Governor Lou Leon Guerrero announced Monday afternoon the easing of some restrictions as the island goes into the second week of having a CAR score below 5.
The CAR, or COVID Area Risk, score accounts for the incidence of new cases, how well current testing identifies these cases, and the rate of spread.
GovGuam’s aim has been to achieve a sustained CAR Score of 5.0 and below and the governor has promised to start the process of lifting restrictions if Guam sustains a CAR score below 5 for about two weeks.
Because that target has been reached, the governor announced the following easing of restrictions starting Tuesday morning at 8 am:
= Social gatherings will be increased from five to 10 persons;
= Religious ceremonies occurring indoors may now operate at 50% of the facilities’ occupancy;
= Retail may now operate at 50% of facilities’ occupancy; and
= Diners enjoying outdoor dining may sit at tables, not to exceed 10 people.
It was last month when the governor first asked Guam residents to strive to get the island’s CARS score below 5 under Adelup’s “Strive for Five” program. It was then that she promised that if the island maintains a CAR score below 5, she will start the process of reopening the island.
“With this goal in mind, we all came together and did what was necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19. Because of your actions, your dedication, and our keeping our community safe, we have well surpassed our goal. As of today, our current score is 1.6. As you all did your part, we also made sure to increase our testing capability,” Leon Guerrero said in her Facebook address.
Through the use of rapid antigen testing, the Department of Public Health and Social Services was able to increase its testing to an average of over 600 per day.
“While some may say the lifting of these restrictions is too conservative or far slower than what we’d like to see, I am heeding the counsel of our experts and our federal partners who warned that because COVID cases are surging across the United States, emergency resources may not be there for everyone who needs them in the event of a third wave,” the Leon Guerrero said.
The governor pointed out that opening too quickly, too soon can mean the resurgence of COVID-19 infection In that event, she said Guam must be ready with the resources we currently have to identify, test, and isolate all new cases, tracing every contact they make to stop further transmission.
“It is more important than ever to implement a measured, deliberate, and cautious approach. These restrictions, other restrictions will be lifted, as we sustain our CAR score, but we will not risk our community success by celebrating too early. Victory laps come at the end of the race, and we have sacrificed too much to start all over. Remember, a single case can quickly head to larger clusters, and easing restrictions cannot come at the expense of people’s lives,” Leon Guerrero said.
She added: ” If we continue our efforts, we will beat this virus sooner rather than later. Our plan is working. Please stick with it, and we’ll get through this pandemic together.”