EO is a departure from recommended options

GHRA president Mary Rhodes tells Kandit in an interview minutes after the Guam governor issued an executive order, that her organization is not and has never been in favor of requiring their members’s employees to get vaccinated. Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s latest executive order requires the employees of several businesses that fall under the GHRA’s umbrella to show proof of vaccination to their employers by September 27. If they don’t, and the employer continues to allow them on premises, both the employee and the employer will face hefty fines.

It is unclear at this point whether employers, who continue to allow unvaccinated employees to come to work after September 27 will face other penalties, such as the revocation of business license. The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services is expected to issue guidance memoranda stemming from the new executive order.

The following is Ms. Rhodes’s full statement:

Please know GHRA met with DPHSS to discuss the recommendations made by PAG. We appreciate the opportunity to continue to work with the government as we work through this pandemic, but we were considering options for the businesses to select how they can operate within certain limitations as initially recommended by the Physicians Advisory Group . The following includes a brief summary of what was discussed:

First, we were not informed that they were going to mandate vaccines at the establishments for service staff. Vaccines at the workplace has always been up to each employer. GHRA has led many vaccine clinics the last seven months, but have never pushed for mandating vaccines

Second, we were told by PAG they would implement in in three weeks to allow for training and communications for staff and to encourage the public to schedule vaccines to get fully vaccinated by a certain date. The Governor announced this takes effect on Monday, which was not our understanding of PAG’s recommendations. We need to allow businesses to acclimate to the new requirements, train and schedule staff, put the proper protocols in place, and notify the public on the new entry requirements.

Third, the announcement today requires certain businesses and activities to only allow 100% access for vaccination individuals. GHRA only discussed the options that were recommended by the PAG including:

– If businesses don’t want to check vaccinations, they can operate at 50%. This is no different than what businesses were doing before restrictions were lifted. So this is reasonable for businesses to comply with if they don’t want to check for proof of vaccination

– If they do check for proof of vaccines, they can operate at 100%

– social gathering limited to 25 unless you can prove vaccinations, which would allow between 26-150.

For proof of vaccines, we recommended, paper or photocopies on smart phones of CDC card and/or second verification for now. But, we also presented a QR code solution that would be seamless for the businesses and public to use while allowing DPHSS the access to review the QR code scans by businesses which would help them more effectively manage contact tracing.

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