Governor sees normalization soon; plans to ease more restrictions, give incentives for work

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero (PNC file photo)

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero announced during today’s economic forum that Guam has now moved from COVID response to COVID recovery and that the island is closer to normalization now more than ever.

During her remarks at the economic forum held Thursday at the Hyatt, the governor disclosed that as of today, there are already nearly 91,000 fully immunized persons in Guam. Of that, over 86,000 are 18 and over.

“That means nearly 72 percent of our adult population have the full protection of the vaccine, bringing us closer to liberating Guam from the clutches of this deadly virus,” Leon Guerrero said.

Operation Liberate Guam seeks to vaccinate 80 percent of the island’s adult population by Guam’s Liberation Day on July 21st.

According to the governor, her Physicians’ Advisory Group has already recommended the lifting of additional travel restrictions when the island achieves 75 percent of vaccinated adults.

“I will bring this to my team for further discussion. My vision for Guam–after July 21st–is to get back to normal as soon as possible. While I will still encourage residents to wear their face masks, especially in crowds, I intend to restore occupancy limits to 100 percent and lift the cap on social gatherings,” Leon Guerrero said.

Although she plans to ease restrictions further, the governor has instructed Public Health to stay the course and to continue to test, track, and treat all new COVID cases.

“I recognize that the public health emergency does not end come July 21st. We must stay vigilant. This pandemic remains a fluid situation, especially with the threat of new variants,” Leon Guerrero said.

In the immediate future, the governor said she plans to use American Rescue Plan monies to offer another round of Small Business Grants.

“While the clock is ticking on PUA, my administration is preparing an initiative to transition the unemployed to employed. But I need you to partner with me. We are working to incentivize the return to work so that you can be more aggressive on hiring,” Leon Guerrero told the assembled employers and business owners attending the forum.

The concept, as the governor explained it, is to subsidize new hires for 3
months, so that businesses can get back on their feet.

“This way, we help businesses and get people working. In summary, we are offering direct aid to small businesses, stimulus for families to spend in our economy, and continued policy work to create a more a business-friendly environment,” Leon Guerrero said.