Are you eligible to get Covid-19 tests?
DPHSS releases guidelines for rationing Covid test supplies
By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
As the omicron variant sends Guam's Covid-19 infection tallies escalating to high records and triggers soaring demand for tests, the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services today released the guidelines for rationing test supplies.
Health officials said priorities are given to those with a likelihood of severe disease, hospitalization or death due to Covid-19. Priority groups include those with severe Covid symptoms, high-risk close contracts with chronic illnesses and government employees who are covered by the governor's vaccine mandate.
"Recent testing has put enormous strain on laboratory supplies and the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services has faced unprecedented testing demand to detect and respond to all suspected and confirmed cases in a timely manner," read the department's memo signed by Dr. Robert Leon Guerrero, interim chief medical officer, and Zennia Pecina, acting chief public health officer.
Health officials said community testing is designed to gather surveillance data and diagnostics for medical treatment.
"The use of testing supplies provided by DPHSS for the intended purpose of travel clearance is not authorized unless administered to individuals who are referred for off-island medical treatment or by Community Health Centers under the HRSA Health Center Program," the memo said.
Officials said residents requesting Covid-19 tests will be screened using the checklist.
The guidelines apply to DPHSS community test sites, Community Health Centers funded in part by Health Resources and Services Administration under the Health Center Program and private clinics.
Rapid Covid-19 test kits have been available online to Guam residents since Jan. 19. Each household is entitled to order four free tests.
DPHSS also issued a separate set of guidelines, based the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations for isolation protocols and steps to take if one tests positive for Covid-19.
Officials recommend that those confirmed infected must avoid contact with other household members by eating in a separate room, using a separate bathroom and not sharing personal items.