Northern Marianas governor closes schools for ten days after three COVID-19 cases detected

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Friday, October 29, 2021

Kagman High School, a Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands public school, in 2011.
Image: Abasaa.

Governor of the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Ralph Torres today ordered all schools and colleges on the islands to close for the next ten days, aiming to "mitigate against community spread" after three cases of COVID-19 were recorded yesterday; at least two were linked to middle schools in the capital Saipan.

In a statement, Torres promised that "We have the tools in place to contain this", adding, "I want to personally assure the educational community, staff, parents, families, and students that we will do everything as a government to protect the Commonwealth [of the Northern Mariana Islands] as we have successfully done throughout the course of the pandemic".

The Public School System of the Northern Mariana Islands has stated the two cases have been linked with the Chacha Oceanview and Francisco M. Sablan middle schools on Saipan. No information has yet been released on the third case's origin.

The Northern Mariana Islands have previously been free of community transmission of COVID-19 for over 200 days. Including the three new cases, a total of 294 COVID-19 infections have been recorded in the Northern Marianas since March 2020.