

** The Department of Public Safety (DPS) will conduct random quarantine compliance checks on all individuals registered in the Sara Alert Symptom Monitoring System and exercising self-quarantine. If the individual is found to be not in compliance with the CNMI entry requirements, then the individual will be quarantined for a 14 consecutive day period in a manner prescribed by CHCC at the CNMI COVID-19 Task Force’s designated isolation site at their own cost of $400 per night (including meals).

FOR RETURNING RESIDENTS

Returning residents for Saipan, Tinian, and Rota may be considered for exemption from quarantine and be able to self-quarantine if they complete the steps mentioned above.

Returning residents do not need to show proof of a valid PCR test. All residents will be scheduled for an appointment for specimen collection five (5) days after their arrival unless they are approved as an essential worker for same-day testing by the CNMI Territorial Health Official.

Residents who do not show up for their specimen collection appointment will be charged a $500 penalty and brought to the designated isolation site by CNMI DPS for specimen collection and isolation while waiting for their results.

Returning residents of Tinian and Rota will also be scheduled for specimen collection appointment on day five (5) of their arrival at their respective island unless they are approved for same-day testing by the CNMI Territorial Health Official.

Regardless of their specimen collection date, all returning residents must practice self-quarantine as prescribed by CHCC before their specimen collection date and while they wait for results.

If returning residents complete all the steps mentioned above and properly practice self-quarantine, they will not have to pay any fees and can remain at home with their families.

The purpose for this process is to allow returning residents to safely be at home with family while protecting the community from potential spread of COVID-19. 

FOR ESSENTIAL WORKERS

Essential workers entering the CNMI shall have the option for same-day specimen collection. In order to qualify for same-day processing, an essential worker must fill out the online CNMI Mandatory Declaration Form at least three (3) days prior to arrival to be reviewed by the CNMI Territorial Health Official. Failure to fill out the online CNMI Mandatory Declaration Form will cause delays in the release process for the non-compliant traveler.

As used in this section, an “essential worker” is one listed in the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Advisory List accessible from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity, and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors.

FOR NON-RESIDENT TRAVELERS

Non-residents with proof of a valid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test from a specimen collected at a minimum of three (3) days to a maximum of six (6) days prior to the individual’s arrival on Saipan that is reviewed by a CNMI Health Representative. A traveler may be considered for exemption from quarantine and/or testing on arrival if there is epidemiological indications to support the exemption. An epidemiological indication may be prescribed by CHCC if the country or state of origin has reported LIMITED community transmission in the last thirty (30) days.

Non-residents without proof of a valid PCR test will be subject to mandatory quarantine for a 5-day period in a manner prescribed by the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation at the CNMI COVID-19 Task Force’s designated isolation site at their own cost of $400 per night (including meals). On the 5th day, the individual will be required to process for a test and pay a fee up to $300 for laboratory testing.

A valid proof PCR test result is defined as a traveler’s specimen collected within 72 hours prior to arrival. The test result must have the name of the traveler, name of the processing laboratory, specimen collection date, the indication that a PCR test was conducted, the result, and all this information be in English.

This new quarantine procedure is designed to strike the right balance between reducing exposure of persons infected with COVID-19 in the CNMI with reopening the Commonwealth’s economy in accordance with the Community Vulnerability Level BLUE of the Phased Approach Plan.

The COVID-19 Task Force and CHCC remind the public and all individuals entering the CNMI that getting tested for COVID-19 does not improve response to the illness, nor does it reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting the disease. People who are tested and have a negative result are still vulnerable to the virus. The Task Force and CHCC encourage individuals entering the CNMI to wear a face covering, practice social distancing and good hygiene in order to avoid catching the virus yourself and to avoid passing it on to others.

CHCC and the COVID-19 Task Force will continue to frequently provide the island residents with health information and guidance to practice effective prevention measures to keep our community safe. In the meantime, the CHCC will continue to investigate all suspected cases and identify contact to ensure that transmissions of COVID-19 are contained.

For more information, please refer to the CNMI Economic Recovery Plan or the latest amendments to the CNMI COVID-19 Emergency Directives of 2020 at www.governor.gov.mp.

Please also visit https://www.chcc.gov.mp/coronavirusinformation.php for the latest information on COVID-19 in the CNMI.

# # #

First COVID-19 Diagnosis Identified for Tinian

The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) would like to inform the public that two (2) additional people have been recently confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, bringing CNMI’s current case count to 33* since March 28, 2020.

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