The people of Guam will have to wait another week in lockdown and under Pandemic Condition of Readiness 1, as the island has recorded more than 2,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 30 deaths linked to the virus since the start of the pandemic.
“Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero will be signing another executive order to extend that stay-at-home order one more week,” said governor’s press secretary Krystal Paco-San Agustin in an interview with the Post on Thursday morning. “We’ve been taking this on a week by week basis.”
The order was set to expire tomorrow at noon, but will continue through Sept. 25 at noon.
She said certain modifications will be made and take effect on Sept. 18 at noon.
“We recognize the people need some additional things to feel comfortable as they isolate at home,” she said. “The main difference is that non-essential curbside retail will be allowed to operate…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.”
Additionally, restaurant and eating establishments may allow customers to enter their businesses, but only to pick-up their order. Dine-in services are not yet authorized.
The Post also asked why the administration continues to only extend on a weekly basis.
“We always wanted to phase in our policies. Unfortunately, with COVID-19 it’s not like the flu were 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 policies we institute. But, 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 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 the Guam Memorial Hospital as of Thursday morning.
“It looks like our ICU numbers almost doubled in the last day. There is 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 and we really need to do our part to stop the spread.”
The governor’s goal is also to increase community testing across the island.