'No rest from days of sadness;' Guam reports 21st Covid death, 88 new cases; lockdown extend
Guam had its 21st Covid-19 related death and 88 new positive cases on Thursday, bringing the island’s latest tally to 1,846 since March.
The unabated numbers have prompted Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero to further extend Guam’s stay-at-home order for yet another week—the third extension since Aug. 21.
“In less than one month, we’ve lost 16 people to the virus. And, 70 percent of our cases were recorded in August and September alone,” the governor said at Thursday’s press conference.
The Guam Memorial Hospital is currently treating more than 50 Covid patients, 12 of them are on ventilators.”
“Covid-19 doesn’t just affect the sick and the elderly—it’s infecting the young, the active, the otherwise healthy. It can affect your neighbors, your coworkers, your friends, your family, and even you,” she added.
The governor said the lockdown order stays in place until noon on Sept. 18. The extended stay-at-home mandate was announced amid another rally at the Chamorro Village in Hagatna, where demonstrators protested the current lockdown.
Earlier in the morning, the Joint Information Center reported the 21st Covid-linked death at GMH. The patient, who reportedly died around 12:07 a.m. , was a 74-year-old woman with comorbidities and was admitted to GMH on Aug. 25.
“It seems we will not get rest from our days of sadness. This morning we lost another soul to Covid -19,” the governor said. “No words can heal the pain from such a loss, but Jeff, Lt. Gov. Josh, and I send our condolences and sympathies to everyone she loved. To the people of Guam, we must do all we can to keep each other safe. ”
Of the 88 newly confirmed cases, JIC said 69 cases were identified through contact tracing—53 were identified as part of contact tracing in a congregate living setting and 16 were identified through routine contact tracing efforts. One case reported recent travel from the United States and was identified in quarantine.
To date, there have been a total of 1,846 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 21 deaths, 744 cases in active isolation, and 1,081 not in isolation. Of those cases, 1,598 are classified as civilians and 248 are military service members.
The Guam Department of Education confirmed that one additional employee from J.Q. San Miguel Elementary School tested positive for coronavirus. This case was identified through contact tracing efforts.
Areas of the campus will be identified for cleaning and disinfecting as needed. GDOE employees will not have access to these areas until cleaning has been completed.
The Port Authority of Guam has identified a seventh employee positive with Covid-19 which has led to 10 additional employees potentially exposed to the virus.
Port Authority of Guam General Manager Rory J. Respicio said the Port Contact Tracing Team “immediately began working on this latest case and, as a result of their work, they have identified 10 Port employees who were in immediate close contact with the latest positive case.”
The team has already notified the potentially affected employees, who will be tested by the Department of Public Health and Social Services.
“The Port continues to take every precaution necessary to combat Covid-19 including daily deep cleaning and sanitizing of the facility, the installation of hand washing and sanitizing stations and the establishment of the Port Clinic,” Respicio said.
“In addition, we have stood up our Port Contact Tracing Team and members are now certified contact tracers through the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and they respond immediately when a positive case is confirmed. All of these efforts are being done to ensure that we do not disrupt the supply chain for our community and have helped the Port to remain 100 percent operational since the pandemic began.”