Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero in her May 8 press conference confirmed the island would transition to Pandemic Condition of Readiness 2, but starting May 10 at 8 a.m.
Businesses closed under PCOR 1 such as retail stores, financial planning services and cosmetic services such as barbershops and hair salons will be open with limitations. The details of these limitations — which include mandatory facemasks and keeping customer occupancy down to no more than 50% — are on the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services website, and have been sent out through civic organizations.
Sit-down dining in restaurants and food courts is still prohibited, although those business activities along with several others are under review and may reopen in the coming weeks.
Public gatherings of no more than 10 people will also now be allowed. Parks and beaches are still closed for gatherings, but open for individual exercise.
Government of Guam permitting and regulatory services will also reopen at the One Stop Center at the Department of Public Works. Businesses that seek to renew licenses and meet other regulatory requirements will be able to do so, although some functions of the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation will be moved over to satellite locations to facilitate social distancing.
Other agencies will include the Guam EPA, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Labor, the Department of Administration and the Department of Parks and Recreation.
“I am very confident that as we go into PCOR 2 we will continue to see low numbers [of positive COVID-19 cases],” the governor said. “But again, that will not happen if we do not continue with the behaviors we’re engaging in now.”
The governor said she anticipates the tourism industry may begin to recover 18 months to two years from now and thinks, since Japan has had a new surge of positive cases of COVID-19, she suspects South Korea will likely be the first market to return to Guam.
The governor said this is also a good time for Guam to look at diversifying its economy by developing new industries such as agriculture, aquaculture and telecommunications.
“These are industries that I think are very feasible for us to grow and expand,” she said.
Micronesia Mall confirmed to the Journal that it will open on May 10.
In other news:
IT&E extends data cap
IT&E has extended lifting a data cap until May 15 in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Programmatic agreement available
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas announced May 8 a Programmatic Agreement Memo for review and comments through June 21 at http://go.usa.gov/kZWG.
The memo “provides new cultural and natural resources and … information associated with planned construction projects …: . These include main and commercial/tactical vehicle gates at Naval Base Guam Telecommunications Site “to support development of Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz, according to the announcement.
Second stimulus bill on the way, Guam to receive education funds
More financial relief may be on the way, with the readying of a second stimulus bill, House Resolution 6321. This would not require local government matching funds, and for the general population would include rental relief, eviction restrictions and include the territories, according to a May 8 release from Michael San Nicolas, Guam’s delegate to Congress.
Through the Education Stabilization Fund of the CARES Act, the Guam Department of Education will receive $43.2 million of $54.02 for the island for “coronavirus-response activities including purchasing of education technology for on-line learning, planning and coordination for continued learning during school closures, and providing for education-related gaps … ,” according to a May 7 release from San Nicolas. The insular areas as a group will receive more than $153 million.
Mass testing in Saipan suspended
Testing at the Saipan International Airport is suspended today, May 8 through May 10 in the Northern Mariana Islands due to the high volume and to allow for return of results, according to a May 7 release from the Office of the Governor.
As of May 7, testing of 2,336 individuals in 11 days resulted in one positive case. Saipan has 15 cases; Rota and Tinian are presumed COVID-19 free.
Rota was due to begin testing on May 7, according to Journal sources.
Bank of Guam to hold annual meeting
Bank of Guam will hold its annual shareholders meeting on May 18. For instructions to listen in, call the Bank of Guam Trust Department from May 11 to May 15, at (671) 472-5743.
Since there will be no video or chat option, shareholders can submit questions to [email protected]. Whether attending or not, proxies can be sent to www www.envisionreports.com/BKGM by entering the control number indicated on the Shareholder Meeting Notice or any voting instruction form. Additional information regarding the Shareholders Meeting is available in proxy materials filed with the SEC at www.envisionreports.com/BKGM, according to a May 7 release
According to the SEC, as of March 20 there were 9,674,156 bank shares outstanding.