By Pacific Island Times News Staff
CDC lowers travel alert for Guam to level 2; raises CNMI's risk from level 1 to 2
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has downgraded the travel warning for Guam from level 3 to 2, but it has raised the risk advisory level for the CNMI from 1 to 2.
Level 2, which means the risk is moderate, advises against nonessential travels. Travelers are advised to be fully vaccinated prior to flying to a level 2 destination.
“We welcome the latest designation from the CDC, which recognizes the efforts by our people to change the course of our battle with this global pandemic. This downgrade communicates to the nation—and the rest of the world—that we are taking charge and taking control of the virus," Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said. "More importantly, it paves the way for reopening Guam and re-energizing not just tourism, but our economy.”
Guam is targeting May 1 as a tentative date for tourism reopening, but the final decision would depend on whether the island achieves the industry's "Path to Half" goal— which is to get at least 50 percent of the island's adult population fully vaccinated.
“As of today, over 32,000 of our people are fully vaccinated. This means we are that much closer to our Path to Half and ultimately, our goal of achieving herd immunity—liberating our island from this deadly virus and rebuilding a stronger, healthier Guam," Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio said.
The Joint Information Center on Monday reported seven new cases of Covid-19 that were identified out of 647 tests performed by DPHSS on Sunday, April 4, and tests from additional labs from Friday, April 2 to Sunday, April 4. Six cases reported recent travel history and were identified in quarantine.
To date, there have been a total of 7,823 officially reported cases of Covid-19 with 136 deaths, 31 cases in active isolation, and 7,656 not in active isolation.
Over the weekend, Guam received a total of 53,170 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. The Department of Public Health and Social Services’ (DPHSS) Immunization Program received 25,740 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, 15,000 Moderna, and 1,300 Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (J&J/Janssen).
Additionally, Guam’s Northern Region Community Health Center received 5,850 Pfizer-BioNTech, 500 Moderna, 100 J&J/Janssen doses. The Southern Region Community Health Center also received a total of 4,680 Pfizer-BioNTech doses.
VAPPC members also discussed the latest developments with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and trials with individuals 12-15 years of age. Discussions on expanding age eligibility, however, were tabled pending approval from both CDC and the Food and Drug Administration.
“While this pandemic has forced us apart, it could not break our spirit. Together, the people of Guam have demonstrated their willingness to do what is necessary to protect one another, including wearing masks, washing hands, and watching their distance," Leon Guerrero said. "With COVID-19 vaccines readily available to all adults, and those 16 and over, we look forward to more progress—and an even lower risk designation—from the CDC very soon.”
In the CNMI, a cluster was identified last month but no new cases have been detected since the last Covid-19 positive was reported on March 18. The CNMI's Covid count was 157 since March 28, 2020.
The CNMI Covid-19 Task Force and Commonwealth Health Center said there was no sign of widespread community transmission at this time.
CNMI officials said the concern right now is providing care to the individuals and potential individuals exposed to Covid-19.
The CNMI plans to reopen in July. At least 29 percent of the commonwealth's population has been fully inoculated.