- By Pacific Island Times News Staf
Adelup temporarily shuts down; Guam has 41 new Covid cases
The Governor's Complex in Adelup temporarily shut down beginning today until further notice, while Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio are in isolation after testing positive for Covid 19.
Guam has 41 new Covid-19 positive cases from Aug. 12 tests, according to Dr. Vince Akimoto, family doctor at the American Medical Center, one of the test sites on Guam.
This is the biggest wave since the first three cases on Guam were detected on March 14.
"(This) might mean that there are 400 new Covid-infected people in the villages of Guam. We need contact tracing," Akimoto said.
In Adelup, the governor's chief of staff Jon Junior Calvo wrote in a memo today, stating, "In continued response to the recent known positive Covid-19 cases at the Governor’s Complex and out of an abundance of caution, I am directing the closure of all offices, divisions, and departments at Adelup until further notice. In the following days, the complex will be cleaned and sanitized,"
"All Adelup employees are instructed to telework unless explicitly authorized by my office to enter the complex for essential work functions," Calvo said.
Press Secretary Krystal Paco said 26 new Covid-19 positive cases were detected last night. These results were only from the Department of Public Health and Social Services. She said complete results will be released as soon as tst from other labs became available.
Tenorio announced the result of his test last night.
"After receiving the negative test result and following the Department of Public Health and Social Services protocol, I continued to monitor myself for symptoms, wore a face mask, and practiced social distancing," he said in a statement.
However, he said he later began to exhibit mild symptoms, including a slight fever, chills, and a cough, prompting him to get tested again.
"Tonight, I received a positive result. Despite exhibiting moderate symptoms of the virus, I remain in good health. I will continue my isolation pending clearance from my health care provider," he said Wednesday night.
"Once we were informed of Governor Leon Guerrero’s status, all in person meetings were canceled immediately, and most operations were shifted online. "These operations will continue uninterrupted. Contact tracing is ongoing, and testing is underway for staff identified as close contacts.To the people of Guam, we stay the course. We maintain our COVID-19 response—steadfast as ever."
In consultation with the Governor of Guam, Lieutenant Governor, and Public Health director , Superintendent Jon Fernandez has directed that the Guam Department of Education will delay the start of traditional face-to-face classes for all GDOE schools for two weeks.
The decision comes in response to the most recent COVID-19 health information provided by DPHSS, showing a sharp increase in daily positive cases over the last seven days. While traditional face-to-face classes will be delayed, GDOE will continue moving forward, as planned, with its two distance learning options, beginning Aug. 17.
“The safety of our students and employees has always been at the forefront of our planning and decision-making regng school openings this year,” GDOE Superintendent Fernandez said. “I have remained in close communication with the Governor’s Office, Public Health, and the Physicians Advisory Group regarding the ongoing health situation in Guam, and based on their guidance, a two-week delay for traditional face-to-face instruction is the right decision.”
Classes were expected to begin on Monday, Aug. 17, for all GDOE students, to include those enrolled in the distance learning and traditional face-to-face instructional models.
Approximately 62 percent of students are registered for the distance learning options, which include Home Learning Online Instruction and Home Learning Hard Copy Curriculum; the remaining 38 percent of students were registered for face-to-face instruction, which requires physical attendance at school on an alternating schedule. GDOE estimates that only 16 percent of total school enrollment is expected on campus on a daily basis, and class sizes are expected to average around eight students per classroom.
Earlier this week, the Guam Education Board met and discussed the option of a one-week delay to the start of classes to provide additional time for teachers to prepare for the school year. However, the proposal did not have the necessary support to move forward. The Superintendent clarified that his decision to delay the start of traditional face-to-face classes was based on safety concerns and on the most recent information from public health experts.
“The Board has always entrusted me with the authority to determine the closure of any school facility due to health or safety issues,” Fernandez said. “I have assured them that this authority will always be exercised with great care and concern for our students and employees. While I know that our department has worked hard over the summer and is prepared to carry out our mission as planned, I have based my decision to delay face-to-face instruction on the advice of our health care experts and on the data that we have been monitoring daily.”