Guam's Covid-19 positivity rate has gone down to 4.1 percent and the Covid Area Risk score fell down further to 3.4 Wednesday, but Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero is not inclined to lift the public health emergency restrictions too soon.
"We need to stay the course because what I would like to do is keep it really really low till we get our vaccines and once we get our vaccine and do a mass immunization program and campaign, you know, we will start really really really back to our pre-Covid times," the governor said during her visit to mass testing site in Yigo.
Of the 752 tests on Wednesday, 31 were confirmed positive, showing a slowdown in community transmission over the past week.
"This is the success of your work and it's a little bit fatigued and tiring," the governor said. "I'm hoping that we now have a better control of the community spread and and that this is an indication of the containment of the virus."
To date, there have been a total of 6,920 officially reported cases of Covid-19 with 112 deaths, 803 cases in active isolation and 6,005 not in active isolation. Of the 31 new cases, five cases were identified through contact tracing. One case reported recent travel and was identified in quarantine.
The governor appealed to the community "not to be relaxed, make sure that we continue on with our mask wearing and social distancing and not going out if you don’t have to."
Prior to Thanksgiving, the governor said she would lift some restrictions if the CAR score went down to 5.
"Now that we’ve achieved a CAR Score of below five, the messaging really shifts to maintenance," Press Secretary Krystal Paco-San Agustin said. "We have to maintain a low CAR score for a minimum of two weeks before Governor Leon Guerrero will consider lifting additional restrictions. We are also closely monitoring our daily cases, especially because we have yet to see the effects of the Thanksgiving holiday."
The community, however, remains divided over the Covid restrictions.
"I'm for social restrictions," said Merc Gabriel, a resident of Dededo. "But I'm not familiar with CAR scoring and nothing seems to make sense anymore these days."
Some are not convinced the CAR scoring is good gauge of the situation.
"How can you effectively track the rate of spread when you’re only testing people with symptoms?" asked A.B. Flores of Latte Heights. "That’s like saying we’re going to see how bad this cancer is spreading through your body by only checking your left side. And how is it that Guam is the only place doing it? They said they’re going to track it weekly but they update it every day.
Flores said she does not expect the restrictions to be lifted even after the CAR score went down.
"That’s what the governor said, but we all know she never says what she means or means what she says," she said.
Mass testing is being held at three locations:
North: Yigo Gym, Yigo
Central: Tiyan Field, Tiyan
South: Agat Senior Center, Agat
The schedule is as follows:
Thursday, December 3, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Friday, December 4, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Saturday, December 5, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
There will be no community testing on Sunday. The Northern Region Community Health Center (NRCHC) will remain open by appointment only.
DPHSS will offer up to 200 tests per location from Monday through Friday and up to 300 tests on Saturday. Tests will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Only four people per vehicle are allowed to be tested. No symptoms are needed to qualify for testing. Bring a picture ID.