Official Statement Concerning Coronavirus

From GMM President Ken Norton

Greetings Families and Friends of Guam-Micronesia Mission,

The headlines of major news networks remind us daily that we truly live in challenging and difficult times.  As I’m sure many of you are aware, within a short flight distance from Guam-Micronesia Mission territory there are nations that are struggling to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus that is continuing to spread among the populations of these Asian nations.  Although we live in close proximity to these countries, at the present time there are no islands in Guam-Micronesia Mission (GMM) territory that have any confirmed cases of coronavirus.  Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) are currently coronavirus free zones and have all placed stringent measures to protect their islands from coming in contact with those who have traveled to infected countries.  Here is a sample list of news articles concerning the actions of all the island nations in Guam-Micronesia Mission that are working hard to keep the virus out.

FSM and RMI (includes the islands of Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap, Kosrae, Majuro, and Ebeye) - https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/408617/fsm-marshall-islands-step-up-coronavirus-travel-bans

Palau –“Palau has suspended flights to China, Macau and Hong Kong for at least the next month and is restricting government workers from travelling to those destinations.” - https://thediplomat.com/2020/02/australia-and-the-pacific-respond-to-coronavirus-outbreak -https://pw.usembassy.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/282/CoV-Second-Press-Release_001-January-23-2020.pdf

Guamhttps://www.pncguam.com/guam-to-adopt-us-coronavirus-emergency-travel-restrictions

CNMI (includes the island of Saipan) - https://pncguam.com/coronavirus-prompts-cnmi-to-declare-an-emergency/

Here in Guam-Micronesia Mission, we are closely monitoring all the latest coronavirus news reports and governmental statements from our island territories.  In the event of any confirmed cases of the virus on an island within GMM territory, we plan to work closely with the leadership of the North American Division, Adventist Risk Management, and the governmental agencies on each island to do whatever is necessary to protect our GMM personnel from exposure to the coronavirus.  We encourage all of our personnel, which include a large group of volunteer missionary teachers from around the world, to stay alert to local island news reports and to make sure the information they are receiving is from dependable news sources. We solicit the prayers of all that the virus will not make its way into the islands and for God to give wisdom and protection to those nations who are battling the virus on their home fronts.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at knorton@gmmsda.org.

Your servant in Christ,

Ken Norton

President, Guam-Micronesia Mission of Seventh-day Adventists

Written: February 12, 2020

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