Adelup: ‘Cautiously optimistic’ about lower CAR score

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Guam’s COVID Area Risk Score has dropped below 5 for the first time since our so-called second wave and if we keep it up, we could see more people around the dinner table for Christmas.

Our COVID Area Risk Score, commonly known as the CAR Score, has been on a slow decline in the past two weeks after spiking to the 40s a couple of weekends ago. It’s down to 4.2 as of yesterday.

The goal of the Governor’s office was always to be at 5 and below and with the break in the threshold yesterday, Krystal Paco-San Agustin, with the Governor’s office, says Adelup is cautiously optimistic.

“We haven’t truly seen the effects of the Thanksgiving holiday. And, we’ll know whether or not people complied with the Public Health guidance and guidelines sometime later this week when we start seeing numbers. Again, what we know about the COVID incubation period, it’s about 2 weeks, so we’re not really going to see the effects of it until later this week and later next week,” Paco-San Agustin said.

And while yes, the Governor has said that she’ll lift restrictions if we maintain the score at 5 and below for 2 or more weeks, don’t get too excited about a mass re-opening.

“When we say that Governor is inclined to lift restrictions when we maintain that CAR Score, she’s really referring to the limit of social gatherings. The hope is that by Christmas, we are able to enjoy an increase in social gatherings…going from 5 to possibly 10,” Paco-San Agustin said.

And with hospitalization plateauing in the 40s, larger gatherings look to be the only major restriction to be adjusted so far. But Paco-San Agustin says they’ll continue evaluating data.

She says the ongoing daily community COVID testing will give them a better idea of community spread and asymptomatic cases walking around who are of course equally contagious.

Yesterday’s testing only caught 5 positives so far, out of 300 people swabbed.

“But we also want to remind people that just because you tested negative today, doesn’t mean you’re not going to turn positive later on,” Paco-San Agustin said.

And while there’s excitement that we’re finally under the 5 mark, more than anything, Paco-San Agustin says vigilance is of utmost importance, saying the fight is not just against COVID but also COVID-fatigue.

“Now more than ever…we shift into maintenance…and we have to remain vigilant because we all know what can go wrong when we get too comfortable and start to let our guard down…and we start to not pay attention to those Public Health guidances. Especially the mask-wearing, social distancing and practicing proper hygiene,” Paco-San Agustin said.

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