The Joint Information Center reported 105 Covid-19 positive cases today, representing the largest number of confirmed cases in a day since the start of this pandemic. The new cases have brought the total number to 704, causing concern about the infection surge on the island's health care system.
"Statistically speaking, we can anticipate that 20 percent of these cases will end up in the hospital, which is already reaching its capacity," Gov. Lou Leon guerrero said in a video message.
The 105 new cases were from 962 samples.
A 70-year-old man was dead on arrival at the Guam Memorial Hospital early morning Thursday, Leon Guerrero announced at today's press conference.
The deceased, who had multiple comorbidities, was the the sixth Covid-19-related death on Guam.
The new development has prompted the governor to impose new restrictions.
Effective 12:00 p.m., August 21, pending an Executive Order, for one week, all businesses will be closed with the exception of grocery stores, healthcare operations, including pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, hardware stores, and those operations critical to health, shelter, and the preservation of life. Official guidance with further details will be released by the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) Friday.
"Throughout the course of our response to this pandemic, it has been my duty as your governor to announce when we have lost someone in the fight against Covid-19," the governor said. "It has been 129 days since I made my last announcement. Today, with great sadness and difficulty, I must announce we have lost another person to this virus."
Leon Guerrero said the man was taken to GMH early this morning, and he was pronounced dead on arrival.
"He was not a known Covid-19 case; however, he was swabbed at GMH and his results came back positive," the governor said. "Reporting deaths is never easy, but we can easily forget that the numbers we report represent real people. We grieve for him and all the lives we lost in this battle. His sudden illness and death was not expected, and I have personally reached out to his family to offer our deepest condolences and sympathies on behalf of Lt. Gov. Josh and the entire island community."
As of Aug. 19. Guam's Covid 19 tally was 599. The Department of Public Health and Social Services is anticipating a bigger number when new results are released.
GMH Administrator Lilian Posadas expressed concerns that people who are being admitted to the hospital for Covid-19 have higher level of critical medical needs. Further increase in the number of critical Covid-19 cases will strain the island's medical system, she said.
The governor said she is like to impose more restrictions if numbers see no let up in community spread of the virus.
"This virus has already taken so much from us. If we do not remain vigilant, if we falter in our resolve, the price of this virus will be higher than we can ever pay," she said. "So before you go out, before you see friends, before you do any non-essential activity, ask yourselves how much more are you willing to sacrifice."
More details to follow