Torres mandates Covid-19 vaccine for CNMI's executive branch employees


CNMI Gov. Ralph Torres

CNMI Gov. Ralph Torres today issued a directive mandating all employees of the executive branch to take Covid-19 vaccine.


"Consistent with the duty to provide and maintain a workplace free of recognized hazards, this policy is adopted to safeguard the health and well-being of employees and their families, patrons, clients, visitors, others who spend time in our facilities, and the community, from the risks associated with Covid-19," Torres stated in an executive order.


"This policy is intended to comply with applicable federal and commonwealth guidance and authority, including guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration and Commonwealth public health authorities."


Employees who opt to skip the vaccine may obtain an approved exemption from the vaccination as an accommodation. "Employees may request for a medical exception accommodation or a religious exemption accommodation," the directive states.


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The mandatory vaccine policy applies only to employees of executive departments, including semi-autonomous agencies and entities and excludes other branches of government and autonomous agencies and entities.


However, the governor encourages other branches of government and autonomous agencies and entities, including the Commonwealth Ports Authority and the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation, to follow suit.


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