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Guam governor calls for lockdown beginning Friday noon

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HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The island is going into a lockdown beginning noon Friday, said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.

All businesses will be closed with the exception of grocery stores, healthcare operations, including pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, hardware stores, and those operations critical to health, shelter, and the preservation of life, the governor announced.

In a video released around 6:30 p.m. Thursday, she confirmed that Guam had 105 new Covid-19 cases. This follows an announcement, just hours ago, of the island's sixth Covid-19 related fatality.

The island’s total number of cases since testing started in March is now 704. It also pushes the number of active cases to 317, according to the Joint Information Center report, marking the first time the island breached the 300 threshold.

Of the 105 new cases, 51 cases were identified through contact tracing and eight cases reported recent travel and were identified in quarantine, according to the JIC.

Governor Leon Guerrero issued the following statement on Thursday:

“Håfa Adai,

“Tonight, the Department of Public Health and Social Services will confirm 105 new cases of Covid-19.

“This, by far, represents the largest number of confirmed cases in a day since the start of this pandemic.

“28% of our total confirmed cases were recorded these past couple of weeks alone.

“Statistically speaking, we can anticipate that 20% of these cases will end up in the hospital, which is already reaching its capacity.

“Six times I have had to deliver the gravest announcement a governor can make. Along with this significant increase in confirmed cases, this most recent tragedy indicates that we cannot decrease our vigilance, we cannot become comfortable, and we cannot surrender to complacency. We are not invincible. No matter how young, healthy, and active you are, you are still at risk — and you are putting others at risk too.

“I must remind the public that this pandemic will either accelerate beyond the capacity of our healthcare system or decrease to containable levels — we are dangerously close to the former. To prevent this from becoming our future, even stronger measures need to be taken.

“This is why, effective noon…August 21, through an executive order, all businesses will be closed with the exception of grocery stores, healthcare operations, including pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, hardware stores, and those operations critical to health, shelter, and the preservation of life. It is my hope that this escalation will last only a week — just long enough to flatten our rising curve. To assuage any fears you may have because of this order, I will be establishing a hotline that will answer your questions, which we will announce tomorrow.

“In any long struggle, there are good days and there are bad — today is not easy. While there may be a vocal minority advocating against these measures, I know the people of Guam are not prepared to take even greater risk.

“Based on what we know about Covid-19, to prevent the collapse of our healthcare system, we need to take drastic steps and we need to take them immediately. I know this is extremely difficult, but the good of all depends on the sacrifices of many. More than ever before, we need unity, hope, compassion, and the political will to see this crisis through. 

“To the people of Guam, we know the deep well of strength that has brought us through every storm of man and nature. We will survive this too.

“Last, I am asking all of you to stay home unless you have no other choice. If we can do this for a short time, I believe we will be in a better place.

“In the beginning of this pandemic, you showed your strength, your courage, and your determination in making sure this virus does not win. And I know we can do it again.

“We mourn but we do not surrender.

“We fear but we will not yield

“We worry but we know that we can work our way through the dark — and into the light.

“Si Yu’os Ma’ase.”

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