Guam now has seven cases of the California COVID-19 variant, which is 20% more transmissible.
Speaking in a live Facebook video, Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said yesterday that of the seven cases, four were identified in the community, with no known travel history. The other three were from samples collected in quarantine.
According to Felix T. Cabrera, internal medicine doctor at Guam Regional Medical City, the samples were taken from Jan. 13 to Jan. 28 and don’t have the U.K., South African, or Brazil variants. Cabrera said the California COVID-19 variant is 20% more transmittable than the original virus.
He assured, though, that the vaccines Guam has been providing on the island has appears to be effective against the California variant.
Cabrera added that Guam’s COVID-19 numbers are very low, which indicates that even with the variant present, the measures being taken in Guam are working. There have been no new COVID-19 cases recorded in Guam for three days now, and only one person is in the hospital for COVID-19.
Leon Guerrero said there are no changes to any quarantine or isolation protocols, which means that incoming travelers will continue to be quarantined at a government facility.
May 1 continues to be the date when Leon Guerrero hopes to open the island back for tourism—if 50% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated. If this goal is met, Leon Guerrero said incoming passengers will only need a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction test 72 hours before coming to Guam in order to be exempted from quarantine.