In a Sept. 10 press conference, Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero announced the extension of PCOR 1 on the island.

The extension will cover another week, until noon on Sept. 18, with no changes to the current order.

The governor said, “Over 70% of our total cases were confirmed in August and September alone.” While COVID infection has plateaued on the island, she said, “It has not yet begun to decline at the rate necessary for our healthcare system to recover,” which is one of the main reasons the governor extended PCOR 1.

During the Sept. 10 Guam Visitors Bureau board of directors meeting, Carl T.C. Gutierrez, GVB board president, discussed the bureau’s redirection from destination marketing and promotion issues to a strategic role in facilitating and enabling the roll-out of the new contact tracing app, Guam COVID Alert, which launched on Sept. 10. (For more information on the app, see COVID story or visit guamcovidalert.guam.gov)

Board Chairman Pedro “Sonny” Ada said, “Mask it, social distance, proper hygiene, and please download the new app.”

Vice president of the board, Gerald S.A. Perez said the goal is to reduce the positivity rate of COVID, which currently ranges between 8% and 14%, to the pre-spike rate of below 3% with zero deaths. Perez said the bureau is not currently taking a front, center and bold stance on ending the pandemic and that “[GVB] wants health-care stakeholders and local residents to take ownership of the problem.”

Perez also noted that arrivals for this fiscal year thus far, or October 2019 through August, are down 49.5% from the previous fiscal year during that time frame.

The meeting also discussed the appearance of various tourism attractions on island, including Tumon

GVB will hold a webinar on Sept. 16 focusing on technology and the new COVID app. The membership deadline for the upcoming board election is Oct. 5. mbj