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Starting at midnight Tuesday, all travelers, regardless of origin, will be subject to a 14-day quarantine on Guam unless they have a certification that they're not infected with COVID-19.
The quarantine also applies to passengers in transit.
Several flights including from Honolulu, Chuuk, Japan's Narita International Airport and Saipan's international airport have arrived or were scheduled to arrive Sunday. Guam previously had seen more than 40 flights a day.
Guam's number of COVID-19 cases increased by one patient Sunday, to 56. Twenty-three individuals were tested for COVID-19 on Sunday.
Guam's COVID-19 cases increased from three to 56 in a little more than two weeks – a total that does not include dozens of sailors on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, which docked at Naval Base Guam on Friday. The last number of confirmed COVID-19-positive sailors from the aircraft carrier was 23. The Navy has since declined to specify the number of COVID-19-affected sailors or their living arrangements on the Navy base, citing operational security.
Governor Lou Leon Guerrero said she has been assured the sailors, other than those who are being placed in isolation at Naval Hospital Guam, are being kept pierside and will not be allowed into the local community or within the general population on the Navy base.
A total of 388 tests have been performed between 12 March and 29 March for Guam residents. Guam initially had 400 test kits available.
The only way to avoid quarantine is if a passenger “possesses a health care-recognized and certified document that attests he or she is not infected with COVID-19 within the last 72 hours,” the government of Guam Joint Information Center stated, adding that these guidelines are subject to change.
The mandatory quarantine – regardless of point of origin – is being implemented as Guam is seeing fewer flight arrivals. Instead of more than 40 flights a day, Guam on Sunday had only a few flight arrivals, including from Honolulu, Chuuk, Narita International Airport in Japan and Saipan's international airport.
GovGuam has hired four hotels – Days Inn, Wyndham Garden Hotel, Pacific Star Hotel and Santa Fe hotel – to quarantine passengers mostly from Manila.
The Guam Office of the Attorney General last week sought a court order, on behalf of the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services, to keep people in quarantine if they refuse to heed the government's order.
Also on Sunday, the women-led local nonprofit I Hagan Famalåo'an Guåhan, along with seven other advocacy organisations, urged Governor Lou Leon Guerrero to speak up on COVID-19 concerns involving military personnel.
The groups suggested that the governor, among other things:
• Ask that "All DOD military personnel and contractors with exposure to those who have tested positive for COVID-19 be quarantined on military bases and not be allowed to leave base installations for at least the recommended 14 days –regardless of their mission-essential status"; and
• Ask the military to provide Guam's civilian community COVID-19 test kits, N95 face masks, ventilators and other necessary medical equipment for the local hospital and qualified medical personnel.
The military is shipping COVID-19 test kits for all 5,000-plus sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
SOURCE: THE GUAM DAILY POST/PACNEWS
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