GovGuam holds briefing on coronavirus; Nelson withdraws call to suspend flights

A briefing was held today at the Office of Civil Defense attended by island leaders to solidify a defense plan against the coronavirus.

A briefing was held Friday at the Office of Civil Defense attended by island leaders, Guam lawmakers, and mayors to solidify a defense plan against the coronavirus.

Protocols are now in place and all agencies are now on the same page.

The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus a “public health emergency of international concern.”

The U.S. State Department has issued its highest Level 4 Alert advising all travelers not to go to China.

Here, locally, the Department of Public Health also has a plan of action and defense.

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Linda DeNorcey, the director of Public Health, said: “We’ve been doing some investigations. We did a control of the infection and an assessment in the airport to identify how the airport is doing in that regard. Recommendations were made and great measures were taken to make sure those recommendations are carried out. We have an isolation room at the airport and this room is where the infected patient will be contained.”

Now that standard operating procedures are in place and protocols will be executed, the request to halt flights to and from Guam by Vice Speaker Telena Nelson has been withdrawn.

“Because they have a plan in place, they’re executing the plan and they are working closely with the airlines to ensure we do whatever we can to protect our island and our community, and that’s exactly what they are doing,” Nelson said, explaining her decision.

The Guam airport says it is working closely with the airline carriers to make sure all passengers are screened at their point of origin before they arrive on Guam.