This includes filling out an online declaration form; registering and responding daily to the Sara Alert Symptom Monitoring System for 14 consecutive days; consenting to specimen collection for Covid-19 testing upon arrival at the airport or seaport and five days after arrival; and a $500 penalty for residents and nonresidents who did not show up for their specimen collection appointment.

CHCC Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said they have to take into consideration “the need to protect the people [from Covid-19] and  the economic needs that affect the people’s health as well.”

She said they will make “changes when necessary, especially when there’s an uptick in a particular area.”

The new protocol will also allow the CNMI to identify jurisdictions that are doing well in containing the virus — and those that aren’t, she added.

Muna said returning residents have the option to undergo a [polymerase chain reaction or] PCR test within 72 hours. “You have that choice but you have to follow the rules that will drive that choice,” she added.

If a returning resident cannot undergo a PCR test within 72 hours, CHCC and the task force will determine how the individual will be quarantined — either at his or her home or in isolation at the alternate care site, Kanoa Resort.

“The determination will be based on the jurisdiction where you are coming from, and whether you are a resident or nonresident,” Muna added. 

In other news, task force chairman Warren Villagomez said they were tracking down two residents who returned to the island on July 2 and were supposed to undergo a second Covid-19 test on Tuesday.

Specimen was collected from these individuals before they were allowed to go home for self-quarantine. They were supposed to show up at Kanoa Resort on the fifth day for their second specimen collection.

“They were a ‘no-show,’ ” Villagomez said. “We are  now working with the Department of Public Safety to track down these individuals.”

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