Northern Mariana Islands – Coronavirus Territory Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions through 31 July 2020. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


  • CHCC coronavirus resource page.
  • January 29, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order suspending travelers from mainland China.
  • March 11, 2020—Governor Torres created a COVID-19 Task Force, bringing together key departments, agencies, and stakeholders, to focus on three major concerns: tourism, residents, and schools. 
  • March 16, 2020 – The Governor announced that schools and government offices will be closed until further notice due to the threat of the coronavirus. The public school system announced it would suspend classes for three days to allow the board of education time to decide its next steps.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Commissioner of Education announced the suspending of classes for the remainder of the school year and instructional services will be performed online.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor announced the Nutrition Assistance Program will be distributing April 2020 benefits through a drive-thru service.
  • March 24, 2020 – The Governor announced the Office of the Interior has awarded the territory a total of $366,900.00 for personal protective equipment and hygienic supplies for first responders.
  • March 24, 2020 – The Governor added Directive 14 to his second amended executive order 2020-04 to limit public gatherings of people to prevent of people.
  • March 24, 2020 – The Governor implemented a continued state of emergency and public health emergency, following by an Enhanced Social Distancing Directive limiting businesses’ operating hours, prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people and closes all parks in the territory. The commonwealth also has a price freeze in effect to protect consumers.
  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor announced the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation (CUC) will be offering a payment deferment or due date extension for residential customers.
  • March 25, 2020 – The State Medicaid Agency announced all Medicaid beneficiaries will received an automatic renewal extension for one month after expiration coverage to avoid any disruption in medical care.
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor issued amendments to the Second Amended Executive Order 2020-04 including an amendment to Directive 7, which continues the shutdown of all government offices and non-essential government functions.
    • The amendment also includes Directive 15, formally closing all private schools in the Commonwealth.
  • March 28, 2020 – The Governor announced that effective Sunday, March 29, 2020, all grocery stores will be open from 6:00 am to 6:00 PM under the conditions that social distancing be strictly implemented.
  • March 28, 2020 – The Governor announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) has approved the CNMI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs – Nutrition Assistance Program’s (DCCA-NAP) requests for waivers to temporarily modify certain NAP procedures and services.
  • March 29, 2020 – The Governor signed an agreement with the US Department of Labor to implement the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for CNMI workers.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor announced the CNMI Department of Public Safety (DPS) will be strictly enforcing social gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor issued an amendment to Directive 14 of the Second Amended Executive Order 2020-04 including instituting curfew hours from 7:00 PM to 6:00 AM for all CNMI residents and closing all boats ramps on Saipan.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced it will be strictly enforcing social gatherings of more than 10 people and enhanced curfew hours for all CNMI residents, including adults.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor announced that all business that have facilities open to the general public shall open from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor amended Directive 14 of his Second Amended Executive Order 2020-04, closing down all businesses engaged in gaming, including casino, video poker establishments, and e-gaming facilities, as well as recreational or amusement facilities such as roller-rinks, child play facilities, and arcades.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor announced President Donald Trump has approved a Major Disaster Declaration for CNMI.
  • April 2, 2020 – The Governor announced the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) is enabling people to use teleconsultation services. The territory implemented Text Illness Monitoring (TIM) to easily communicate their symptoms to CNMI health officials.
  • April 2, 2020 – The Governor amended Directive 14, or the Enhanced Social Distancing Directive, of the Second Amended Executive Order 2020-04 closing all public beaches and pathways to all activities except for individual use for purposes of exercise and wellness.
  • April 4, 2020 – The Governor, the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) released guidance for the public on “Do It Yourself” (DIY) face coverings.
  • April 5, 2020 – The Governor announced FEMA, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the US Department of Defense (DoD) shipped over critical medical supplies and equipment, as well as a 50-bed Federal Medical Station from the Strategic National Stockpile to Saipan on Saturday.
  • April 7, 2020 – The State Medicaid Agency announced they have installed a new drop-box as a way for applicants to submit their applications and supporting documents.
  • April 9, 2020 – The Governor announced the Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority (COTA) is set to receive over $1 million in Federal Transit Administration grants to assist with response efforts.
  • April 11, 2020 – The Governor reiterated his request on April 8, 2020 to the National Guard Bureau and requested the establishment of the National Guard unit in the CNMI to support response efforts.
  • April 11, 2020 – The Governor announced the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has confirmed that the CNMI is eligible for the Federal Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, in addition to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order announcing the renewal of the Declaration of State of Public Health Emergency and continued the Declaration of a State of Significant Emergency.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor announced that government employees are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Compensation and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor proposed legislation suspending evictions and foreclosures in CNMI during Declaration of State of Public Health Emergency and continued Declaration of a State of Significant Emergency.
  • April 16, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order directing the Commonwealth Homeland Security & Emergency Management Office and Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation to undertake necessary COVID-19 containment measures by means of the development of emergency directives.
  • April 16, 2020 – The Governor April 15, 2020- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island’s request for a Section 1135 Medicaid waiver. The approved waiver enables CNMI to provide flexibilities in Medicaid provider screening and enrollment, lift prior authorization requirements, allow for reimbursement facility services in alternative settings, and extend fair hearing timelines
  • The Governor issued emergency directives taking the following actions:
    • Requiring residents to maintain a distance of a least six feet apart in all public spaces and limiting gatherings of more than 10 people in a single room or space;
    • Limiting the hours of operations for businesses from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM and requiring visible customer line-up markers that are six feet apart;
    • Limiting the occupancy of businesses to 50% of their permitted occupancy and requiring the posting of “one-way” flow signs for entry and exit points; and
    • Imposing a curfew of on all public streets, parks, public buildings, places of amusement, and other areas between the hours of 7:00 PM and 6:00 AM.
  • April 21, 2020 – The Governor announced a partnership with Graduate School USA to host a Fiscal Response Summit with legislature, business leads, and members of the public to discuss fiscal challenges.
  • April 27, 2020 – The Governor announced they will begin community-based testing for COVID-19 at the Saipan International Airport on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
  • April 27, 2020 – The Governor issued an directive for the Department of Finance and all government agencies involved must resolve existing Fixed Asset Inventory Findings and collaborate with the Division of Procurement and Supply to continue to receive federal resources.
  • April 30, 2020 – The Northern Marianas Housing Corporation (NMHC) announced plans to amend the Citizen Participation Plan to reflect actions needed to expedite its response and to allocate funds to activities which will serve the low-moderate income population and meet U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) National Objectives. 
  • April 30, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order relative to the extension of the public health emergency; the public health emergency has been extended until May 30, 2020. The executive order also established the Pandemic Conditions of Readiness (PCOR) System as part of the Governor’s Chålan Para Hinemlo’ recovery plan. This plan creates a system of readiness which sets the conditions for the gradual lifting of mandates and restrictions.
  • April 30, 2020 – The Department of Commerce announced it will continue to provide services to the CNMI Business Community via means of teleworking.
  • May 2, 2020 – The Governor issued an amendment to Directive 16 of the CNMI COVID-19 Emergency Directives of 2020 to reduce curfew hours from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM effective May 1, 2020.
  • May 3, 2020 – The CNMI Department of Finance announced its plan for the use of $36 million transferred to the CNMI Government provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
  • May 13, 2020 – The Governor announced the Community-Focused Economic Recovery Plan outlining a phased approach to reopening economic activities, developing guidance to protect businesses and customers, and ensuring compliance with public health directives intended to safeguard all residents in the Marianas.
  • May 14, 2020 – The Governor announced the extension of the state of public health emergency.
  • May 14, 2020 – The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published interim final rule (IFR) implementing the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018. The purpose of these rules is to protect U.S. Workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Islands and ensure that U.S. workers will not be displaced or be at a competitive disadvantage for employment.
  • May 14, 2020 – The Governor issued an amendment to Directive 7 of the COVID-19 Emergency Directives of 2020 to initiate the reopening of government.
  • May 15, 2020 – The Governor announced the renewal of executive order 2020-04 and 2020-07 for the Declaration of State of Public Health Emergency and Continued Declaration of a State of Significant Emergency for an additional thirty (30) days from the effective date.
  • May 20, 2020 – The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) announced guidance regarding inter-island travel and outgoing travel from the territory.
  • May 21, 2020 – The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs (DCCA) Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Program announced the spending plan for the use of $3.25 million under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
  • May 24, 2020 – The Governor announced the US Department of Labor (USDOL) Employment and Training Administration has approved the CNMI’s implementation plan for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) programs allowing for the disbursement of $70.5 million.
  • May 25, 2020 – The Governor issued amendments to the CNMI COVID-19 Emergency Directives of 2020, establishing the CNMI COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Rating System and moving CNMI to community vulnerability level yellow.
  • May 28, 2020 – The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) issued guidance for restaurants who are re-opening for dine-in services and have begun conducting inspections for certification of compliance.
  • May 29, 2020 – The Bureau of Environmental Health (BEH) at the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) issued guidance for restaurants who are re-opening for dine-in services, and have begun conducting inspections for certification of compliance.
  • June 11, 2020 – The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force announced that the CNMI Community-Based Testing Initiative at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport, Benjamin T. Mangloña/Rota International Airport, Rota Health Center, and Tinian Health Center will be temporarily suspended starting Saturday, June 13, 2020 until further notice.
  • June 16, 2020 – The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) announced the transition from operating under Community Vulnerability Level YELLOW to Community Vulnerability Level BLUE, which allows restaurants and bars to serve dine-in customers at 50% of originally permitted occupancy limit in accordance with supplemental regulatory guidance.
  • June 18, 2020 – The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) announced a new quarantine procedure for all individuals entering the territory.
  • June 18, 2020 – The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) announced a new quarantine procedure for all individuals entering the CNMI, effective Saturday, June 20, 2020
  • June 30, 2020 – The territory announced a new quarantine procedure for all individuals entering the territory.
  • July 7, 2020 – The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) announced a new arrival procedure for all individuals entering the CNMI.
  • July 14, 2020 – The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) announced the reopening of the CNMI Community-Based Testing Initiative.
  • July 15, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order renewing the Declaration of State of Public Health Emergency and Continued Declaration of a State of Significant Emergency.
  • July 21, 2020 – The Governor announced that the US Department of Interior (DOI) Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) has approved the drawdown of $2,518,897 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to expand and strengthen medical capacity at Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) and quarantine sites.