On September 25, 2020, the island mourned two COVID-related deaths. One of these victims was an officer with the Customs and Quarantine Agency (CQA) who worked the frontlines of the island’s ongoing response.
“Our Customs officers are the first line of defense from this deadly virus. Although stressed and fatigued by the operational border challenges dealt to our island by the COVID-19 virus for over 200 days now, our Customs officers and civilian employees report to their border assignments every day and perform their duties as essential employees at the risk of exposure to the virus,” said CQA Director Ignacio Peredo. “The Customs and Quarantine Agency relies on the daily courage of all our employees. The stark reality is that each of our men and women who report to duty put themselves in harm’s way.”
“The passing of one of our own due to COVID-19 strengthens our desire to protect and defend our community. We will not be overrun, and we will not falter. Please pray for us, and with us, as we continue to mourn the loss of one of our own and persevere through fatigue, stress, and round the clock border protection for the security of Guam,” said CQA Chief Vincent Perez.
There are currently 39 CQA officers assigned to the Guam International Airport Authority (GIAA), 15 officers assigned to the Port Authority of Guam (PAG), nine officers assigned to the Government of Guam designated quarantine facilities, nine officers assigned to the K-9 Unit, and six officers assigned to the Air Cargo Section.
CQA continues to work with the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) to maintain the highest level of health and safety for the officers. CQA remains committed to ensure the vital output of merchandise and passengers at the seaport and airport and maintain the island’s lifeline to the economic supply chain.
(GCQA News Release)