Guam to wait for easing of restrictions

“If we don’t hit 80% [herd immunity] by July 21, I’m not lifting the restrictions ‘til we hit 80%.”

Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero said at a July 19 news conference that the island must wait further to see occupancies rise from 75% and a cap of 100 on gatherings lifted.

The governor was flanked by Arthur San Augustin, director of the Guam Department of Health, Dr. Michael Cruz, CEO of the Guam Regional Medical City and Felix Cabrera, chief medical officer at DPHSS.

Officials said, 4,727 have not had a second vaccination dose and that the island needs 2,073 people to vaccinate to reach 80%.

Leon Guerrero told the Journal that Lt. Governor Joshua F. Tenorio as acting governor would be able to issue an Executive Order in her absence as she heads to Hawaii and Washington, D.C. on July 22, returning Aug. 3.

Whenever restrictions are eased, the governor said, “We’ll still keep .. at PCOR 3.”

The Delta variant was also discussed and its progress in the U.S. mainland and internationally, as well as an emphasis that vaccination protects against variants.

The governor told the Journal her schedule is being finalized but that she expects to meet with the U.S. Secretary of the Department of the Interior, the director of the Department of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, and Gen. David H. Burger, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. She will also meet with “some of the Congressmen,” she said, but has not yet had firm confirmation of a meeting with Guam’s delegate to Congress, Michael F.Q. San Nicolas.

In other news, Leon Guerrero said it had not been decided if the Child Tax Credit will be given in a lump sum, or possibly two payments a year.


Change of command for Naval base commander

At a change of command due to be held today at Naval Base Guam, Capt. Michael D. Luckett will assume command of Naval Base Guam from Capt. Jeffrey M. Grimes.

Luckett is the outgoing commander of the USS Emory S. Land, the submarine tender at Naval Base Guam. Prior to that appointment in 2018, he was deputy commander of Task Force 69 in Naples, Italy.

Aside from appointments in the U.S. mainland and Hawaii, from October 2003 to June 2006 Luckett served as an engineer officer on the USS Houston in Guam.

More details will be shared with readers in due course.

No details of Grimes plans are yet available.  


FSM repatriation testing reveals positives

On July 15, 53 citizens were repatriated to Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia.

One individual who tested positive for COVID-19 on July 14 and two contacts were quarantined, according to a July 16 release from the Office of the President.

All persons had been vaccinated, with the limited exception of children and pregnant women, the release said. The citizens will be quarantined on return.

In other FSM news, President David W. Panuelo, submitted to the FSM Congress a Bill that would extend the life of FSM passports from five years to 10. A practical result is that FSM citizens who need to exit the U.S. (often to Canada) to renew I94 forms with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, will not only have to do so less frequently, but can avoid a procedure that due to delays resulted in loss of employment, according to a July 16 release. 


Yet more war games

U.S. Air Force B-52s from Minot Air Force Base, N.D. deployed to Guam as part of Talisman Saber 2021, according to a July 15 release from the Pacific Air Forces. During the last deployment four bombers were deployed to Guam.

The exercise in the region will include more than 17,000 personnel from Australia and the U.S., along with participants from Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. India, Indonesia, France, and Germany will observe, according to media reports.


Taiwan company sponsors 100 employees for Air V&V

In other COVID news, Guam welcomed its first Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions or MICE group from Taiwan July 19 as part of the island’s Air V&V program.

ADATA Technology Co. Ltd. sponsored more than 100 employees to visit Guam with the option to get vaccinated. According to a July 19 release from GVB, the company is a Taiwanese memory and storage manufacturer. “ADATA’s employee sponsorship included airfare, hotel accommodations, and mandatory quarantine costs upon return to their country. ADATA also encouraged its employees to invite their family members to participate in this incentivized travel.”

The ADATA group, which arrived on an EVA Air charter flight, is staying at Hyatt Regency Guam and The Tsubaki Tower for four days, GVB said. mbj