Governor to ease check points; military positives in the hundreds
At the April 13 daily media conference, Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero said traffic checks will continue. Commercial vehicle handling will become more efficient, rather than clogging the roads as was seen during April 11 and 12. “Commercial vehicles will be waved on,” she said.
Journal staff on the road have been handed a flyer on heavy stock paper, with the same information as was previously given verbally.
More than 4,000 sailors have been moved from the ship, according to Rear Adm. John Menoni at the press conference. He would only confirm two locally based military tested positive but not from which branch of service, so that it is not obvious how far the virus has spread among locally based military.
As to the 585 cases that have tested positive, he said, “As we out-test people from their quarantine, those sailors will likely go back to their ship.” Menoni confirmed there had been “a break of quarantine” in one of the hotels, but only within the hotel itself.
Guam has 133 positive cases of COVID-19, 58 recoveries (about 44%) and five fatalities.
Legislature still not discussing the governor’s additional authority
The Guam Legislature returned to its agenda after weeks of postponement that saw it meet on April 9, when it enacted hazard pay for frontline government employees.
Senators delayed until the end of the agenda Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero’s request for additional authority, as introduced as Bill 335-35 by Vice Speaker Telena Nelson and Sen. Amanda Shelton.
The legislature recessed around 4.30 p.m., without discussing the governor’s request and will reconvene at 9 a.m.
Speaker Tina Rose Muna Barnes had introduced a bill that would penalize residents with a misdemeanor requirement of up to $5,000 or a year in prison.
In other business, Bill 313-35, which would have allocated emergency funds for unemployment was set aside by its sponsor, Vice Speaker Nelson, for fear of impacting federal unemployment funds, and to await further information from the Guam Department of Labor.
The legislature also enacted an exemption for the school service-learning requirement to graduate, and increased the penalty for open burning, to include barbecues.
Guam DOL prepping for how applications for unemployment claims will work
Guam’s application process for unemployment is anticipated to begin in two to three weeks, as the Department of Labor has sent a draft of the application to U.S. DOL.
When the benefits will be received is dependent on U.S. DOL as well.
DOL anticipates it will require a signed form, a paper or electronic copy. The paper copies are set to be distributed at essential businesses such as gas stations and grocery stores; stores to be determined. Drop boxes will be set up at stores for paper copies.
The documents to supply in addition to copies of a photo identification (Guam driver’s license, passport, other government-issued ID) include a letter from the employer which has employee’s name, employer’s contact information, proof that the employee was furloughed or hours were reduced, etc. and the most recent pay/check stubs.
As of April 8, DOL had received notice of 7,989 displaced employees and 7,951 with reduced hours. DOL said that did not include most of the employees from the hotel industry.