The Department of Public Health and Social Services has issued another memo clarifying quarantine for unaccompanied minors and workers deemed essential.

The clarification is the second following the release of individuals and families from the government quarantine facility after a Superior Court of Guam judge said the government failed to properly inform passengers of their right to petition as required by Guam law.

One woman, Janella Cruz, who was not a passenger on an incoming flight, was quarantined with her two sons, who were traveling to Guam as unaccompanied minors. Cruz met her sons at the airport and was told that she’d have to accompany them into quarantine. She had phoned Department of Public Health and Social Services officials prior to her children’s travel and was told they’d be able to quarantine at home, she told the court.

Acting director Art San Agustin told the court that if Cruz hadn’t gone into quarantine with her sons, they would have had to place the boys under the care of Child Protective Services.

Guidance Memo 2020-11 Revision 9 specifically addresses that situation and allows minors who had been traveling unaccompanied to quarantine at home so long as a parent or other authorized representative meets them at the airport, DPHSS spokeswoman Janela Carrera stated. The children would have to follow the requirements of quarantine until either the 14 days are completed or they are tested and released from their quarantine status by DPHSS. 

Other guidelines listed in the memo, include: 

• The parent, legal guardian, or authorized representative must meet the minor at the airport and provide photo identification in order to receive the minor. The parent, legal guardian, or authorized representative will be requested to sign a Voluntary Quarantine Acknowledgement form indicating their willingness to comply with the quarantine requirements on behalf of the minor. 


• In the event that an unaccompanied minor is not received at the airport by a parent, legal guardian, or authorized representative in a timely manner, Child Protective Services will be notified.


• DPHSS will facilitate testing for minors arriving in Guam without a COVID-19 negative test result.


• In addition to the Voluntary Quarantine Acknowledgement form, all incoming travelers will be provided with a document informing them that Guam is currently under a Public Health Emergency and that they are being asked to sign a Voluntary Quarantine Acknowledgement Form. The form also includes information about what happens if they refuse to sign the Voluntary Quarantine Acknowledgement Form. 


• Should travelers refuse to sign the Voluntary Quarantine Acknowledgement form, they will be subject to Involuntary Quarantine, issued a Directive for Temporary Quarantine, be provided with a copy of 10 GCA Chapter 19 Article 6 and Definitions, and be informed of their right to legal representation.


• A traveler may be granted an exemption from quarantine at a Government of Guam facility if they qualify under the following categories: Critical Service Worker (CSW) with DPHSS Endorsement Letter, Essential Healthcare Professional (EHP) with DPHSS Endorsement Letter, or Medical Referral client. 


• If a traveler is granted an exemption by DPHSS, they will be required to obtain and present a negative COVID-19 test result collected within 5 days of arrival to Guam. If approved, the traveler will be required to adhere to strict requirements, including Restriction of Movement (ROM), during home quarantine or at an approved rental lodging. 


Spouses, dependents, minors traveling with CWSs or EHPs


To qualify for home quarantine at an approved rental lodging, accompanying spouses and dependents of CSWs or EHPs must arrive on the same flight and present an acceptable COVID-19 negative test result collected within 5 days of arrival to Guam.


Accompanying spouses and dependents arriving without an acceptable COVID-19 negative test result will be transported to the Government of Guam Quarantine Facility, where they will remain until they receive a negative COVID-19 test result, subject to availability, or be subject to quarantine for a period of 14 days. 


In the event the CSW or EHP is traveling with dependents who are minors and without a spouse, the minor will be allowed to quarantine alongside the CSW or EHP. DPHSS will facilitate testing for minors arriving in Guam without a COVID-19 negative test result.


Emergency or hardship status requests
 

A traveler may request for emergency or hardship status if they're coming to Guam for a family emergency, if they have a serious, acute medical condition, a behavioral health condition, or a recent medical procedure or surgery.  


If a traveler is granted an emergency or hardship status, they will be required to go directly to a government of Guam Quarantine Facility, where they'll be assessed by a medical, behavioral health, or Public Health staff to determine necessary services, which may include an option to leave quarantine on a time-limited basis for a specific event or appointment or transfer to home quarantine.


DPHSS Guidance Memo 2020-11 Rev9 also clarifies that individual travelers do not pay for quarantine at a government of Guam facility. 


Compliance with voluntary quarantine regardless of location is subject to monitoring, verification, and enforcement. The knowing and intentional failure to follow any part of this order constitutes a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than one year or both (10 GCA, Chapter 19, §19604 (c) Cooperation).

Travelers can request an emergency or hardship status, or an exemption as a critical worker or essential health professional by visiting the DPHSS website at dphss.guam.gov/covid-19.

DPHSS Guidance Memo 2020-11 Rev9 can be viewed in its entirety at dphss.guam.gov/covid-19. For questions or concerns regarding DPHSS Guidance Memo 2020-11 Rev9, please send an email to dphss_quarantine@dphss.guam.gov.

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