Guam through my eyes

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero outlined her recovery plan on Thursday and set a goal of May 9 to slowly reopen.

She has told businesses to begin preparing for the date, but warned that the date could change if the data changes.

Leon Guerrero has placed restrictions effective until May 5, and her recovery lays out plans on how to return Guam back to some normalcy.

She will extend the public health emergency for an additional 30 days, but she said that won’t prevent her from lifting current restrictions.

 More: Doctor: COVID-19 numbers low, Guam will need to reopen slowly

Some businesses that can open when Guam slowly reopens include hair and nail salons and barbershops, shopping centers, malls and elective medical procedures, Ricky Hernandez, Guam Economic Development Authority deputy director said.

Those businesses, however, will need to operate on a limited basis with social distancing mandates, limited occupancy rates and certain public gatherings will still be prohibited, he said. 

A more detailed list of businesses that can reopen will be released next week, he said.

The plan “Chålan Para Hinemlo” or “Road to Recovery” outlines triggers to move Guam through recovery. They are using pandemic condition of readiness to determine the phases of reopening, the govenror said.

The triggers include a downward trend of confirmed cases, whether the hospital has the capacity to treat patients, testing and the ability to contact trace, she said.

Guam is currently in PCOR 1 which is the maximum restrictions, she said.

Guam could go to PCOR2 which is moderate restrictions which include the wearing of face masks in public and strict social distancing, Leon Guerrero said. 

If Guam goes to PCOR2, some non-essential businesses and government agencies can start reopening, she said.

The May 9 date is based on a 14-day window which started on April 25 and would only happen if Guam has accomplished the triggers to move to PCOR2. 

“May 9 is a goal – not an absolute certainty,” Leon Guerrero said. 

There needs to be a downward trend of confirmed cases and a downward trend of positive tests as a percent of total tests over a 14-day period utilizing a five-day rolling average, Dr. Michael Cruz said. 

Leon Guerrero said she will not rush fixed deadlines, but will take actions based on evidence. 

“We can’t return immediately to life before COVID-19,” she said

The island will have a long recovery, she added. 

The governor had originally planned to announce the plan last Friday, but held off until this week.

She had tapped several people to be part of a recovery panel of advisers to consult with about reopening the island.

Medical and public health professionals, the business community and government agencies were all involved in the process, Leon Guerrero has said. 

Leon Guerrero last week said the plan will be implemented in phases, but it will continue to follow the basic fundamentals that residents have been doing, which include social distancing, washing hands, wearing masks in public.

The goal is to get Guam working again but keep the island safe while doing that, she added.

Leon Guerrero said Guam’s cases remain at 145 as of Thursday afternoon with five deaths and only 9 active cases, with all other cases recovered. 

“We didn’t get here by luck or fate,” she said.

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