“Pandemic is not yet over” says DPHSS

Department of Public Health and Social Services

Even though Guam’s current Covid infection numbers have lowered enough to end the Public Health emergency, the pandemic is not over, as reminded by Public Health officials during their recent meeting.

Currently, there are just around 10 positive cases per week, and there haven’t been any Covid related deaths since Jan. 13th, according to Public Health’s territorial epidemiologist, Dr. Ann Pobutsky.

“Although the Public Health emergency is over, the pandemic is not. The pandemic is still ongoing. The U.S. and especially Guam, we’re lucky that we had a lot of people getting tested, getting the vaccines, as opposed to elsewhere in the world,” says Dr. Pobutsky.

Dr. Robert Leon Guerrero, Public Health’s Chief Medical Officer, reminds the community that just because Guam’s numbers have lowered, doesn’t mean everywhere else in the world is the same.

“There’s still a huge number of covid infections in the world, so a lot of these mutations occur in these places where there’s huge numbers and so if the next mutations become more deadly or more infective it may influence what’s happening in the U.S., so again, as long as the pandemic is still ongoing, you know, we have to keep a watchful eye,” said Dr. Bob.

Further assuring that, for now, COVID-19 vaccines and testing will continue to be free to the public, as a means to continue prevention measures, but didn’t rule out that they may be charged in the future.

He added that, right now, Guam is in a good state thanks to the willingness of the people of Guam to get shots and get tested continuously, but there’s still a chance for things to shift.

Dr. Bob said, “that might change because we’re in proximity to places where with travel it’s very easy to come by where there is still a huge amount of Covid infections, so we just need to continue to keep a watch, continue to test and continue to get vaccinated.”

The world will stay in a pandemic status as long as the World Health Organization designates otherwise.