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Military on Guam enters health condition ‘Charlie’ as island’s coronavirus cases surge

This aerial view of Naval Base Guam shows Apra Harbor with several Navy vessels in port on March 5, 2016.

DEVEN ELLIS/U.S. NAVY

By SETH ROBSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 20, 2020

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An upswing in new coronavirus cases on Guam has prompted the military there to increase its health protection condition, Joint Region Marianas announced Thursday.

Government officials on Guam reported 105 new coronavirus cases and one death Thursday, bringing the total number reported on the island to 704, including 126 service members, since March 12. Six people have died.

The military number does not include the approximately 1,150 sickened crewmembers of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, which was docked on Guam for two months during an outbreak that started in late March.

Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base Guam, which had been at the “moderate” Health Protection Condition-Bravo since Aug. 6, moved to the “substantial” condition Charlie immediately, according to a Joint Region Marianas statement.

“There are no changes to installation access for eligible persons at this time,” the statement said. “However, [the bases] may institute changes to individual base amenities as required to maintain mission readiness.”

On Sunday, Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, who tested positive for the coronavirus early this month, placed the island under “Pandemic Condition of Readiness 1,” saying Guam needs “one intense attack on the virus.”

The condition, which is set to expire Aug. 30, shutters nonessential businesses; forces schools to shift to virtual instruction; prohibits public gatherings, including religious services; and closes parks and beaches to everyone but those who are exercising while social distancing.

robson.seth@stripes.com
Twitter: @SethRobson1