• By Pacific island Times News Staff

Tests yield 120 new cases; Construction firm reports Covid cluster

Guam's positivity jumps 24.5%

The Joint Information Center today reported 120 new positive cases out of 489 samples tested at the Department of Public Health and Social Services laboratory, raising Guam's positivity rate to 24.5 percent. Results from other labs were not available as of 8 p.m. Sunday.

To date, there have been a total of 5,233 officially reported cases of Covid-19 with 89 deaths, 1,742 cases in active isolation, 3,402 not in active isolation and 102 hospitalizations.

Earlier in the day, Black Construction Corp. reported a Covid-19 cluster, following its first positive case detected at one of its barracks on Oct. 29.

Leonard K. Kaae, senior vice president & general manager, said the company will immediately suspend all construction operations in compliance with the Department of Public Health asnd Social Services' directive.

Kaae said all construction work will be on pause until the order is lifted, Kaae said. "We will continue to adhere to the guidance and recommendations of DPHSS," he added.

"Since March of this year, Black Construction has implemented recommendations, guidelines and directives by the Department of Public Health and Social Services, to ensure the safety and well-being of our entire workforce," Kaae said in a statement.

Prior to the recent outbreak, Kaae said the company has been successfull in keeping its workforce safe and healthy due to the vigilant measures initiated by the company. He said the company also implemented sanitary policies and procedures at its Harmon facilities, construction field offices and H-2B workforce housing facilities.

"With the assistance of DPHSS, we are continuing to test and monitor the number of positive cases. Black, with the assistance of DPHSS, has begun a rigid testing process over the past three days and will plan to continue testing our entire workforce," Kaae said.

"We will continue to isolate our positive cases, have our personnel receive the best medical treatment and monitor their progress diligently. Sanitization of our facilities is conducted regularly, however, Black has taken additional measures to conduct deep cleaning of our facilities over the past few days.

Black Construction, a subsidiary of Tutor Perini Corp., currently has three major contracts with the Navy. These are the $75-million P-715 Live Firing Range ($75 million); P-250 MALS & P-260 Corrosion Control Hangar ($82 million); and Andersen Replace Housing Project ($178 million).

"From the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Black Construction’s number one priority has been to prevent our personnel from exposure and risk of infection. We will continue to remain vigilant in the mitigation and monitoring of the virus to the highest extent," Kaae said.

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