- By Pacifc Island Times News Staff
Covid projection for Guam: actual number estimated at more than 2,000
Based on current scenario, the actual number of Covid-19 positive cases on Guam could be as high as more than 2,000, according to a statistical model followed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which also predicted that the island will have a cumulative total of eight coronavirus-related deaths by Nov. 1.
As of Aug. 19, Guam had a total of 599 Covid-19 positive cases with five deaths, 363 not in isolation, and 231 cases in active isolation. The 1,156 infections and one death from the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which docked in Guam in May, are counted separately.
(Update: The latest total number of cases is 704, including 105 new cases reported Thursday night.-- Editor)
According to the statistical model created by Youyang Gu, the true number of infections on Guam may be estimated at 2,683 as of Aug. 19.
The Youyang Gu model calculates projections * using a simple square root function to estimate the true prevalence of Covid-19 in a region based on only the confirmed cases and test positivity rate.
The Youyang Gu forecast said the true number of infections is many times greater than the reported number of cases "because the majority of infected individuals do not get tested due to several reasons: 1) they are asymptomatic, 2) they are only mildly symptomatic, 3) they do not have easy access to testing, or 4) they simply do not want to."
The YYG model used machine learning techniques to make projections for infections and deaths for all 50 U.S. states and territories as well as 40 countries. Social distancing and other measures are factored into the projections.
The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services is shifting its efforts to target testing and has postponed the community testing. Test results will also be delayed, due to the large number of samples submitted for Covid-19 testing to the Guam Public Health Laboratory.
The Joint Information Center said DPHSS) is reaching its capacity for storage space for specimens and will need more time to be able to run the remaining tests as efficiently as possible.
"DPHSS assures the public that specimen samples are properly stored and preserved," JIC said.
Mass testing from April 25 to July 30 by DPHSS resulted in 6,808 people tested and only 42 confirmed COVID-19 positive cases or less than 1 percent. Of these 42 cases identified during mass screenings, 26 people had a household or community contact, 14 had no known contact with confirmed Covid-19 cases, and two were travel related.
Based on this data, DPHSS will be shifting its Covid-19 screening efforts to target testing to focus on high-risk groups, contact tracing, symptomatic patients, travelers, and quarantined individuals. , DPHSS is informing patients that there will be a delay in issuing individual test results.
“Getting patients accurate and timely results remains a priority for the department,” said DPHSS Acting Director Art San Agustin. “Patients can expect to receive their results within seven days. The most vulnerable, including health care workers and those who are close contacts to a positive case, are prioritized.”