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  • By Pacific Islands Times News Staff

42 new Covid cases reported, another school hit by virus

A total of 42 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed Monday, Aug. 17, bringing Guam's total to 558 as the island entered another period of community shutdown .

Of the 42 newly confirmed cases, 17 cases were identified through contact tracing and two cases reported recent travel from the US and were identified in a quarantine facility. The rest of the cases are currently under investigation, according to Joint Information Center.

The Guam Department of Education (GDOE) is working closely with the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) to conduct contact tracing after a confirmed Covid-19 case was identified at Southern High School.

On Monday, the GDOE was notified that an employee at Southern High School tested positive for Covid-19. The contact tracing effort is ongoing and close contacts of the confirmed case will be contacted directly by DPHSS

. A close contact is an individual who has come in face-to-face contact with a confirmed Covid-19 individual for at least 10 minutes or more and within six feet, or who has had direct contact with infectious secretions of the confirmed Covid-19 individual (e.g. being coughed on). Both the confirmed case and close contacts will not be permitted to return to campus until cleared by DPHSS.

Beginning Tuesday, portions of the Southern High School campus will be closed for cleaning and disinfecting, to include areas of the campus accessed by the confirmed Covid-19 individual. These portions of the campus will be off-limits until cleaning is completed. Remaining portions of the campus will remain accessible by school personnel.

The governor said daily precautions are taken at GDOE school sites to safeguard the health and safety of employees, students, and families.

"Not only are schools cleaned and sanitized daily, but other safety precautions in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to include the following: required face coverings for all students and staff; temperature screening upon arrival; 6 feet physical distancing; regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and common areas; and encouraging students/employees to wash hands and sanitize often," JIC said.

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