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  • By Johanna Salinas

Guam records second coronavirus-related death

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero announced the second Covid-19 related death on Guam during a press conference on March 31.

The deceased was a 79-year-old man with multiple ailments. “At 11:32 today a second patient confirmed to have COVID-19 passed away,” Leon Guerrero said.

“He had colon cancer and a traumatic spinal injury. He was present at GRMC on March 24 with the fever, but no travel history and was transferred to GMH on March 25. His family made the difficult decision to implement both a do not incubate and do not resuscitate order.”

The governor asked the island for a moment of silence to honor his life and his family. “On behalf of Jeff (Cook), myself, and my family, know that everyone who loved this person and everyone who called this person a friend has our deepest condolences,” Leon Guerrero said after her moment of silence. “I have not reached out. I have wanted to call the family, although I’m not going to physically be there. The rule is less contact as possible. I am sending my condolences through this media forum but I will try to call the family and offer my condolences."

Because the deceased had no travel history, Department of Public Health is working to see how he contacted the virus. Dr. Joleen Aguon of DPH said, “As far as the contact tracing public health has been actively tracing this.”

Guam has 58 Covid-19 positive cases, including two deaths.

The governor also addressed Covid-19 testing of CNMI samples on Guam. “I have been in communication with Gov. Ralph Torres and Linda Unpingco-DeNorcey has been in communication with Esther Muna who is head of Public Health over there,” she said. “We are receiving samples from them. Linda says there’s about ten that has came in. Because we’re the regional laboratory here, those test specimens have to come to Guam to be tested.”

An issue of concern was how the testing of CNMI's samples affect our own testing on Guam. “I don’t think it’s going to have a negative impact because we have the personnel here,” Leon Guerrero asserted. “And also their quota for kits is also given to us. We will continue with the operations with the laboratory and the testing as we have.”

A topic of concern was getting more test kits for the island. “We’ve been working closely with FEMA and CDC and the military. I had a call with Admiral Menoni and they’re bringing more test kits,” Leon Guerrero said. “He’s looking to bring in 400 tests for Guam. He offered that we can send our test specimens along with their test specimens off island, if we need to. There’s a contract with DLS because one of the directives from a federal level is to source out what you have in terms of local laboratories, local vendors.”

Leon Guerrero reminded that all tests must be ordered by a physician. Patients would have to get assessed by a private clinic, GRMA, or GMH in order to receive a COVID19 test. “There’s a federal directive and local directive states that all testing must come through public health to monitor and track data and results,” Leon Guerrero added. “People can’t just go to DLS to be tested, they need specimen that has gone through the areas of entry.”

Leon Guerrero reminded Guamanians to be patient with the pandemic and to practice social distancing. “The best you can do is act like you’ve been infected,” she insisted. “Social distancing protects your family, your friends, our health care workers, grocery story workers, gas station attendants, hotel and restaurant employees.”

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