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  • By Pacific island Times News Staff

Guam's latest death toll hits 93; Positive cases reaching 6,000

(Updated 10:17 p.m.)

The Joint Information Center reported two Covid-related fatalities today. Guam's Covid death count is 93 as of Nov. 13.

A 59-year-old man with underlying conditions that were further compounded by Covid was pronounced dead on arrival at the Guam Regional Medical City around 12:06 p.m. He was Guam's 93rd Covid death.

Earlier in the day, JIC reported the death of a 69-year-old man who passed away around 5:36 a.m. at the Guam Memorial Hospital. He was Guam's 92nd Covid-related death. He had underlying conditions and was admitted to GMH on Nov. 8. He was a known positive case.

To date, there have been a total of 5,924 officially reported cases of Covid-19-- accounting for 3.59 percent of Guam's population-- with 1,890 cases in active isolation and 3,942 not in active isolation.

As of Nov. 13, the Covid Area Risk (CAR) Score is 39.3. The CAR Score accounts for the incidence of new cases, how well current testing identifies these cases, and the rate of spread. An ideal CAR Score for Guam would be 5.0 and below. To learn more about the CAR Score, visit Strive for Five.

Of the 74 newly confirmed cases, eight cases were identified through contact tracing. Eight cases reported recent travel from the United States and were identified in quarantine.

Guam's CAR score was 37.5 the day before, with 196 new cases detected in two days, from Nov. 10 to 11.

The breakdown of reporting to DPHSS by day is as follows: 140 on Nov. 10; and 56 on Nov. 11.

Of the 196 cases, 58 cases were identified through contact tracing. Five cases reported recent travel from the United States and were identified in quarantine.

The Department of Public Health and Social Services completed testing at the Department of Corrections (DOC) Hagåtña Detention Facility. A total of 143 prisoners and 15 staff were tested.

Results yielded four confirmed cases of Covid-19, two detainees and two officers. One detainee, with approval from the Attorney General’s Office, has been transferred to the Government of Guam isolation facility. This was also the recommendation of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) staff and the DPHSS contact tracing team. The second detainee was transferred to DOC’s Mangilao facility for isolation.

The two officers who tested positive for Covid-19 remain in home isolation.

Strategic contingency operations plans and preventive measures were implemented at the start of the pandemic in the event of an outbreak. DOC continues to work with CDC and DPHSS to mitigate further spread of the virus at both facilities.

On Wednesday, Nov. 11, the Guam Department of Education (GDOE) received notification that one GDOE employee from Marcial Sablan Elementary School tested positive for Covid-19.

The GDOE is working closely with DPHSS to conduct contact tracing and any close contacts of the confirmed case will be contacted directly. Areas of the campus will be cleaned and disinfected as needed. Hard copy packet and food distribution will not be interrupted.

Meanwhile, the Archdicose of Agana said the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica was not included on the list of churches closed after the clergyman from Saint Anthony Catholic Church recently tested positive. It was determined that there was no threat of direct exposure at the cathedral.

"Although the ordination was celebrated there on Saturday, Nov. 7, and the clergyman who tested positive was present, his proximity to others and presence at the celebration was not considered 'close contact' as per Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. The entire congregation did not fit the definition of 'close contact','" the church said.

The CDC definition states: “Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset or for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection until the time the patient is isolated.”

However, the archdiocese said with the First Mass at Saint Anthony on Sunday, Nov. 8, the level of threat was greater. The clergyman who has since tested positive concelebrated at this Mass and was much closer to other clergy, who were concelebrants.

The archdiocese said the priests who were identified as “close contacts” have been placed into quarantine awaiting the results of their Covid test.

The parishes were closed due to them being in quarantine and out of an abundance of caution, have deep cleaned and sanitized their churches with the exception of the Cathedral-Basilica because the pastor has not celebrated Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica but did so at Our Lady of Purification after the First Mass at St. Anthony.

"Only those who were in “close contact” with the infected clergyman are being identified for contact tracing. The entire congregation did not fit the definition of close contact. As a precautionary measure, we ask that those who attended the 11 a.m. Mass in Tamuning on Sunday, Nov. 8th to monitor their symptoms and should there be any concerns, to contact your doctor," the archdiocese said.

"Our Archdiocese continues to work diligently to improve our practices and protocols and safeguard the faithful. In general, as a precaution, anyone who has attended Mass such as the Nov. 7 Ordination Mass should monitor their health. If you have concerns or begin to show symptoms, please contact your doctor. This is a good measure to take regarding any Mass one may have attended."


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