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  • By Pacific island Times News Staff

91st Covid death reported; Clergyman in Tamuning church tests postive

A 37-year-old man became Guam's 91st Covid19-related death. He died at around 11:39 a.m. today at the Guam Memorial Hospital. He was admitted to GMH on Nov. 3 and was a known positive case.

"On behalf of the people of Guam, we send our deepest condolences and sympathies to his family and friends. May the love and support from those near you bring you some comfort in this most difficult of time," said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. "In moments of grief, we are told that with time, our hearts will be healed and our wounds will be bound. However, as we learned from this pandemic, time is a luxury we do not have. Instead, let us go forth with the commitment to do good by others and for each other."

The Archdiocese of Agana reported that a member of the clergy of Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Tamuning has tested positive for the Covid-19, prompting the temporary closure of the church for deep cleaning and sanitization today through Wednesday.

The Department of Public Health and Social Services has been notified and protocol measures have been activated. The pastor and the rest of St. Anthony’s clergy will self-isolate for three to five days until they are able to be tested for the virus and the results are negative.

The clergyman notified his pastor that he had tested positive this morning at about 11:05 a.m. after experiencing symptoms the night before.

Out of an abundance of caution, the following churches will also be closed for deep cleaning and sanitization and their pastors will also self-isolate: Our Lady of Purification in Maina, Assumption of Our Lady in Piti, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Santa Rita, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Toto and Our Lady of Lourdes in Yigo.

These precautions are being taken because in most instances, their pastors concelebrated Mass last Sunday with the St. Anthony clergyman who tested positive and they were in close proximity or contact with him at the altar.

The Masses were the 9 a.m. Mass in Piti and the 11 a.m. Mass in Tamuning. In the case of the Toto pastor, he had concelebrated a funeral Mass with the positive clergyman at Immaculate Heart of Mary on Monday, Nov. 8.

Most of the clergymen were present at the ordination of a new priest last Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica. The clergyman who has tested positive was present however, he was not situated near the rest of the clergy at the main sanctuary area nor close to the altar. He was a good distance away, toward the base of the sanctuary. At the other Masses the positive clergyman was alongside the other priest(s) at or near the altar.

The Chancery office also closed in the afternoon today and will be closed for Veteran’s Day holiday Nov. 11 as well as Nov. 12. for deep cleaning/sanitization. This is a precautionary measure because one of the pastors had prolonged contact with staffers today.

The Archdiocese’s contact tracing team has met today and has begun its supplementary work in this area. Their work does not supplant or replace that of the Public Health contact tracers.

Archbishop Michael Byrnes asks for prayers for a full and speedy recovery for the clergyman who has tested positive as well as for the other members of our parishes and island community who also have the virus.

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