COVID restrictions are clearly a challenge to businesses, and the power of executive orders leave little room for argument.
In Guam, two things are lacking alongside executive orders — clarity and timeliness.
It is left to media — followed by civic organizations to advise businesses what just came down the pipeline.
The last executive orders have been sweeping, affecting businesses, employees, schools, parents and children, visitors and members of the general public.
Once again, the latest news did not come from the administration.
The Journal first received news during the afternoon of Friday, Aug. 27 from schools and parents.
The rumor mill also proved efficient on social gathering. Given that, the Journal posted even before receipt of the executive order, Department of Public Health guidelines and the Joint Information Center release.
Clarifications and forms trickled out after that.
Without a press conference, but with poor timing and important information not ready, there is clearly an ongoing communication problem. That afternoon and the following week, the Journal received multiple questions, to include from outraged working parents. The paper issued a much-appreciated infographic on the latest regulations.
Restaurants and other businesses and venues who now wish to have clients and members must become responsible for ensuring that its clients are vaccinated.
But is the Guam Department of Public Health doing its part?
While Guam continues to vaccinate and test residents, there is still no word on a rapid test, which would alleviate both wait time to determine positive cases and allow for the department to avoid being overwhelmed by the need for testing and issuance of results — which is still taking days.
While the department may prefer a PCR test, it’s time to deal with realities.
And lastly, congratulations to Coast360 Federal Credit Union and the Crowne Plaza hotels in Guam and Saipan.
Despite challenges with the COVID working environment, labor, costing, and permitting (particularly permitting in Guam) these courageous businesses are moving ahead, as our coverage shows.
Our island communities are the better for their leadership. mbj