(Updated: Nov. 22, 2020/4:34 p.m.)
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has raised the travel alert for Guam to level 4, advising travelers to “avoid all travel” due to a “very high” Covid-19 incidence rate on island.
The health agency has eased the travel restrictions for Guam’s sister territory, the CNMI, whose risk category has been downgraded from level 2 to level 1. The CNMI’s risk level has been marked “low.” The CNMI has had a total of 104 Covid-19 positive cases as of Nov. 21, with two deaths since March 28.
CDC modified its travel health notice system on Nov. 21, adding level 4 based on updated criteria for determining travel risk levels.
Guam was previously labeled “level 3,” which advised against “nonessential travels.”
The CDC’s new travel notices are based on incidence rate— factoring in cumulative new cases per 100,000 people— as well as new case trajectory over the past 28 days.
“A destination’s (travel health notice) level is increased when its primary criteria meet the range of a higher (travel health notice) level for 14 consecutive days,” CDC said.
CDC said it may raise a destination’s travel alert before 14 days “if the primary criteria demonstrate a sudden or abrupt increase in Covid-19 levels for 7–14 consecutive days instead of the usual 14 days.”
The new travel alert system marks destinations based on the following categories: level 4 (very high); level 3 (high); level 2 (moderate); level 1 (low).
Guam’s latest Covid-19 positive cases tally was 6,549, with 106 deaths, 2,013 cases in active isolation and 4,430 not in active isolation. As of Nov. 22, the Covid Area Risk Score is 15.7. The CAR Score accounts for the incidence of new cases, how well current testing identifies these cases, and the rate of spread.
Of 248 samples tested today, 73 tested positive for Covid -19.
The latest Covid death count includes the two fatalities reported by the Joint Information Center today.
A 59-year-old man died at U.S. Naval Hospital around 11 a.m. on Nov. 21. He was admitted to the Naval Hospital on Oct. 31 and tested positive upon admission.
On the same day, a 51-year-old man died at the at the Guam Regional Medical City at approximately 11:56 p.m. He was admitted to GRMC on Nov. 21 and tested positive upon admission.
With less than a week to Thanksgiving, the CDC appealed to Americans to forego any holiday travels, noting that more than 1 million Covid-19 cases were reported in the United States over the last seven days.
"As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with," CDC said.