Gyms, food courts and pools to reopen; travelers from 'hot spots' to quarantine

HEALTH AND SAFETY: Paradise Fitness General Manager Michael Sgro, far right, said the company has invested in several measures to help ensure the safety of its staff and members when its gyms are allowed to reopen. Photo courtesy of Paradise Fitness

Local food courts, gyms, pools and water parks will be allowed to open Monday, so long as strict health and safety protocols are adhered to.

The Department of Public Health and Social Services issued a slew of memos on Saturday explaining the restrictions that managers and employees of said establishments have to follow.

For all the facilities that will be allowed to reopen tomorrow, even as the island remains in Pandemic Condition of Readiness 2, certain requirements will be universal – masks for employees, frequent cleaning of frequently touched items and surfaces, clean bathrooms with signage encouraging patrons to wash their hands, and screening of patrons before entering the facility.

In addition to openings, DPHSS announced that anyone traveling to Guam from “ international hot spots” will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine at a government-qualified isolation facility.

A Joint Information Center press release defined a “hot spot” as a country or location where COVID-19 cases are doubling within 30 days or less. These locations “will ultimately be determined and updated by the Department of Public Health and Social Services in consultation with the governor and State Surgeon’s Physician Advisory Group,” JIC stated.

There was no list of such hot spots in Saturday's press release.

The press releases says they will reference data sources from Johns Hopkins University, World Health Organization and other local government reports as compiled and regularly updated via The New York Times’ Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Global Outbreak at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/coronavirus-maps.html.

This latest quarantine requirement is part of the government’s effort to contain the introduction and spread of COVID-19.

Around the world, many cities are experiencing a second wave of the virus and respiratory illness.

Guam’s total number of COVID-19 cases since testing started in mid-March is 179, with the total number of active cases at 12.

There were 89 people tested on Saturday and none of the tests returned with positive results. There have been five deaths associated with the respiratory illness and 162 people who’ve recovered from it.

International non-hot spots and domestic locations

According to the JIC press release, all persons traveling domestically or having originated from or traveled through locations not deemed to be a hot spot will still be subject to a 14-day quarantine.

However, Guam residents shall be allowed to complete their 14-day quarantine at home.

Guam non-residents can present a valid diagnostic laboratory COVID-19 PCR negative test result for SARS-CoV-2 that is not more than one week from the date of attempted entry into Guam, and shall complete the 14-day quarantine requirement at their personal residence or rental lodging.

Officials reiterated that all in-bound passengers will be asked to sign a Voluntary Quarantine Acknowledgement. Those who refuse to sign it will be forced into quarantine.

Gyms

Already, local gyms such as Paradise Fitness Center and Rocket Ride, an indoor cycling studio, have announced their opening dates along with the protocol they’re asking members to observe.

Patrons won’t be able to shower at their local gyms, though, as DPHSS is prohibiting the use of lockers and shower rooms.

Swimming pools and waterparks

Swimming pools and water parks will be allowed to open their showers and locker rooms to patrons, though use should be limited when possible, the DPHSS directive states. If locker rooms will be used, management must develop a plan that addresses social distancing to minimize congregation.

Additionally, lockers must be disinfected after every use, and the rooms must be cleaned and sanitized regularly “throughout the opening hours in addition to the regular cleaning schedule.”

They also must create barriers and guides that prohibit gathering, and items, such as goggles or snorkels, shouldn’t be shared.

Food courts

Much like restaurants, the food courts will be required to provide seating arrangements with adequate space between tables and limited occupancy, among other requirements.

Items such as food trays, which are considered a high-touch item, will be prohibited.

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