The Guam National Guard's 1-294th Chamorri Battalion assisted the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services with the testing of 156 personnel at the Department of Corrections in Mangilao. Photo courtesy of GUNG
Covid-19 tests from the Naval Health Research Center/U.S. Naval Hospital showed 18 positive cases out of 18 individuals who were tested for coronavirus on Aug. 13, indicating a 100 percent positivity rate.
The 18 were among the 25 Covid-19 positive results reported by the Joint Information Center on Friday. Guam's latest Covid-19 cases tally is 502. Of this total, 443 are civilians and 59 are military service members.
A source said some of the 18 individuals are likely members of the Guam National Guard.
The GUNG said last week combat medics from the Guam National Guard's 1-294th Chamorri Battalion assisted the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services with the testing of 156 personnel at the Department of Corrections in Mangilao.
Statistics from the Guam Public Health and Social Services showed that of the total number of positive cases, 136 were detected through community contact, 106 through household contact, and 21 through health care contact.
Among those found infected, 43 had recent trips to the U.S. mainland and 17 to the Philippines.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said the increase in Covid-19 cases on Guam was the result of better contact tracing.
“If you’re positive and you had a list of people you had contact with, they will call those people and also they will test them. that’s how we’re finding these positives. The end goal of that is to remove those people from the community and isolate them and quarantine them,” the governor said at Friday's press conference.
She said the government is exploring the use of a contact-tracing app.
“We must tighten up tracking on self-quarantining people,” she said. “That's something that DPHSS is looking at. They're also looking at an application that can be uploaded in their phones to trace and track where the people are. We can do tighter controls on the self-quarantining part.”
The governor appealed to those in quarantine to comply with the protocols.
“I encourage everybody and I plead with everybody to please adhere to the self-quarantine requirements and regulations," she said. "The people we’re seeing coming in are from high-risk areas from the U.S., California and Texas. We were able to catch positive cases through quarantine, so our quarantine is working. We were also able to catch it through contact tracing these positives.”
The governor acknowledged that instead of recovering, the island is responding to a crisis "that’s even worse" than when it started.
"This virus is very serious, is very contagious and is very persistent. We don’t know how it evolves either. In protect of our people, I’m pleading with our people to adhere with what we sent out as directives," she said. "This is why we’re where we’re at today. There were a lot of people not compliant, not wearing their masks—even with family. We just need to reset, go back and reinstitute all those measures again and have people please follow them.”
Leon Guerrero is anxious for the 121 newly infected people on island. “I worry about our hospital,” she said. “I don’t know where those positive cases will end up, but I bet you some of them will end up in the hospital. We only have certain number of bed for COVID and certain number of beds for ICU.”