COVID-19 Press Conference (Zoom)
Friday, August 20, 2021, at 3 p.m.
I have repeatedly stated that I would not hesitate to reinstate restrictions to continue protecting our island. And today, we have come to that point.
Like the rest of the globe, our COVID-19 cases are on the rise.
As we have reported, the delta variant is here and the risk it poses to our community remains high. Last night, the Joint Information Center reported 82 new cases of the 1,056 tested. We’ve also seen a rise in our CAR Score–now at 10.4.
Our hospital admissions have also increased. On Guam, unvaccinated adults have a 30-times higher risk of needing hospitalization as compared to fully vaccinated adults. Additionally, the data has consistently told us that 90% of hospital admissions are unvaccinated.
As of this morning, there are 20 COVID admissions between the Guam Memorial Hospital and the Guam Regional Medical City.
18 of the 20 admissions are unvaccinated
3 are in the ICU
And 1 is on a ventilator
We are fighting a much different pandemic than we were a year ago. Today, we are battling a pandemic of the unvaccinated.
In order to fully participate in society, you must do your part and get vaccinated. What we do as a community today will determine our physical and economic health. That is why, rather than impose a lockdown, we will impose a restriction of movement for the unvaccinated.
The time is now. I urge each eligible person to get vaccinated, not only for his or her well-being but for the well-being of our collective community. As we have seen elsewhere around the globe and in certain major jurisdictions in the United States, vaccination requirements are beginning to determine how society functions.
Therefore, all those ages 12 and older will be required to show proof of vaccination to dine in at restaurants, bars, clubs, gyms, fitness centers, dance studios, movie theaters, food courts, sporting events, boat cruises, and other events to use the facilities or enter the premises.
This is necessary because we know in these areas, mask-wearing is compromised.
For patrons, this provision takes effect Monday, August 23, 2021 at 8 a.m.
For staff, this provision takes effect Monday, September 27, 2021 at 8 a.m.
To further contain the spread of the virus, we must also impose a limit on social gatherings. That is why effective Monday, August 23, there will be a social gathering limit of no more than 100 vaccinated people.
And as always, the mask mandate remains in place.
While there have been positive cases reported in our schools, Public Health data tells us there are no clusters among our student population. These cases originated from home, social gatherings, or out in the community. For that reason, there will be no immediate changes for schools. But again, the best way to protect our children–most especially those not yet eligible to receive the vaccine–is to surround them with vaccinated people. This must start at home.
While we work to adopt the technology to make proof of vaccination easier, you can in the meantime prove your vaccination status by presenting any of the following:
- Your hard copy CDC vaccination card
- A photo of a vaccination card stored on your smartphone or electronic device
- Or a document of vaccination from your healthcare provider
Establishments must refuse service to patrons who fail to show proof of full vaccination and the same applies to organized sports. Failure to do so will result in fines.
As provided under existing Guam law, for individuals, failure to comply with any guidance or directive issued by DPHSS with respect to the COVID-19 public health emergency shall be punishable:
- For the first offense, individuals shall be punishable by a fine of $100.
- For the second offense, individuals shall be punishable by a fine of $250.
- For the third offense, and each additional violation thereafter, individuals shall be punishable by a fine of $1,000.
As provided under existing Guam law, for businesses and nonprofit organizations, failure to comply shall be punishable:
- For the first offense, businesses and organizations shall be punishable by a fine of $1,000.
- For the second offense, businesses and organizations shall be punishable by a fine of $2,500.
- For the third offense, and each additional violation thereafter, businesses and organizations shall be punishable by a fine of $10,000.
Again, we are fighting a pandemic of the unvaccinated. In order to keep our people safe, those of us who are eligible must roll up our sleeves and get our shots.
Please, protect yourself. Protect the ones you love. And protect our community.