By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
Guam governor may reinstate restrictions if Covid cases escalate
CDC raises Guam's travel alert back to level 3
Amid the surge of Covid-19 cases on Guam over the past 10 days, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said today she may resort to reinstating the restrictions on social gathering if community infections continue to escalate.
“As the United States mainland continues to deal with rising Covid cases across the nation, with significant surges in some states - my administration continues to monitor the uptick in breakthrough cases as well as the increase in the CAR score over the last several days,” Leon Guerrero said at a press conference.
“If we have to return to implementing restrictive measures, we will return to that. We will probably go back to limiting social gatherings and occupancy,” she added.
Guam has been seeing an increase in community transmissions since the government lifted the coronavirus-related restrictions on July 31 after reaching the goal to inoculate 80 percent of the island’s adult population.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has raised Guam’s travel alert back to level 3, which means the risk of Covid-19 exposure is “high.”
The Joint Information Center last night reported 52 new positive cases out of 1,068 Covid-19 tests over the weekend. To date, there have been a total of 8,725 officially reported cases of Covid-19 with 143 deaths, 191 cases in active isolation. The CAR Score is 7.7.
“Although we expected this because of the reasonable risks associated with lifting further restrictions, we cannot afford to become complacent,” the governor said.
“This is why I continue to order the strict adherence to mask-wearing and, more recently, mandated that all government employees in the executive branch receive the vaccine against Covid-19. In addition, we need to continue our aggressive efforts to vaccinate those who are unvaccinated,” she added.
Achieving herd immunity, through the “Liberate Guam” campaign, was a prerequisite to the full reopening of Guam’s economy.
The government has since lifted the caps on community gatherings and occupancy, allowing an unlimited number of guests at social events and full capacity at business premises.
The island’s border has partially reopened, welcoming travelers on Air V&V tour packages.
While the post-shutdown increase in Covid-19 cases came as no surprise, the governor said she is more confident that the looming crisis would be more manageable than it was last year, given that a large portion of the population has been vaccinated.
“There are still measures in our control to protect our community,” the governor said. “We are also watching hospitalizations. Hospitalization is the more critical part here.”
Currently, there are seven hospitalized cases with two hospitalized cases receiving ICU-level care.
“The whole protective measures are (intended) to prevent people from getting sick,” Leon Guerrero said. “We want to make sure that we are able to manage people when they get sick.”
At this point, the governor said, the situation is under control.
“We are doing everything scientifically possible. We are vaccinating, tracing, testing and treating. We continue on with these measures as we emphasize going back to basics such as wearing masks, washing our hands and keeping social distance.”
“I had a great sense of pride in their acute awareness of how well our community responded to the pandemic by achieving our goal of vaccinating 80 percent of our eligible adult population in such a short time.”
Guam remains under a state of public health emergency through Sept. 30.