JIC #137: Public Health advisory on COVID-19 products

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The Director of the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) reminds island businesses that COVID-19 related commodities, such as hand sanitizers, alcohol, antiseptic wipes, masks, and test kits are all regulated items pursuant to local and federal laws.

Although some regulatory requirements have been relaxed due to the current emergency, minimum requirements must still be met to import and sell these items.

The Division of Environmental Health (DEH) of DPHSS, which enforces the importation, distribution, and sale of drugs and medical devices pursuant to local and federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, has responded to several detentions of COVID-19 related products at ports of entry.

These detainments are undergoing a regulatory process, which includes assistance from the Office of the Attorney General and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Businesses are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure that their products are in full compliance with governing laws.

For guidance, they are encouraged to visit www.fda.gov and http://www.guamcourts.org/CompilerofLaws/GCA/10gca/10gc040.PDF.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also issued guidance documents specific to certain COVID-19 products.  Businesses that fail to comply with the law are subject to having their merchandise denied entry and/or criminal penalty.

For questions, please contact the Consumer Commodities Program of the Division of Environmental Health at 300-9579.

SNAP EBT Allotment to be Released Tonight

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Supplemental Emergency Allotment for the month of May 2020 will be released tonight, May 22, 2020. These benefits will be electronically loaded into the SNAP recipients EBT cards.

As a reminder, the law authorized the issuance of emergency supplemental benefits to households receiving SNAP up to the maximum allowable SNAP monthly benefit for a household’s size. Calculation is based on the number of eligible household members. Households that already received the maximum benefit for their household’s size will not receive an additional emergency allotment.

Should you have any questions or need additional information, please call the numbers below or send an email to P[email protected]gov.

  • BES North (Dededo) at 635-7488/635-7484/635-7439/635-7396/635-7429

  • BES Southern (Inarajan) at 828-7542/828-7534/828-7524

  • BES Central (Castle Mall in Mangilao) at 735-7340/735-7519/735-7256/735-7344/735-7375

GDOL Prepares for Unemployment Assistance Funds

The Guam Department of Labor (GDOL) is preparing to launch its employee application module for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which will allow thousands of Guam residents to receive unemployment assistance funds.

In anticipation of the PUA employee model launch, GDOL is notifying financial institutions of the influx of millions of dollars in federal money that will be disbursed to eligible recipients within the coming weeks. Based on guidance from GDOL, the Guam Bankers Association will be advising island residents that are seeking PUA benefits to consider direct deposit by opening a bank account now. They are also advising island residents to collect any necessary account information and access hireguam.com to sign up for direct deposit.

Other financial institutions can email [email protected] if they want to seek further guidance from GDOL on the release of PUA funding.

COVID-19 test results are reported from multiple labs at varying times of the day. Cumulative test results will be provided this evening once all tests from today are finalized.

To date, there have been 165 cases confirmed through COVID-19 testing provided with 5 deaths and 125 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 and Situation Report at http://dphss.guam.gov/covid-19/.

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