JIC RELEASE NO. 793 - DPHSS Issues Guidance Memos 2021-23 and 2021-24


JIC RELEASE NO. 793 - DPHSS Issues Guidance Memos 2021-23 and 2021-24

On September 19, 2021, the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) issued:


DPHSS Guidance Memo 2021-23 provides clarification for schools that are prepared to resume in-person learning, rescinds DPHSS Guidance Memorandum 2021-09 (Revision 2), and supersedes all previous DPHSS guidance documents that are in effect, in whole or in part, including DPHSS Guidance Memorandum 2021-21, which contradict or conflict with Executive Order 2021-23 and DPHSS Guidance Memo 2021-23.


All schools must email their in-class school operation plans to the Division of Environmental Health (DEH) no later than October 1, 2021.  The submitted plans must indicate if the school is unable to meet the specific provisions in the guidance. The schools must address these challenges by incorporating additional layered mitigation strategies that will meet the intent of DPHSS Guidance Memo 2021-23 to prevent transmission of COVID-19.  The plans are subject to review and approval by DEH, and must be submitted and approved no later than October 31, 2021; otherwise, the non-compliant school must cease operation immediately and/or a penalty may be imposed to the school pursuant to DPHSS Regulations Governing the Enforcement of Public Health Memoranda and Directives During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.


DPHSS Guidance 2021-23 provides provisions that must be adhered to in school operations plans which include, but are not limited to:

  • Universal and Correct Use of Face Masks

  • Physical Distancing

  • Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Ventilation

  • Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette

  • Food Service and School Meals

  • Sports and Extracurricular Activities

  • Screening Testing

  • Staying Home When Sick and Getting Tested

  • Transportation

  • Promoting COVID-19 Vaccination Among Eligible Individuals in the Schools

DPHSS will issue a guidance memorandum to schools for COVID-19 testing, case investigation, contact tracing, isolation, quarantine, and monitoring of positive individuals and contacts in schools.


In-class operating plans for Schools must be emailed to dphss-deh@dphss.guam.gov. For additional questions, contact DPHSS at (671) 300-9579 or (671) 922-2562; 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. To view DPHSS Guidance Memo 2021-23 in its entirety, CLICK HERE.


DPHSS Guidance Memo 2021-24 rescinds DPHSS Guidance Memos 2021-19, 2021-20, and 2021-21 and supersedes all previous DPHSS guidance documents that are in effect, in whole or in part, including DPHSS Guidance Memorandum 2021-18, which contradict or conflict with Executive Order 2021-23 and DPHSS Guidance Memo 2021-24. DPHSS Guidance Memo 2021-24 provides minimum requirements that Covered Establishments must comply with in order to operate, and provides amendments and clarification to the following definitions and sections:

  • “Congregation” or “Social Gathering” shall mean a meeting for a common and singular purpose of more than one person where the individuals are not members of an Immediate Family Unit or Single Household Unit.  This does not include funeral ceremony (both religious and non-religious); regular operations in places of worship; and meetings of businesses, organizations, or government agencies held for the purpose of carrying out official business of such entities in their place of business, provided that food and drinks are not consumed on site.

  • “Funeral Ceremony” shall mean rosaries, wakes, visitations, viewings, burial, and/or other funeral services.

  • Added Definition: “Outdoor” shall mean an open area that may be covered to protect from the elements but shall not be enclosed by more than two walls.

  • VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS ITEM 2(a)(iv): CDC vaccination card, which includes name of person vaccinated, type (name) of vaccine provided, and date of the last dose administered, or similar documentation issued by another foreign governmental jurisdiction; the unauthorized use of an official government agency’s seal (such as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a crime, and may be punishable under Title 18 United States Code, Section 1017, and other applicable laws

  • Adds VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS ITEM 2(g): Proof of medical or religious exemption to vaccination issued by DPHSS

  • VACCINATION REQUIREMENT ITEM 6: Organizers of contact sporting events must refuse to allow coaches and participants sixteen (16) years plus one (1) month of age and older who fail to show proof of vaccination status as provided herein from participating in any contact sports, trainings, or competitions. 

  • VACCINATION REQUIREMENT ITEM 8(c): In the event an employee of a Covered Establishment declines to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or provide proof of such vaccination, they will be required to undergo and submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test once weekly. The Covered Establishment must maintain records of test results for a period of not less than 60 days.

  • CONGREGATIONS AND SOCIAL GATHERINGS ITEM 1, 1(a – c): Congregations and social gatherings shall be limited to no more than ten (10) vaccinated persons for indoor activities, or no more than twenty-five (25) vaccinated persons for outdoor activities. This includes guests, participants, coaches, patrons, performers, volunteers, and children below 12 years of age.

    • There shall be no more than ten (10) vaccinated persons per group or table indoors, or no more than twenty-five (25) vaccinated persons per group or table outdoors. 

    • Each group or table shall be separated by a minimum of six (6) feet physical distance.  When it is difficult to maintain a six (6) feet distance between groups or tables, physical barriers, which separate each group, must be installed.  The top horizontal edge height of physical barriers must not be less than the top of the head of the tallest person of the group.

    • Intermingling of people from different groups/tables shall not be allowed.

  • Adds CONGREGATIONS AND SOCIAL GATHERINGS ITEM 6: The provisions stated in Part D above shall apply to congregations and social gatherings in all public and private settings, including Covered Establishments, unless expressly exempted in this Memorandum.

  • ITEM E(1): Covered Establishments shall implement and enforce wearing of face masks by all individuals ages 2 years and older, including guests, patrons, performers, employees, volunteers, participants, and coaches at all times while on their indoor and outdoor premises, except when:

  • ITEM E(2): Contact Logs shall be required in all Covered Establishments, Cosmetology Establishments, K-12 schools, and childcare facilities.


Covered Establishments may choose to implement stricter policies, including but not limited to physical barriers, social distancing, and limited occupancy, subject to existing legal restrictions. 


To view DPHSS Guidance Memo 2021-24 in its entirety, CLICK HERE. For further questions, contact the Division of Environmental Health at 300-9579 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or email, dphss-deh@dphss.guam.gov


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. 



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