Governor Lou Leon Guerrero on Friday afternoon issued another executive order extending the current state of health emergency and extending the closure of non-essential business until April 13.
This latest order follows the recent increase in positive cases of COVID-19.
On Thursday night, Guam Public Health reported 8 more people tested positive, raising the total number of cases they’ve confirmed to 45. Add to that the 4 Navy sailors medevaced to Naval Hospital Wednesday and there are now 49 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Guam.
At her daily coronavirus news conference, the Governor urged all island residents to continue to maintain social distance.
“If we all do the right thing now, we can reduce the impact and save lives. If we don’t, more people will become sick and our old fragile health care system will be even more overwhelmed. Later today, I will sign Executive Order 2020-07 which will extend the closure of non-essential business and facilities until April 13,” the governor said.
The governor’s latest executive order also places a moratorium on evictions. No renter can be expelled for non-payment during this time period.
The relief that island residents and Americans throughout the country are waiting for is near, said the governor.
This weekend, the U.S. House is expected to act on the relief package passed by the Senate yesterday. The governor is hoping President Trump will sign it before the weekend is out.
“I’m hoping that, like I said, that within 2 weeks we’ll be able to get at least the direct subsidies and the immediate grants that do provide direct cash help to employees and employers,” the governor said.
While all residents remain under social distancing restrictions, the Guam Attorney General’s Office today issued a release stating that some 60 price gouging complaints have been filed with their office. The governor’s newest executive order addresses that issue with a warning to all who might be tempted.
“The word of warning is that through this executive order, I am really going to enforce it. And we are working with the Attorney General. So we are going to be enforcing and there will be penalties for those individuals that use price gouging,” the governor said.
Linda DeNorcey, DPHSS director, said: “Of the breakdown of those who remain positive, 31 are in home isolation, 4 are at the SNU, 9 are at GMHA, and one of course died.”
The governor added: “Life shouldn’t feel normal right now. Every time you think about greeting and meeting up with someone, ask yourself if it is really necessary. And if it is not, please do not do it.”
In related news, DeNorcey went to court today, as required, seeking an order allowing GovGuam to keep the passengers who arrived from Manila last week in quarantine.
All of those passengers were initially asked if they would agree to quarantine. The “vast majority” did. Some did not, but it’s not clear how many refused.
DeNorcey’s motion asks the court to keep all the passengers in quarantine for as long as necessary to reasonably determine that they do not pose a risk of transmitting COVID-19 to someone else.