3 days that shook the island: Guam comes face to face with the coronavirus

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The governor announced the public health emergency, ordering, among other restrictions, the cancellation of all executive branch travel, the closure of all senior centers and the banning of any community gatherings of 50 people or more.

Guam is reeling from a series of events over the past three days that have come to threaten the health and economy of our island.

It began with an emergency health declaration Saturday, followed by official confirmation of three confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Today, most of GovGuam and the island’s public and private schools were shut down.

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“I am declaring a public health emergency under the laws of Guam,” Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said on Saturday.

The governor announced the public health emergency, ordering, among other restrictions, the cancellation of all executive branch travel, the closure of all senior centers and the banning of any community gatherings of 50 people or more.

Then came the big blow on Sunday

“Just a short time ago I was informed that three individuals confirmed positive for COVID-19 based on the five test results that were returned today,” the governor said.

All three patients are over the age of 60 and remain in isolation at Guam Memorial Hospital awaiting eventual transfer to the Skilled Nursing Unit in Barrigada Heights.

Two of the Covid-19 patients are related said the governor. They recently returned from the Philippines on the morning of Febr. 29 aboard a United Airlines flight.

The third individual “has no apparent travel history,” she said. But they were in contact with another person who recently returned from Japan.

“This is what we prepared for and while we must expect more cases, everything that can be done is being done,” the governor said.

It was only a few hours later early Monday morning that the most serious steps were announced: the closure of all GovGuam executive branch offices except for critical public safety and health agencies whose operations will continue uninterrupted.

These steps were taken, said the governor, to curb the spread of the coronavirus and help prevent more Covid-19 cases

“We can do this by taking steps to prevent further transmission. By now you have likely heard the term social distancing. This practice includes maintaining a distance from between six and ten feet from the next person when you are out in public. Please practice social distancing it is imperative to our community’s health.”

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