CNMI sheds masks, lifts testing requirement for incoming travelers
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Saipan-- CNMI residents may now shed their masks, Gov. Ralph Torres announced today as the commonwealth's Covid-19 risk level transitions from high to medium.
"It is no longer recommended for all people to wear a mask indoors in public," the governor's office said. "In community level medium, people who are considered immunocompromised or at high risk for severe illness should talk to their health care provider about whether they need to wear a mask and take other precautions."
However, officials recommended that people who live with or have social contact with immunocompromised individuals wear masks when indoors with them. The mask-wearing requirements will also remain for visitors and patients at the Commonwealth Health Center.
The CNMI government has also eased entry requirements for incoming passengers.
"Effective March 26 all travelers entering the CNMI by air or sea will no longer be tested on arrival or on their fifth day after arrival," the CNMI government said.
However, officials said all travelers are still required to complete a mandatory health declaration form. Travelers are encouraged to fill out their health declaration form prior to arrival at www.staysafecnmi.com.
The Covid-19 community level is determined by the higher of the new admissions and inpatient beds metrics, based on the current level of new cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days.
Although coronavirus infections are continuously detected at test sites and through home testing, the CNMI cases continue their downward trend.
As of March 24, a total of 11,022 cases have been reported in the CNMI since March 2020.
"Due to the high vaccination rate against Covid-19 in the CNMI and availability of treatments such as monoclonal antibodies, rates of severe Covid-19 have been low," the CNMI government said. "A total of 223 people have been hospitalized for Covid-19 (2.1 percent of cases) and 33 people have died due to Covid-19 for an overall case fatality rate of 0.3 percent, lower than almost every other U.S. jurisdiction and most countries."