Since April 7, the number of new COVID-19 positive cases have relatively low while the number of people who have recovered have increased.
"Again our numbers look good, we are at 136 positive confirmed cases. We have 109 total recoveries. That’s about an 80% recovery," Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said in her Saturday morning briefing.
The governor also clarified a statement previously made and encouraged local employers who have been affected by COVID-19 to register online with the Guam Department of Labor's website. DOL officials have said information will be used for, among other things, to verify information for unemployment benefits.
Meanwhile, people who have lost their jobs or who are forced to work fewer hours will be able to apply in a few weeks, the governor said.
She said with the new numbers and other developments, several things have been triggered.
"We are going to do more tests …using FDA test kits," she said. "We have the capacity that we are building (and) we will be able to test more."
She said the expanded testing will provide "a better understanding of the community spread."
It has also triggered plans to direct recovery programs, the governor said.
To that end, she's empaneled an advisory group that includes doctors and other medical personnel, representatives from the business community, including the tourism industry, and government agencies.
The group will create the plan and strategy that drives the recovery.
“The recovery, I have to tell you, is going to be gradual, and going to be controlled and … monitored very closely,” she said. “Restrictions are going to be lifted but they’re going to be lifted gradually."
The governor expressed a concern that lifting restrictions too quickly could result in the coronavirus spreading as seen in other countries that re-opened borders and lifted restrictions only to see an upswing in positive cases that were traced back to local contact as well as people traveling from other countries.
"We want to protect against that," she said. "The best way to do it is to have a panel of advisors, have a plan that’s approved, look at the plan make sure its gradual slow and being monitored all along the way to make sure that if … there are early, early surges or early, early infections that are increasing we can address that rapidly so that we don’t have again massive infections in our community."
The governor added her thanks to the community saying the "success of our sustained coronavirus containment (with) very low numbers is because of you."
"Your commitment, your compliance, your persistence in staying home, only being out for essential business, washing your hands, distancing yourself, using your mask - these are all the measures you have been using to minimize the COVID infections," she stated. "And because of you we are winning this war."
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