Mark Torre Jr. and his attorney Jay Arriola react after a jury found Torre not guilty of all charges on Nov. 23, 2020.
Pacific Daily News
Traveling to Guam means accepting a 14-day quarantine, delivered meals and a coronavirus test.
The island is closed to almost everyone except incoming residents. Military escorts await arrivals at the airport. Health workers ensure travelers have filled out a declaration form and been briefed on the government’s latest safety measures.
That’s the easy part. Then comes the rest.
You wait in line — socially distanced, of course — as military and airport personnel ask you about your recent travel locations and connecting flights.
“Then you wait in a separate room six feet apart,” said Wendy De Osambela, a recent traveler from Pennsylvania.
A flight status display shows just how few flights are scheduled to arrive and depart from the Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport in this Nov. 19 file photo. (Photo: Rick Cruz/PDN)
Other passengers of your flight, sometimes up to 100 people, follow the same procedures.
“Most of us come in here and are trying to get away from quarantine in a hotel,” Osambela said. “Because it’s news for everybody, it takes a little time to explain the process to everyone. There is no way around it.”
Not even proof of a negative test before boarding a flight gets you out of quarantine. Only health workers endorsed by the Department of Public Health and Social Services are exempted.
“We’re waiting for everyone on the plane to get screened,” Osambela said.
At another station, you receive the authorization forms for consent to join the mandatory quarantine. Next, you wait until the school buses arrive. Once they park, you find an open spot among a sea of empty seats.
“There are at least 10 buses waiting outside the airport. They have spaces in between, so we’re six feet apart,” Osambela said.
After a quick drive, passengers shuffle off the buses, then to the lobby of Dusit Beach Resort Guam.
“The whole process between getting off the plane to the hotel was two hours,” Osambela said.
A quarantine room at Dusit Beach Resort Guam. (Photo: Wendy De Osambela)
Military guards confirm your personal information. They ask you about your allergies and diet preferences, then escort you to your room. You can carry your luggage yourself or ask the escorts to bring them for you.
If your flight arrives late at the night, you get a dinner box at the hotel, even if it’s 11 p.m.
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Those in quarantine aren’t permitted to go out for a stroll or food or even to take out the garbage. Guards deliver three meals to your room and knock on the door. Once you open the door, wearing a mask, you pick up a box on the table outside. It’s contactless delivery.
The food operates on a rotating menu. Think of it as airport food: prepared meals with carbohydrates, protein, and salad. Some days you get pasta for lunch; other days you get scrambled eggs, waffle, or potato wedges for breakfast.
“The food was enough, and you are able to do delivery,” Osambela said. “If you have family in town, people can drop off stuff.”
“There are so many people on Wi-Fi. But it wasn’t that bad for us. My daughter would say it’s fine, but it was mostly me who couldn’t get on the Wi-Fi,” Osambela said.
Wi-Fi fades in and out, she said, so prepare a hot spot beforehand.
Keep yourself busy inside your hotel room and anticipate daily temperature checks when you wear a mask and stand at the door, she advised.
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Once the sixth day arrives, your nose is swabbed for a coronavirus test. Within 24 hours, results come back. If they are negative, you spend another week of quarantine at home. If they return positive, you are moved to a government isolation facility at Bayview Hotel Guam.
“It doesn’t matter what you do or what you say. That’s just how it is,” Osambela said.
Reach reporter Anne Wen at [email protected]
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