Following the announcement earlier today by the White House declaring a public health emergency over the novel coronavirus outbreak, GovGuam has taken steps to follow the procedures outlined by federal public health authorities, including preparing for the possible implementation of quarantine plans should there be local requirements to implement the policy.
As part of the emergency declaration, the White House has suspended entry to the United States of any non-U.S. citizens who, in the 14 days prior to their arrival were physically present within the People’s Republic of China.
U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and family members of U.S. citizens will be allowed entry but will require a 14-day quarantine.
According to Adelup, the federal government has not yet issued guidance on how or where the quarantine will take place.
“We are in constant communication with federal public health officials and our White House counterparts. We are prepared to execute all official advisories once they are issued, and we will advise the public accordingly,” said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero in a release. “We have planned for these circumstances and we are ready to implement our plan and keep Guam safe,” she said.
Although no cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have been reported in Guam or the Mariana Islands to date, the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS), along with emergency management stakeholders, is actively preparing for its potential arrival. DPHSS continues to follow guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as it prepares its response, updating any plans or procedures as CDC guidelines change.
What You Can Do:
“While GovGuam works with our federal partners to prevent and prepare for the introduction of coronavirus, everyone on Guam can take simple actions now to stop the spread of respiratory illnesses like the flu and coronavirus by practicing good hygiene and staying home if you’re ill,” shared Guam DPHSS Director Linda DeNorcey. This includes actions such as:
Frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
When you cough, cover your mouth with a tissue, throw the tissue away, and then wash your hands
Cover your mouth with the sleeve of your clothing if you do not have any tissue
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Stay at home if you are sick — do not go to school or work
As a reminder, this is a rapidly evolving situation, and guidance may change.
For Healthcare Professionals
Healthcare providers should immediately notify both infection control personnel at their facility and the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services in the event of a patient under investigation (PUI). Current PUI criteria can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/clinical-criteria.html. Providers can reach DPHSS to report a PUI at (671) 888-WARN.
Stay Up to Date with Reputable Sources
The community is reminded to only share official notices and visit the following links for the most up-to-date information:
White House Proclamation: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/
For more information, contact DPHSS Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., at (671) 735-7143.