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  • By Pacific Island Times News

New projection: Guam will have 17 deaths by Aug. 4

Guam will have 17 coronavirus-related deaths by Aug. 4, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s new projections that have been released amid the Trump administration’s call for U.S. jurisdictions to reopen their economies.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero on Tuesday announced the gradual lifting of restrictions to pave the way for resumption of commercial activity on Guam and reopening of some government agencies on May 11.

“While we remain in Pandemic Condition of Readiness 1, I want to report that we are maintaining our progress in achieving a transition to Pandemic Condition of Readiness 2. With that, guidance is expected to be released in the coming days regarding which businesses can begin to responsibly re-open on a limited basis toward regaining some sense of normalcy,” the governor announced.

As of May 5, Guam had 149 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with five deaths and 124 released from isolation. Some cases that were previously released from isolation have returned to active isolation status after re-testing positive for Covid-19 through follow-up testing, according to the Joint Information Center’s latest update. No additional cases have been linked to people released from isolation.

“Cases are released from isolation when at least 72 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms and at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared,” according to the government’s release.

Administration officials said results of rapid testing— showing an average zero to one positive— have indicated that the Covid-19 transmission has decelerated on Guam.

But new projections, based on modeling pulled together by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, estimate that the true number of infections in every area is likely five to 15 times higher than reported cases.

Based on one of the models, Guam’s actual positive cases per date are as follows:

“The infections estimate includes all infected individuals, not just those that took a coronavirus test kit and tested positive. The vast majority of infected individuals did not get tested due to 1) they are asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic or 2) lack of available testing. We estimate that the true number of infections is likely 5-15x higher than reported cases,” states the model created by Youyang Gu.

YYG’s model used machine learning techniques to make projections for infections and deaths for all 50 US states and 40 countries. Social distancing and other measures are factored into the projections. "The federal government is working closely with state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments, and other public health partners, to respond to this situation," CDC states on its website. "Forecasts of deaths will help inform public health decision-making by projecting the likely impact in coming weeks."

CDC said forecasts based on the use of statistical or mathematical models "aim to predict changes in national- and state-level cumulative reported Covid-19 deaths for the next four weeks. Forecasting teams predict numbers of deaths using different types of data, methods, and estimates for the impacts of interventions such as social distancing, use of face coverings.

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