JIC #129: Expanded Testing Continues; Quarantine Mandate Remains in Effect

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The Guam Public Health Laboratory is closed on Sundays. There will be no tests run today. The GPHL will reopen on Monday.

Physicians are reminded to follow storage requirements by ensuring specimens are refrigerated at 2-8°C.

To date, there have been 154 cases confirmed through COVID-19 testing provided with 5 deaths and 126 released from isolation.

As this is an evolving situation, information is subject to change with little to no notice.

For updated information on COVID-19 cases on Guam, visit the COVID-19 Dashboard at http://dphss.guam.gov/covid-19/.

Expanded Testing Continues at Temporary Workforce Housing, Pockets of Concern

DPHSS, in collaboration with the GovGuam, private, and federal agencies, continues expanded testing this week. DPHSS plans to test workers living in Temporary Workforce Housing, people who are unsheltered or homeless, residents at the GHURA public and elderly housing sites in Talofofo, and household contacts of confirmed cases. Expanded testing of frontline workers is ongoing.

What it Means to Test Negative in a Diagnostic Viral Lab Test for COVID-19

A negative test result may mean that you were not infected at the time the test was done but you could still become infected at a later point. It is important to stay vigilant and to continue to practice prevention measures such as staying home, staying at least six feet away from others when you are outside your home, covering your cough, washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

If you were a contact to a suspected or positive case when you were tested, you should remain in quarantine for the full 14 days even if your test comes back negative. This is because the incubation period for the virus can be up to 14 days and testing that occurs early in the 14 day incubation period may result in a negative, whereas testing by the 14th day may return as positive.

Quarantine Mandate Remains in Effect

In accordance with Executive Order 2020-14, entry restrictions to Guam remain in place at this time. As this is an evolving situation, the following quarantine mandates remain in effect but are subject to change with little to no notice:

  1. All inbound passengers to Guam will serve a mandatory quarantine at a government-approved facility for 14 days upon arrival.

  2. Travelers may be exempt from the mandatory quarantine at a government-approved facility, with the opportunity to self-quarantine from home, under the following conditions:

    1. The traveler obtains a diagnostic specimen test for COVID-19 in the country of origin prior to arrival in Guam. The specimen must be collected and tested no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Guam.

  And

    1. The traveler presents a certified document from a medical provider that attests that the individual is not infected with SARS-CoV2 and is based on a negative test result from the specimen collected within the last 72 hours to the health screeners at the airport upon arrival in Guam.

The testing facility where the specimen is tested for COVID-19 must be approved by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO). The approval of the presented document is at the discretion of the DPHSS. A valid and DPHSS-accepted COVID-19 test should be an FDA-approved polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test with the specimen collected within 72 hours of arrival in Guam and the laboratory test results presented for review should contain the following: name, date of birth, type of test, date the specimen was collected, date of test results, results of the test, and name of the laboratory that performed the test.

For Transiting Passengers:

  • If the layover is less than 10 hours, the passenger can remain at the airport as long as they do not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.

  • If the layover is more than 10 hours, passengers will be transported to a government-approved quarantine facility to wait for their outbound flight. Passengers can leave the quarantine facility if the date of their outbound is before the 14-day quarantine ends.

Update on Quarantine Facilities

The Hotel Santa Fe and Wyndham Garden Guam were awarded contracts from the General Services Agency to serve as quarantine facilities (QFAC) during the ongoing public health emergency and while the quarantine mandate remains in effect for incoming travelers. All current occupants in quarantine at the Pacific Star will be transferring to the new QFACs by end of day, Monday, May 18.

All incoming travelers are required to be placed in a government-approved quarantine facility.

The Government of Guam (GovGuam) will cover the cost of lodging and meals for returning Guam residents. Non-residents will be required to pay for quarantine related expenses, including food and lodging, before being allowed access to their room. This includes:

  • Any non-resident of Guam traveling to Guam for reasons other than the performance of essential governmental service functions, including but not limited to tourists and non-resident family members

  • Any member of the federal government or U.S. Armed Forces to include dependents traveling to Guam on official orders

GovGuam directors and employees who were previously assigned to QFAC operations will return to their agencies in support of continuity of government services and operations. Members of the Guam National Guard will assume quarantine operations in support of the response efforts. The Governor of Guam extends heartfelt appreciation to those who have worked and continue to support quarantine operations.

Continue to Practice Caution in PCOR 2

With Governor Lou Leon Guerrero’s declaration of Pandemic Condition of Readiness (PCOR) 2 on May 10, some restrictions were lifted and gradually certain businesses, non-governmental organizations, and government organizations are re-opening and operating. It is still imperative to continue to take precautionary measures to slow the possible spread of COVID-19.

The community is reminded to continue to practice precautionary measures in PCOR 2:

  • Maintain a distance of 6 feet between yourself and others

  • Wear facial coverings around others and in public establishments

  • Adhere to respective business protocols in place for protection from COVID-19

  • Practice good hygiene frequently

  • Frequently clean high contact areas

  • Stay home if you are sick

While social gatherings of no more than 10 people are allowed, keep in mind the health and safety of your loved ones. Practice safe measures when around others by waving instead of hugging or embracing one another.

For inquiries on COVID-19, contact 311 through a local number, or call the Joint Information Center at (671) 478-0208/09/10.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Muscle pain

  • Sore throat

  • New loss of taste or smell

This list is not exhaustive of all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please call your health care provider or the DPHSS facilities (Northern Region Community Health Center, Southern Region Community Health Center, and Central Public Health). You can also call the DPHSS Medical Triage Hotline Phone Numbers listed below to report symptoms and obtain guidance from clinicians, or call 311.

  • (671) 480-7859

  • (671) 480-6760/3

  • (671) 480-7883

  • (671) 687-6170 (ADA Dedicated Number)