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Officials discourage travel to Guam amid COVID-19 surge

HAGATNA, Guam >> The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has elevated Guam’s COVID-19 risk level to its highest tier and is urging people to avoid traveling to the island.

Eighty-eight individuals were in isolation with COVID-19 infections in Guam as of Wednesday morning, with nine new patients identified Tuesday, according to Guam’s Joint Information Center. There have been 8,1118 confirmed infections and 139 deaths from the disease on Guam since the pandemic began.

Data from the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services showed that newly confirmed infections and hospitalizations rose over the last seven days.

The CDC’s primary criteria for level 4, its highest risk level, is an incidence rate of more than 100 COVID-19 cases over the past 28 days, the Pacific Daily News reported Tuesday.

Public health officials also urge anyone who must travel to Guam to be vaccinated beforehand and to wear masks, maintain distancing, avoid large gatherings and self-monitor for symptoms.

Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said in a statement that the updated risk level should not be viewed as a setback, but as a reminder of the importance of COVID-19 public health safety precautions.

“Reopening our island is dependent on our ability to hold ourselves accountable,” Leon Guerrero said.

Guam Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio reiterated his call for people to get vaccinated.

Nearly 75,000 people on the island of about 170,000 people had received at least one vaccine dose of Friday, according to the Department of Public Health and Social Services.

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