Joint Region Marianas Rear Admiral, John Menoni, issued this message to DoD personnel on Guam:
As we head into Labor Day weekend, I hope this message finds you and your friends and families safe, healthy, and able to enjoy a much deserved respite after a very eventful six months. Labor Day is celebrated as the annual national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. We have witnessed these contributions firsthand as Guam’s military and civilian team has worked together through difficult times and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in many shared successes.
However, over the past few weeks, Joint Region Marianas (JRM) installations have seen the numbers of positive COVID-19 cases rise at a significant rate, and we have been forced to re-institute restrictive measures to stop the spread of the virus, keep our team healthy, and maintain our readiness. With mission readiness and the health of our force at the forefront of my daily thoughts, I must remind you that we are still in the middle of this fight. Although we all have “COVID fatigue,” the fight against the virus is not over. Now is not the time to let our guard down.
Since March, I have asked you to limit your travel to essential trips, to stay home when able, to physically distance, and wear protective face coverings. I know these mitigation measures are tiresome but I am asking you to continue these best practices in our collective effort to defeat this unseen enemy. I implore commanders at all levels to remain vigilant to any lapse in personal protective measures among our service members, civilians and families. The initial progress we made against the spread of the virus shows that given the proper tools and self-discipline, the spread can be managed.
As I have mentioned before, we remain well postured for an effective medical response with U.S. Naval Hospital Guam and our force health protection enclaves at Naval Base Guam and Andersen Air Force Base. As we have recently seen, one slip up can cause a major resurgence of COVID cases impacting our readiness. I ask all of you to take personal responsibility for yourself, your family and the island community, so that we can change the glideslope of this pandemic. If we all commit to wearing a mask, physically distancing, and continuing good personal hygiene, we will be successful and Labor Day 2020 will be the turning point in the current surge.
As you well know, I remain fully committed to protecting our team’s health, preserving our ability to carry out missions and defend the region, and preventing our activities from spreading COVID-19. I am counting on everyone in our community to remain engaged in this fight, protect yourself, protect your family, and protect the mission!