JIC RELEASE NO. 375 - DPHSS Issues Guidance Memos 2020-40, 2020-41


JIC RELEASE NO. 375 - DPHSS Issues Guidance Memos 2020-40, 2020-41

For information on COVID-19 cases, visit the COVID-19 Dashboard and Situation Report at http://dphss.guam.gov/covid-19/. The COVID-19 Dashboard is updated on business days.

DPHSS Issues Guidance Memo 2020-40
The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) issued Guidance Memo 2020-040 relative to the Minimum Requirements for Places of Worship. 

Outlined below are requirements for places of worship to minimize the potential for transmission of COVID-19.  These requirements are intended for religious ceremonies held within the place of worship, including services involving the administration of sacraments or celebration of high holy days, funeral ceremonies, and other religious services. Alternative means of participation such as remote/virtual attendance, separate seating, and/or separate services are encouraged for congregants especially those at higher risk of severe illness, such as the elderly and the immunocompromised, to minimize their risk.

Staff, including but not limited to altar servers and volunteers, congregants, and visitors who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or who have family members who are ill, should stay home.

The Department of Public Health and Social Services asks all Places of Worship to strongly encourage their employees and congregants to download the Guam COVID Alert app.  For more information visit guamcovidalert.guam.gov.

A.        General Restrictions and Requirements

  • Religious ceremonies occurring indoors are limited to no more than 25% of the facility’s occupancy load.

  • Attendees who do not live in the same household must maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet.  Social distancing must be enforced in all types of ceremonies and/or gatherings.

  • Places of worship must provide physical distancing guides, such as tape on floors or walkways and signs on walls, to ensure that staff, congregants, and visitors remain at least 6 feet apart in lines and at other times.

  • Whenever possible and reasonable, establish “one-way routes” inside and outside the facility.

  • Prior to the start, and at the conclusion, of the ceremony, thoroughly clean and disinfect the facility using disinfectant cleaning supplies according to CDC guidelines:



  • If multiple services are offered, schedule services far enough apart to allow time for cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces between services.

  • Disinfect microphones and stands, music stands, instruments, and other items on pulpits and podiums between each service.

  • Post readily visible signage at the entrance and throughout the facility to remind staff and congregants of the need to wear face masks, social distance, follow respiratory and hand hygiene, and prohibit entry of individuals with COVID-19 symptoms.

  • Staff, including altar servers, congregants, and visitors must wear face masks at all times.  Such masks must cover both the mouth and the nose.  

o  The place of worship should adopt U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for face coverings for certain population and situations, including those with certain medical conditions:


  • Whenever possible, prohibit the sharing of commonly used objects, such as religious aids and microphones.

  • Congregational singing is prohibited; however, a soloist with one instrumentalist, or recorded music, is permitted.

o   Soloist must wear face mask when not singing.

o   Soloist is encouraged to not face the congregants or other individuals

and use a microphone while singing.

  • Prohibit the touching or kissing of devotional and other objects that the community is accustomed to handling communally.

  • Prohibit physical contact with persons outside of your household unless medically necessary.

  • Discontinue passing offering plates, trays or baskets, and similar items that move between people.  Use alternative giving options such as secure drop boxes that do not require opening or closing and can be cleaned and disinfected.  Consider implementing digital systems that allow congregants/visitors to make touch-free offerings.

  • Prop or hold doors open during peak periods when congregants are entering and exiting facilities, if possible, and in accordance with security and safety protocols.

B.        Promote Healthy Hygiene Practices

  • Promote healthy hand hygiene by encouraging staff to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after the ceremony.

  • Prior to entering the facility, require congregants to either wash their hands with soap and water, or provide hand-gel sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

  • Provide and maintain personal protective equipment for staff to perform enhanced cleaning/disinfection.

  • Wash religious garments and linens thoroughly after each service or event.  Workers, congregants, and visitors should wear gloves when handling others’ dirty linen, shoes, etc.

  • Where possible, do not clean floors by sweeping or other methods that can disperse pathogens into the air. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter wherever possible.

For any questions, contact the Division of Environmental Health at 300-9579 or via email, dphss-deh@dphss.guam.gov.


DPHSS Issues Guidance Memo 2020-41
DPHSS issued Guidance Memo 2020-41 which provides guidance for Authorized Businesses and Services during PCOR 1 relative to Executive Order No. 2020-36. Guidance Memo 2020-41 supersedes all previous DPHSS guidance documents that are in effect, in whole or in part, including DPHSS Guidance Memorandum 2020-039, which contradict or conflict with Executive Order 2020-36 and Guidance Memo 2020-41 itself.

Previously authorized businesses and services operating at 50% of the occupancy load prior to this guidance memorandum may continue to do so; all others may not exceed 25% occupancy rate.

For a complete list of definitions of authorized businesses, activities and operations, please refer to the DPHSS Guidance Memo 2020-41. A summary of operations and activities is provided below:

As of 8:00 a.m., October 3, 2020:

  • ADMINISTRATION OF SACRAMENTS OR CELEBRATION OF HIGH HOLY DAYS are permitted, but must be limited to 25% occupancy load, including the clergy or minister or other religious leader and his/her assistant, if necessary.

  • CONGREGATION is permitted, but not to exceed five (5) individuals. All individuals in the congregation must wear face masks. Individuals in congregations that are not from the same household must maintain social distancing of 6 feet.

  • FUNERAL CEREMONIES, BOTH RELIGIOUS AND NON-RELIGIOUS, that are held indoors must not exceed 25% of the occupancy load. Associated activities (i.e., burial) held outdoors must not exceed 25 individuals. All participants must wear face masks and maintain 6 feet distancing.

  • GOVERNMENT OF GUAM PARKS AND BEACHES shall be open to the public and congregations shall be limited to no more than five (5) persons.

  • GYMNASIUMS, FITNESS CENTERS, AND DANCE STUDIOS may operate at 25% of the room's occupancy load. Social distancing of 6 feet and adherence to DPHSS Guidance Memo 2020-16 must be observed. Facility operators and staff are to ensure that there is no contact amongst participants, and ensure that non-participants (i.e instructors, employees, and parents) wear face masks.

  • RECREATIONAL BOATING is authorized for single household units or boat charters, where 6 feet of distancing can be maintained by everyone on board.

  • RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES AND THE OPENING OF PLACES OF WORSHIP is authorized and must be conducted in adherence to DPHSS Guidance Memo 2020-40. Management must submit facility mitigation plans to DPHSS.

  • RUNNING, WALKING, BIKING, AND OTHER RECREATION AND NON-CONTACT EXERCISE is authorized on public roadways, beaches, and parks. provided there are no more than 5 individuals per group.

  • SWIMMING POOLS (private and public) may operate at 25% of the pool's occupancy load. The pool operator must adhere to DPHSS Guidance Memorandum 2020-17 and ensure that no more than five (5) individuals per group are at poolside. Groups must maintain 6 feet of distance from groups not from the same household.


Effective 6:00 a.m., October 5, 2020:

  • CHILD CARE FACILITIES operation will be authorized. Facility operators and staff must ensure adherence to DPHSS Guidance Memo 2020-20 and the Guam Administrative Rules and Regulations for Governing Child Care Facilities.


Effective 8:00 a.m., October 5, 2020:

  • ORGANIZED SPORTS NON-CONTACT TRAINING activity will be authorized. 6 feet of social distance must be maintained, including while occupying a vehicle (i.e., golf cart) or in an enclosed space. Direct contact amongst participants is prohibited.

  • FOR OUTDOOR ORGANIZED SPORTS TRAINING, organizers must ensure that the congregation does not exceed 20 individuals.

  • FOR INDOOR ORGANIZED SPORTS TRAINING, organizers must ensure that the congregation does not exceed 25% of the occupancy load. To the fullest extent possible, organizers must also implement frequent disinfection of surfaces that can be contaminated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Organizers must require the wearing of face masks by all who are not engaged in the activity (i.e., coaches, instructors, employees and parents), and ensure the posting of signs for social distancing and face mask requirements.


Distance learning by schools and its supporting activities is authorized, which include curbside pick-up, delivery of materials and documents, and teachers utilizing their classrooms to conduct virtual classes. Activities that can be conducted off­ campus are still generally prohibited at this time.

Testing for certification, credentialing, licensing, and aptitude is authorized as long as the number of participants does not exceed 25% of the room's occupancy load.

All businesses shall follow applicable requirements of DPHSS Guidance Memo 2020-39, which does not contradict or conflict with Executive Orders 2020-27 through 2020-34 and DPHSS Guidance Memo 2020-41, for social distancing; cleaning, sanitization, and/or disinfection of surfaces; posting of signs; face masks; and employee health and hygiene.

All businesses that require servicing via appointment, as delineated by DPHSS Guidance Memo 2020-41, shall maintain a written record, which provides the following information:

  • Date and time of the visit;

  • Name of the individual(s);

  • Assigned staff and/or table or workstation; and

  • Phone and/or email.

Written records must be maintained for a period of 30 days, and must be made readily available to DPHSS upon request. 

All businesses are strongly encouraged to require that their employees and patrons download the Guam COVID Alert app and encourage teleworking when practicable. DPHSS recommends face-to-face services be offered by appointments. 

At this time, the following businesses and services are not authorized for on-site operations:

  • Government of Guam agencies with customer service functions that are not deemed critical to the health and safety of the community

  • Indoor dining services at Eating and Drinking Establishments;

  • Educational institutions, including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities and those staff not engaged in distance learning or not performing critical functions;

  • Theaters and museums;

  • Tourist attraction sites and venues

  • Bars and taverns;

  • Movie theaters;

  • Contact sporting events of all types and non-contact sports competition or organized games;

  • Amusement parks, bingo halls, game rooms, and similar businesses and activities; and

  • Senior Centers.

  • Hotel bars and ballrooms

The use of unnecessary, common-use areas of offices and businesses, such as lounges and break-rooms, is prohibited.

To view the DPHSS Guidance Memos 2020-40 and 2020-41, and all Guidance Memos referenced above, in their entirety, visit dphss.guam.gov/covid-19

For the latest information on COVID-19, visit dphss.guam.gov or guamrecovery.com. For inquiries on COVID-19, contact 311 through a local number, or call the Joint Information Center at (671) 478-0208/09/10. 

Click Here to View DPHSS Guidance Memo 2020-41 PCOR1 (Version 1)_Final_Signed

Click Here to View DPHSS Minimum Requirements for Places of Worship_2020-40_Final Signed



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