Guam records 322nd Covid death
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Effective at 6 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, residents will no longer have to provide proof of vaccination to enter a covered establishment.
"That means you can enter a restaurant or bar, the gym or theater, without showing proof of vaccination," Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero announced today as she extended the public health emergency for 30 more days. The public health emergency is now scheduled to expire on April 2, 2022.
The governor's vaccination proof requirement, which was patterned after the U.S. mandates, was among the most unpopular pandemic-related safety measures. Critics slammed the policy as discriminatory and divisive.
"Now, with the concurrence of our public health officials, our Physicians Advisory Group, and our Surgeon Cell, we are beginning a strategic and gradual lifting of restrictions," the governor said.
The governor said the vaccination proof was the only restriction being lifted at this time. If the number of cases continued its downward trend, she said "we can look forward to returning, gradually and safely, to our way of life."
"With continued vigilance, we can move ahead on the road to recovery and focus on rebuilding our lives," she added.
The Joint Information Center reported Guam's 322nd death, involving a 71-year-old woman, who was pronounced dead on arrival at Guam Memorial Hospital today. The patient was unvaccinated and had underlying health conditions. She tested positive on the same day of her death.
More than 95 percent of Guam's eligible population are vaccinated and over 52 percent are boosted. These are some of the highest rates in the nation.
"In the past few months, our island experienced as many as 850 positive cases in a single day and as many as 70 Covid admissions at our hospitals. That is no longer the situation today," the governor said.
She noted that Covid admissions have remained at a manageable level. As of Feb. 25, Guam had 36 hospitalizations.
Today the Department of Public Health and Social Services reported 275 new cases of Covid-19 from 1,475 specimens analyzed on Feb. 24. Thirty-eight of the cases reported today were through the Department of Defense.
To date, there have been a total of 44,111 officially reported cases, 322 deaths, 3,646 cases in active isolation, and 40,143 not in active isolation.
"And while we have not been given the all-clear from the ongoing omicron surge, our latest data is very promising. This is because of you, your family… and our collective commitment to stopping this virus. You’ve worn your masks, washed your hands, and watched your distance," the governor said.
Just the same, Leon Guerrero advised residents to remain vigilant.
"Do not let your guards down. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. And Watch your distance. If you haven’t already, get your vaccine and booster shot. Keep aware of the lifesaving Covid treatments available to you and your loved ones, whether you have symptoms or not," she added.