Governor Lou Leon Guerrero on Monday lifted additional COVID-19 restrictions with immediate effect, including raising the limit on the number of indoor social gatherings from 100 to 250 people, even though another death-on-arrival case linked to COVID-19 has occurred.
The governor also reversed the suspension of the definition of habitual absenteeism under Guam law, allowing the Guam Department of Education to address lateness and student attendance, among other issues.
“Schools are authorized to resume all operations and enforcement procedures for regular truancy to the fullest extent available under Guam law,” the governor said in her March 21 executive order.
COVID-19 numbers have continued to improve, but not to the point where the mask mandate and other remaining restrictions might already be lifted.
An 85-year-old woman was pronounced dead upon arrival at Guam Regional Medical City on March 19, the Joint Information Center reported Monday evening.
The patient was fully vaccinated without a booster, with underlying health conditions and tested positive for COVID-19 on March 19, the JIC said.
The JIC also said that after a review of all possible COVID-19-related deaths, two previously counted COVID-19-related deaths have been removed, bringing Guam’s current death toll to 340. The latest death is 340th COVID-19 related death in Guam. .
“Every life is precious and precious, and we are saddened to announce the loss of another loved one to this deadly virus,” the governor said in a statement. “To his family and friends, Jeff, Josh and I offer our deepest condolences and heartfelt condolences.
On Monday, 16 were hospitalized with COVID-19. Two of them in the intensive care unit and one on a ventilator to help with breathing.
The governor suspended the truancy law at a time when COVID-19 kept many students from attending school.
Under the Truancy Act, a student who is habitually late or absent may be referred to juvenile court and may be suspended or expelled.
The governor said schools are equipped with resources to ensure children’s health is protected and have demonstrated their ability to keep students safe.
“It’s time to encourage our children to participate fully in student life and its proven benefits to their mental and physical well-being,” the governor said in a video message Monday evening announcing the lifting of new COVID-related restrictions. -19.
The latest EO also comes nearly three weeks since the governor increased the maximum number of people who can socially gather indoors from 25 to 100, and more than a week since the removal of the limit on social gathering crowds. outdoors on March 11.
Last week, the Department of Public Health and Human Services said Guam remained in the high-risk category based on measures from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the island remained under the omicron-induced COVID-19 surge.
This week, Guam expects to take “another step on the road to recovery,” the governor said.
“Based on CDC guidelines, Guam’s risk level remains elevated, but through our collective progress, our level will move to the moderate risk category in the coming days,” she said. “Local medical experts and the latest data agree Guam can continue to move forward with a careful and gradual lifting of pandemic restrictions.”
Guam remains under a state of public health emergency, which was originally declared in March 2020.
The path beyond the pandemic is there, the governor said, while also calling on residents to continue to wear their masks, wash their hands, watch their distance and get vaccinated and fortified.
The governor added that Guam is on the road to recovery where businesses are rebuilding, families are stabilizing, people are healing, the workforce is growing and schools are staying open.
Residents of Guam, however, face high inflation or higher prices for fuel, food, electricity, and many basic consumer goods.