Quarantine restrictions tightened for all arriving travelers to Guam

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Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, during a news conference this afternoon, announced that because of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, her administration is initiating new policies for all travelers entering Guam starting July 1.

Dr. Felix Cabrera, a member of the governor’s physician advisory group, said the changes are needed because of the uptick in COVID-19 cases over the past week.

The new policies, effective midnight, Wednesday, July 1, 2020, cover changes to the quarantine, testing, and monitoring requirements for all travelers entering Guam.

These new policies are:

  1. Hotspot locations will be renamed as “High-Risk Areas”;
  2. For the US, risk status will be determined on a state-by-state level,
    to include territories;
  3. The default level of quarantine required upon arrival on Guam is
    based on whether or not a traveler is coming from a High-Risk Area;
  4. A Pre-Arrival Negative PCR Test, in particular, those traveling from a
    High-Risk Area, is necessary to determine the location of quarantine
    required and eligibility to qualify for an abbreviated quarantine
    length;
  5. Residency status will NOT determine the level of quarantine or
    testing required. Considerations for alternate quarantine locations
    will still be made in certain limited circumstances; and
  6. High-Risk locations will be determined by a calculated COVID-19
    Area Risk (CAR) score, which primarily assesses an area’s recently
    calculated Case Doubling Time and Test Positivity Rate.

Current high-risk areas include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Africa, Central America, Middle East, and South America.

‘Our progress is not lost’

Over the past week, the Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 1,707 individuals and confirmed 48 new cases of COVID-19, which results in a 2.75% positivity rate.

“This increase was to be expected because we increased our testing capacity. In total, we tested 12,147 individuals, which translates to 7.4% of Guam’s population, which places us ahead of states and territories like Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” the governor said, adding that despite the recent surge in positive cases, “our progress is not lost.”

Still, the governor said the increase in the number of confirmed cases is concerning, and it should be taken very seriously. “But as I have said before, our decisions will be based on data—not fear,” the governor stressed.

She added that her administration will not be reinstituting any of its previous restrictions, however, they will be delaying any further relaxation of restrictions so they can observe the data.

The governor said she has not decided yet on a new date for tourism reopening because they still need to monitor the numbers.

“Yesterday’s low case positives was a good sign, but decisions are not based on any single data point,” she said.

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