Guam Covid-19 cases rise from 3 to 12 in a few days

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HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Guam now has 12 patients infected with the virus that causes Covid-19, the governor’s office stated on Thursday.

Of the four new cases, one had travel history. The three results confirmed on Wednesday, March 18, had no travel history.

A total of 81 tests were performed from March 12, through March 19, 2020 with conclusive results — 12 cases tested positive and 69 cases tested negative for Covid-19.

The government of Guam stated it is aggressively implementing its planned response to identify and contain the transmission of Covid-19 in Guam.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has issued another executive order, prohibiting gatherings and mandating social isolation.

As of 12 p.m., Friday, and through March 30, “any place of business or public accommodation shall close and be prohibited from on-site operations,” according to the order.

Beginning Friday at noon, through March 30, all public gatherings or congregations for entertainment, food and beverage service, theater, bowling, fitness or similar activities are prohibited. This will cover public venues where food or beverages are served and consumed at a table or bar.

The prohibitions will not apply to the following:

• Healthcare operations, including home health workers

• Essential infrastructure, including construction of housing and operation of public transportation and utilities;

• Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, food banks, convenience stores;

• Businesses that provide for economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities;

• Pharmacies, health care supply stores and health care facilities;

Customers line up for drive-through service at the pharmacy at the American Medical Center in Mangilao recently. The center’s clinics will be used as satellite emergency rooms for the Guam Memorial Hospital.  Photo by Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

• Gas stations and auto repair facilities;

• Banks and credit unions;

• Garbage collection;

• Hardware stores, plumbers, electricians, and other service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences and other essential businesses;

• Educational institutions, for the purpose of facilitating distance learning;

• Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers;

• Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food and goods directly to residences; and

• Businesses that provide services required for any essential business to maintain basic operations, which include security, payroll and similar activities.

The Department of Public Health and Social Services and/or the Department of Revenue and Taxation may issue guidance, subject to the governor’s approval, to implement the order.

These two agencies will enforce the executive order and may do so with assistance from the Guam Police Department.

Businesses that refuse to comply may be subject to revocation of their business license and other penalties

The governor’s order also allows the appointment of health care personnel for the duration of the emergency. All licensing requirements, permits or fees required by law or regulations are waived for health care providers, and the waiver will continue until the emergency situation is resolved, according to the governor.

GovGuam remains operating at a limited capacity. Some agencies are completely closed. Several agencies are operating but closed to the public. Other agencies are completely open.

“All members of the public needing government services are asked to contact agencies and departments by email or phone,” the order stated.

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