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Pacific Games bring 1,800 visitors to Saipan; officials renew Covid advisories

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Saipan-- The 2022 Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games, which bring more than 1,800 visitors from around the Pacific, will open tomorrow at the Oleai Sports Complex, the venue for several of the games.

The regional games will run through June 25.

Local health officials renewed the government's pandemic advisories, warning residents that while the CNMI's Covid-19 community level is low, the influx of visitors presents an opportunity for an increase in transmission.

“While we have a high vaccination rate here in the CNMI and a supply of Covid-19 therapeutics, we should act with precaution as we are seeing a slight increase in Covid-19 community cases,” said Esther L. Muña, CHCC chief executive officer. “Let’s enjoy the games as safely and responsibly as possible.”

Muna said efforts to mitigate Covid-19 transmission conducted before, during, and after the period of the Pacific Games include daily self-swab antigen Covid-19 testing by participants, establishing hand-washing stations at all venue areas, environmental health inspections and implementation of mitigation efforts for identified deficits, and promotion of good handwashing and other healthy behaviors.

Attending a gathering or event increases your chance of being in close contact with people outside your household and being exposed to Covid-19. Individuals who are considered immunocompromised or at high risk of severe illnesses should avoid crowded places where they cannot stay 6 feet away from others.

Consider using a self-test before joining gatherings with others who do not live in your household. If you come into close contact with someone with Covid-19:

  • Get tested five days after your last close contact

  • Monitor your symptoms

  • Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to Covid-19 so they can quarantine, get tested, and wear a well-fitting mask

  • Stay home and do not attend gatherings if you test positive, even if you do not have symptoms.

  • Stay home and do not attend gatherings if you are sick or experiencing symptoms of Covid-19.


“We anticipate that the Pacific Mini Games will be the largest sporting event in the Northern Marianas in 2022, and we are excited to give our Pacific-wide athletes the first glimpses of what they can expect when they come to compete,” Ben Babauta, PMG chief executive officer, said in a press release last month.

“The launch ceremony acknowledges the work already being undertaken by the committee, local federations, and contractors to ensure our facilities and all arrangements are ready, and it will be an opportunity to get the local community excited and involved in the games leading into 2022," he added.

The ceremony will include remarks by Gov. Ralph Torres and other dignitaries, an indigenous cultural presentation, and the official unveiling of the PMG logo.

The Northern Marianas has pledged $4 million to host the Mini Games, which will include athletics, badminton, baseball, golf, beach volleyball, tennis, triathlon, and va’a (outrigger canoe) at various venues around Saipan.

Covid-19 protocols will be followed at the launch ceremony.

Docomo Pacific has released a video tribute in celebration of the CNMI, this year's host.

Participating athletes will receive packages of communication kits from Docomo Pacific. The company's $60,000 worth of donations include

  • 1,800 P=pre-loaded SIM kits for participating athletes and their entourage.

  • $11,000 worth of commercial airtime for Pacific Games spots across multiple networks.

  • Sports kits for each participating athlete consists of a sports drawstring bag, water bottle, cooling towel, and earbuds.

  • Exclusive offers for NMPMG participants.

  • Prepaid phone card vending machines and device charging stations to keep participants and spectators connected.

“The NMPMG will bring athletes from 24 countries in Oceania to the CNMI. As the host country, we wanted to make sure that all participants could enjoy the best mobile connectivity experience during their visit. This way they can put all their focus on the games and exploring our beautiful islands and culture," said Pauline Johnson, general manager at Docomo.

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