• By Pacific island Times News Staff

Guam reports 80th Covid death; more Blu-Med tents installed

Members of the Guam National Guard's Task Force Engineer and Surgeon Cell installed the first of two Blu-Med Tents outside the Guam Regional Medical City Emergency Room in Dededo on Nov. 2. Photo courtesy of GUNG

A 63-year-old man became Guam's 80th Covid-19 fatality as the number of hispitalizations went up to 102 as of Nov. 3.

The patient, who has underlying conditions, was pronounced dead on arrival at Guam Memorial Hospital around 9:40 p.m. Monday night. He was a known Covid-19 case and was previously admitted to the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam.

To date, there have been a total of 4,693 officially reported cases of Covid-19 with 1,948 cases in active isolation and 2,666 not in active isolation. On Nov. 2, the Joint Information Center reported three postive cases out of 101 samples tested at the Guam Department of Health and Social Services.

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Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Agana announced the temporary closure of Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church in Chalan Pago starting today until Saturday, Nov. 7 after a second parishioner reported testing positive for Covid19.

The individual informed parish staff of the positive results Tuesday morning. The Archdiocese of Agana said it has notified Department of Public Health and Social Services and the parish has immediately initiated Archdiocese protocols to safeguard everyone.

Though indications are that the individual contracted the virus elsewhere and not necessarily at the church, the protocols have started because the person attended 5:30 p.m. Mass Saturday, Oct. 31 at the church.

The parish said it will work with Public Health on contact tracing and will conduct thorough deep cleaning and sanitization of the church. The Archdiocese contact tracing team has also begun its work. Our Archdiocese team is notifying those that were in close contact/proximity to the positive individual to provide guidance on the proper course of action to take. The church’s team does not replace Public Health’s contact tracing but only supplements it.

The first positive case reported by a Chalan Pago parishioner was last Wed., Oct. 28. Chalan Pago Pastor, Father Karl Vila implemented protocols and closed the church for several days as professional cleaners conducted deep cleaning and sanitizing.

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As part of Guam's effort to increase island's bed capacity, the Guam National Guard's Task Force Engineer and Surgeon Cell installed the first of two Blu-Med Tents outside the Guam Regional Medical City Emergency Room in Dededo on Nov. 2.

Commonly used for disaster response, the tents have capabilities similar to an expedient field hospital, including negative pressure to maintain a sanitary working environment ideal for treating Covid-19 patients.

The installation was also attended by the Guam Department of Public Works, who learned from the Guard how to inventory, assemble, and disassemble the equipment. "We have a responsibility to ensure others can carry on this mission when we retrograde," said Col. Ronnie Delfin, commander of the Guam Guard's Joint Task Force 671. "We're not just going to leave the Government of Guam hanging, and that's why we're incorporating this training."

This is the second tent installed by the Guam National Guard, following the first installation at the Guam Memorial Hospital last week. The government of Guam currently has a total of ten Blu-Med Tents ready to deploy as needed. The tents were purchased with Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding and arrived earlier this week in anticipation of increased hospitalizations.

DPHSS, in collaboration with the Mayors’ Council of Guam, FSM Consulate Office, and the FSM Association of Guam, will be holding a Covid-19 Community Outreach on Nov. 7, at the Astumbo Gym in Dededo from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

DPHSS is providing free Covid-19 testing to the first 200 participants who have registered with the FSM Consulate Office.

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