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  • By Pacific Islands Times News Staff

Guam's new tally: 502

Combat Medics from the Guam National Guard's 1-294th Chamorri Battalion assist the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services with the testing of 156 personnel at the Department of Corrections in Mangilao on Aug. 13, 2020. Photo courtesy of GUNG .

A total of 25 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed Friday, Aug. 14, the Joint Information Center said.

To date, there have been a total of 502 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 5 deaths, 345 released from isolation, and 152 active cases. Of those cases, 443 are classified as civilians and 59 are military service members.

Of the 25 newly confirmed cases, four were identified through contact tracing and one case reported recent travel from the continental U.S. and was identified in a quarantine facility.

"While we expected to see an increase in confirmed cases as we enhanced our contact tracing and testing capacity, this increase is still a cause for concern and is alarming," Gov. Lou Leon said in a press conference

"We have also seen a rise in our hospitalization rate. Last month, we averaged 1-2 hospitalizations a day—today, we have eight Covid-19 patients at GMH. This situation is serious, and no one should doubt how vital it is to wear a mask, exercise social distancing, and stay home whenever possible," the governor added.

She said most of the new cases were traced to social gatherings at places like funerals, bars, and restaurants where people did not wear their masks and did not practice social distancing.

The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) on Thursday announced the temporary closure of the Division of General Administration Office after learning that one of its employees tested positive for Covi-19.

“Our priority is the health and safety of all our employees. Contact tracing is ongoing and we will work to ensure everyone who is a close contact is tested,” said DPHSS Acting Director Art San Agustin. “While we are concerned for our staff and everyone in the community, our mission at Public Health and Social Services does not stop. The overall health of the community is our mission and we will continue to work hard and press forward with our goal to live in an island free of Covid-19.”

Guam will be under Pandemic Condition of Readiness for two weeks beginning after midnight Saturday.

"This is only temporary—for a two week period, at minimum, and we will lift restrictions based on what the data tells us," said the governor, who is currently in isolation after being tested positive for Covid-19.

"While we will be in PCOR 1, I urge everyone to still go to the doctor and schedule your medical appointments. We are entering flu season, and multiple medical conditions can overwhelm our healthcare system. To the people of Guam, I want you to know that this decision was not made lightly, and I’ve reimplemented these restrictions in order to keep our island safe. Based on information collected from our contact investigation team, 65% of our recent positive cases are our youth."

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