THE Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force on Tuesday released new quarantine guidelines for vaccinated/non-vaccinated travelers to and from the CNMI.
The guidelines will take effect on April 29, 2021.
The new guidelines divide travelers into these six groups:
• Group A are travelers fully vaccinated in the CNMI.
• Group B-1 are critical and essential workers whose travel was approved by CNMI health officials.
• Group B-2 are essential workers whose travel was approved by CNMI health officials, and have proof of vaccination.
• Group B-3 are the essential workers that are approved by the CNMI health officials, who are not vaccinated or do not have proof of vaccination.
• Group C are travelers from a Level 1 jurisdiction according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Covid-19 travel recommendations, who did not lay over in a Level 2 or higher jurisdiction. and who have proof of their official vaccination record.
• Group D are travelers who do not qualify for Groups A, B-1, B-2, B-3, or C.
The travelers in Groups A to B-3 will be transported to the quarantine facility and tested on arrival. Travelers in Group C and D will also be transported to the quarantine facility and tested on arrival.
For the travelers in Group B-1 and B-2, their homes and lodgings will be inspected by Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. staff and must pass for approval, and all eligible household/lodging members must also be fully vaccinated.
For travelers in Group C, their homes or lodgings will also be inspected by CHCC staff and must pass for approval, and all their eligible household/lodging members must be fully vaccinated.
During quarantine, travelers in all groups will be tested on the fifth day.
For travelers in Group A, monitoring and quarantine are not required, and they are allowed to move freely in the CNMI.
For those in Groups B-1 and B-2, a fifth-day monitoring is required for home/lodging self-quarantine with limited movement.
Those in Group B-3, will be required to undergo fifth-day mandatory quarantine at a designated government quarantine facility with modified transportation to and from place of work.
For those in Group C, a fifth-day monitoring is required for home/lodging self-quarantine while for those in Group D, a standard quarantine at a government facility will be required.
Effective April 29, 2021, if arrival or fifth day Covid-19 testing returns positive, standard quarantine at the government facility will apply.
Keeping the island safe
In a statement, CHCC said the new protocols take into consideration the originating location of incoming travelers (returning residents and visitors) and vaccination status.
“CHCC and the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force are starting to shift toward re-energizing the CNMI while keeping the islands safe. It is important that all who qualify for vaccination to do so to protect those who do not (including children). CHCC thanks all who have submitted to vaccination for their contribution to the health of the CNMI.”
CHCC said all newly arrived travelers “will be tested on arrival and on the fifth day after arrival regardless of status application. Depending on which status an individual applies for, a home inspection or interview will take place before being approved for a modified quarantine,” CHCC added.
CHCC likewise announced that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now includes the CNMI in the Level 1 category of its travel health notice list for low risk of Covid-19.
To be considered Level 1, destinations must have less than 10 cases over the past 28 days.
CHCC attributes the upgrade in category to the efforts of the residents of the CNMI.
As of April 26, 2021, CHCC said the CNMI had fully vaccinated 17,652 persons, representing 46.3% of the eligible population.
Recently, CHCC and the Governor's Covid-19 Task Force hosted their second village outreach vaccination event on Saturday, April 24, 2021, at the Kagman Community Center, administering 47 Moderna vaccines to first-dose recipients who registered on site, as well as through the CHCC call center at 682-SHOT.
CHCC and the task force will host the next outreach events on Wednesday, April 28, at the multi-purpose center, from 8 a.m. to noon; and on Saturday, May 1, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, at Northern Marianas College. Walk-ins for first dose Covid-19 vaccination will be accepted at these locations.
CHCC said CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have lifted the pause on the use of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) Covid-19 vaccine. However, CHCC is awaiting further guidance from CDC before resuming the use of the vaccine.