A message from Governor Lou Leon Guerrero was sent Tuesday evening after a joint clearinghouse reported Guam’s highest daily COVID-19 count in months.

The Governor’s remarks are below and can be viewed by clicking here.

On Tuesday, we reported 210 positive cases of COVID-19, our highest number of cases in a single day since October 29, 2021, when we reported 111 cases at the end of our last wave. At the time of this recording, there are 11 COVID hospital admissions, none of which are receiving ICU level of care or are on ventilators. Our CAR score is 22.2.

As public health officials have predicted, increases in positive cases often follow holidays such as Christmas and New Years due to increased travel and gatherings. Coupled with the emerging and highly transmissible variant Omicron, this development is probably what we are seeing today.

While our island does not currently have the specialist expertise to identify specific variants, we remain in constant communication with U.S. health authorities to determine and address the presence of Omicron in our community.

After defeating three surges, our people know what to do. We know how we can move stronger. We know how to move smarter. We know how to get around safely.

There is a lot we can do to keep our hospital from running out of beds, to avoid unnecessary loss of life, and to keep our healthcare workers from being overwhelmed. If only we would realize in advance, NOW, what is required of us to protect the health of our families and our island. We will act quickly to save lives.

As we have acknowledged, my administration and our expert healthcare professionals have been monitoring our cases and transmission trends very closely since the Omicron variant outbreak in South Africa two months ago.

Two of the three deaths reported on Monday tested positive the same day they died on arrival at the hospital. It could mean that they weren’t aware of the severity of their symptoms or that they waited until it was too late to act.

I am concerned about this trend, but I am more confident in our protective measures to minimize hospitalizations and serious illness, and prevent death.

As students, educators and support staff return to school, and like many others return to work after the holidays, we must act with sincerity and vigilance.

Please. For your health and those who love you. Do not wait before it’s too late. Look for the emergency warning signs. Get emergency care immediately or call 911 if you have difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, new confusion, inability to wake up or stay awake, or bluish lips or face .

Please. For your health and those who love you. GET VACCINATED AND BOOSTED. Almost 130,000 of us have done our part to be fully immunized, including over 12,000 adolescents and about 5,000 children.

But only around 39,000 booster shots have been given so far. This tells us that many people still need a boost, especially if it has been six months or more since your last COVID vaccine.

And the option to get your vaccine or your booster remains available at no cost and is widely accessible through Public Health vaccination clinics. Which was recently expanded in partnership with the Guam Department of Education and will be available in select schools, after hours, starting this week.

Taking these steps, in addition to seeking treatment with COVID-19 monoclonal antibody, is our best defense in defeating this deadly virus. And so we beg you to take them for your protection.

For our part, we remain committed to stopping the spread of this virus with all the resources at our disposal. This involves our healthcare providers performing the three T’s of our trust approach: We test. We follow. And we treat.

We have resumed public testing six days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Monday to Saturday at the old Tiyan Carnival grounds and from next week we will be extending the testing hours. If you have been exposed to a positive case or are showing symptoms, I urge you to quarantine and get tested immediately.

Public Health began administering brand new COVID-19 Cue test kits on Tuesday. This test is completely free and helps make our operations more efficient to get your results faster and easier with SMS access.

With the increase in testing, we are taking swift action to track contacts of positive cases, minimize transmission rates, and identify new cases faster than ever before.

Along with improved testing and tracking, we also have the tools to help people improve faster. Since September of last year, we have been offering monoclonal antibody therapy in our hospitals and at the Mangilao Senior Citizens Center. So far, we have treated over a thousand people who know about the benefits of this treatment.

This therapy lowers your risk of developing severe symptoms and needing hospitalization. And it will make a big difference for people who have comorbidities or a weakened immune system.

A year ago, we did not have this life saving treatment. We didn’t have these advanced test kits. And all of these metrics that we’ve introduced, refined and reworked, are game changers that will make sure we do our best.

As I said before, we need to act urgently and respond to Omicron as if it were a super typhoon. As with putting up shutters and securing our homes, we need to step up wearing our masks, washing our hands, and monitoring our distances – in addition to getting the vaccine, booster and treatment.

With these important tools and guiding strategies as protection, we can and will move forward stronger, smarter, and as people united for the common good. People who put life first. People who can and will prevail over and over again.

May God guide us all and God bless Guam.