111 test positive for Covid
The latest Covid-19 tests yielded 111 new cases, 20 of which were identified through contact tracing. Three cases reported recent travel from the United States and were identified in quarantine.
Results include Rapid Engagement Team outreach in Yigo on Oct. 15, according to Joint Information Center. Public health officials earlier identified Zero Down and and Gil Baza subdivisions as the hotspots on island.
To date, there have been a total of 3,538 officially reported cases of Covid-19 with 63 deaths, 1,178 cases in active isolation and 2,297 not in active isolation. Of those cases, 3,254 are classified as civilians and 284 are military service members.
At Thursday's press conference, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero acknowledged that Guam is struggling to contain the spread of Covid-19 despite the lockdown.
The governor reminded the island to be patient and to continue following guidelines to prevent further spread of the virus.
“I am pleading again to our community that it’s our individual responsibility and our community is the solution in containing the virus,” said Leon Guerrero.
“If we start reopening again, I’m asking everyone of us to continue on with known means of preventing the spread—which is wearing a mask, washing your hands, social distancing. I’m very impressed with the business community with their adherence and guidelines that they themselves have developed to prevent Covid infection to their employees and customers. For the most part they’ll follow rules they developed and guidelines of CDC and directives our government put forward.”
As for the possibility of reopening schools, the governor said the government is still assessing the comfort level prior to deciding on sending students back to their classrooms.
“When we feel really comfortable that protocols are in place and those protocols will protect employees, staff, teachers, and students," the governor said.
She noted studies indicating that 65 percent of parents don’t want face-to-face school, and that they prefer online classes.
"I think their comfort level will start increasing once we start showing a decrease in Covid cases. When we were in May, June when we only had three, four cases a day and we only had three hospitalization at most and we sustain fatality at five, school was happening," Leon Guerrero said.
"It’s a matter of the comfort of the community for allowing their children to go to face-to-face school. It’s the process that DPHSS would agree with the schools in terms of what they’re going to do if there’s a positive employee or a sick child or a positive member in the household of a child. How does the school react to that? There’s a lot of discussions happening, both from private and public sector."
Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio said the Physicians Advisory Group’s education subcommittee has been in touch with all the schools and facilitated discussion with the Guam Department of Education.
"Dr. Nguyen told me he engaged the charter schools and some of the private schools. They’ve yet to directly to engage yet with the superintendent of Catholic schools. It’s something they’ll be going to next," Tenorio said.
"The issue is to make sure we develop a sustainable and practical response system to deal with positive cases once they get into schools when there is face-to-face instruction. We hope it doesn’t happen, but schools are the largest congregate facility on island," he added.
Tenorio noted that there is pressure from some parents who are concerned about the academic interest of their children.
"We also want to make sure our public health system is able to respond rapidly to the eventuality of positive coming up on school campus. We’re still working toward that. We’re working toward the goal of face-to-face. Based on the data we shared, it’s a risky enterprise,” he said.