Bill would extend quarantine to 30 days

Speaker Therese Terlaje (PNC file photo)

Senator Therese Terlaje has introduced Bill 317-35 (COR), which would extend the 10-day quarantine period allowed by law by up to 30 days to encompass the 14 days recommended by the Centers for Disease Control for the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

Under the current law, the Department of Public Health and Social Services is required to file a petition for a court order to authorize the continued isolation or quarantine of individuals or groups of individuals within 10 days after issuing the written directive and then wait for court approval.

But Terlaje said this is a time of great uncertainty and now, more than ever, GovGuam must do what is necessary to protect the community and support those on the frontline leading the fight against COVID-19.

“As we are seeing with the current COVID-19 pandemic, things are rapidly changing and prevention and containment decisions need to be made at the same pace, or faster,” the senator said.

“Quarantine is an extreme measure that must be implemented with great respect for the rights and dignity of those who it affects and exercised only in the face of great danger to the public. However, when it is necessary to save lives, it must be implemented effectively and without delay,” Terlaje added.

The senator stressed that strict adherence to quarantine recommendations will also help ensure the safety of the community.

The 30-day timeline also allows for compliance with CDC requirements after the initial 14-day quarantine period.