Doctor: PCOR 4 possible but warns against Delta variant

Dr. Hoa Nguyen, head of the governor's Physician's Advisory Group as well as a family practice doctor at American Medical Center. (PNC file photo)

Dr. Hoa Nguyen, the head of the governor’s Physicians Advisory Group, said Guam reverting back to PCOR-4 is possible by July 21, Liberation Day, or by early August.

However, he warned that people should continue to wear face masks and practice other safeguards due to the high transmissibility of the Delta variant of the virus.

“Right now, I think we are about 77% to 78% fully vaccinated for residents 18 years old and up. For the 12-plus, it’s about 76%. By July 1, on Liberation Day, and by August we should be well over 80%,” Nguyen said in an interview with NewsTalk K57’s Patti Arroyo.

With the island opening up, however, the doctor expects the positive rate to go up a little, especially among the unvaccinated and the younger children who are more prone to the more infectious Delta variant of the virus.

At least one person on Guam has already contracted the Delta virus since May 28.

“Most of the elderly have been vaccinated already. It’s our children who are susceptible to the Delta variant,” Dr. Nguyen said.

A number of cases hospitalized lately for COVID-19 have included children although their tests haven’t been sent out to CDC yet to determine whether they had any of the COVID-19 variants.

With regard to hospitalizations, Dr. Nguyen said that as long as hospitalizations continue to be under 10, we should be okay.

Although he said the Physicians Advisory Group is ready to recommend going back to PCOR-4, Dr. Nguyen said face masks should still continue to be worn.

“The mask will not go away basically. Using a mask indoors should be still implemented. I would recommend that we still use face masks,” Dr. Nguyen said.