Governor: New federal screening ‘add to our ongoing efforts’ to contain the coronavirus

358
For now, Public Health has zero evidence of the new COVID strains on island. (CDC photo)

Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero is welcoming the increased security measures announced by the White House Saturday to contain and prevent further spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19.

In a statement from Adelup Sunday, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero is quoted as saying: “We welcome news that the White House will be working with South Korea on a medical screening program for outbound passengers to the United States, including Guam.”

President Trump announced increased travel advisories for regions in Italy and Daegu, South Korea. And the U.S. Department of State will be working to implement medical screenings in these countries of any individuals coming to the United States.

Guam has no direct flights from Italy or Daegu, South Korea.

The Governor went on to say that the new measures “not only strengthens our line of defense from COVID-19, but also aligns with my recent order to hire Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Certified Nurse Aides to assist with screening passengers at our ports of entry and health care settings.”

“New screening requirements enforced by the federal government add to our ongoing efforts here at home. We are involved in a worldwide effort to contain the impacts of this virus, and we are doing our part,” said Lieutenant Governor Joshua Tenorio.

Currently, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), and no people who meet the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for a PUI for COVID-19 in Guam.

Guam is carefully assessing the situation as it evolves. With any change in status, anticipate timely notification.

Take Precautions Now: Prevent the Spread of All Respiratory Illnesses

The potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, globally, nationally, and to our island. The Government of Guam has been working on a daily basis with U.S. CDC and with local health care providers to prepare for the possibility that COVID-19 will be introduced into our island.

Everyone in our community can take steps now to prepare for this emerging public health threat by doing everyday preventative measures and making a plan:

  • It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. However, if soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  •  Practice proper cough etiquette – cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces.

  • Stay home when you are sick – do not go to work or school.

  • Make a Plan

  • Build a communication plan: How you will receive emergency alerts, how you will communicate with your household.

  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick. Plan where they would stay in the home to avoid infecting others, and what will be needed to care for them in your home.

  • Consider specific needs in your household: Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.

  • Practice your plan with your household.

Educational Materials Available on DPHSS Website

DPHSS has educational print-ready materials available for sharing via social media, or download, print, and distribution on the DPHSS website:

http://dphss.guam.gov/2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-n-cov/

Stay Up to Date with Reputable Sources

It is important to note that the situation can change daily. The community is reminded to only share official notices and visit the following links for the most up-to-date information: