The people of Guam will have to stay home for another week and follow restrictions under the extended Pandemic Condition of Readiness 1.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero on Thursday signed another executive order, No. 2020-32, extending her stay-at-home order which was supposed to expire today.
The order will remain in effect through noon on Sept. 25.
"All persons in Guam are directed to continue to stay at home, subject to limited exceptions such as obtaining food and household necessities, going to and from work at authorized businesses, seeking medical care, caring for dependents or pets, caring for a vulnerable person in another location, or for individual exercise," the executive order states.
The governor did ease restrictions on certain retail and restaurant operations:
• Nonessential stores can reopen but only for pickup of goods "outside of the establishment from which they have already placed their orders."
• Restaurants may allow customers to enter their premises "for the limited purpose of take-out dining," subject to the Department of Public Health and Social Services' guidance. Dine-in services are not authorized.
"Most businesses and public accommodations will continue to be closed and prohibited from on-site operations," according to the executive order – unless the type of business is listed as among the allowed activities.
“We recognize the people need some additional things to feel comfortable as they isolate at home,” the governor's spokeswoman said.
Governor's press secretary Krystal Paco-San Agustin said nonessential retail stores are now allowed to sell to customers via the curbside pickup of goods because "we are seeing a lot of people that need to buy underwear, to buy shoes, to buy some things that they cannot get at a grocery store or in the essential aisles at Kmart or Pay-Less.”
She said the governor wants to go week by week on her decision to either keep the stay-at-home order or lift it, based on the gravity or the easing of the COVID cases.
The government of Guam confirmed the 30th and 31st deaths linked to COVID-19 on Thursday in a span of hours. Both had underlying health conditions.
2,045 COVID cases since March
Guam saw 32 additional COVID-19 cases on Thursday, raising the total since March to 2,045.
“We always wanted to phase in our policies. Unfortunately, with COVID-19 it’s not like the flu where you are exposed to somebody and you get it the next day. COVID-19 we know the incubation period is two weeks, and so it may take as much as two to three weeks to see the effects of the policies we institute," Paco-San Agustin stated.
"The governor has always wanted to phase in – push forward and pull back when we need to, so that’s the flexibility that this week-to-week guidance allows for,” she said.
“For the people that may be questioning the stay-at-home order, my thoughts are we are seeing the numbers taper off, we are seeing them plateau, and I would prefer a tapering off or a plateau than a surge.”
Paco-San Agustin said they have noticed some progress, but continue to see the majority of the cases come from people between the ages of 20 to 40.
“It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep us safe,” she said. “The sooner we are able to stabilize our numbers and not only our newly confirmed cases, but also our hospitalizations, then we can move toward the recovery that we really enjoyed in PCOR3.”
A total of 43 COVID patients were admitted at Guam Memorial Hospital on Thursday.
“It looks like our ICU numbers almost doubled in the last day. There are 19 people in the ICU, and ten of those people are on ventilator support,” she said. “So if the people of Guam, especially our young adults, are not able to recognize these are some dire times ... we really need to do our part to stop the spread.”