Dr. Felix Cabrera, a member of the governor’s Physician Advisory Group, said the island’s low COVID Area Risk Score reflects the community’s dedication to suppressing COVID-19.
The administration tracks the severity of the pandemic using the CAR Score, which takes into account the incidence of new cases, the effectiveness of testing and the rate of spread.
Cabrera said the CAR Score was created as a means to help get COVID-19 hospitalizations and death rates down and it’s clearly worked, as hospital numbers are down and deaths have decreased.
Just weeks ago, Guam was facing a high number of COVID-19 patients at the hospitals as well as nearly one COVID-19 related death every day.
A month since Thanksgiving, the numbers have been low and it’s a major credit to the entire community taking the governor’s call to get the CAR Score below 5, he said.
Guam has done even better than the actual ideal goal, which was 2.5 and below. The island had been below 2.5 for nearly three weeks, he said. On Sunday, the CAR Score was 1.3.
“That’s been tremendous and that continues to reflect in our hospital numbers,” Cabrera said.
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Cabrera said the island is moving in the right direction, but cautions that it doesn’t take much to reverse it and with Christmas and other holidays, there are some nerves about what could happen.
But Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has faith in the community and that’s why she’s had some restrictions lifted, he said. Leon Guerrero has allowed up to 15 people to gather together and will allow indoor dining.
Cabrera said the key thing residents should understand is that sharing meals with other people, whether family or friends, has the highest risk of transmitting disease. The advisory group is hopeful that people keep this in mind during the holidays.
And even though Guam has the COVID-19 vaccine, residents need to continue to practice preventive measures — wearing masks, watching their distance, and washing their hands, he said.