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  • By Pacifc Island Times News Staff

Guam tests detect 82 new Covid cases; hospitalizations increase to 16

As schools reopened this week, new Covid-19 infections and hospital admissions continued to surge, bringing Guam's Covid Area Risk score to 10.4 as of Thursday.

The Joint Information Center reported a total of 16 hospital admissions-- eight at the Guam Memorial Hospital and eight at the Guam Regional Medical City. Two patients are receiving intensive care treatment.

The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) said 82 new cases of Covid-19 were detected out of 1,056 tests performed on Aug. 18. This was the largest number in one day since Guam had its second wave of infections in August last year.

Thirty-one cases were identified through contact tracing. Two cases reported recent travel history and were identified in quarantine.

To date, there have been a total of 9,200 officially reported cases of Covid-19 with 144 deaths, 412 cases in active isolation, and 8,577 not in active isolation.

Among the positive cases were public and private school students.

The Guam Department of Education confirmed seven separate cases of Covid-19 involving students at B.P. Carbullido Elementary School, Liguan Elementary School, F.B. Leon Guerrero Middle School, Luis P. Untalan Middle School, a second case at Adacao Elementary School, John F. Kennedy High School and an employee assigned to Luis P. Untalan Middle School.

In collaboration with the DPHSS, GDOE has identified and notified teachers as well as parents of students who may have been in contact with the index cases to schedule testing.

The Archdiocese of Agaña announced that three more students from three Catholic schools have tested positive for Covid-19.

The schools are receiving guidance from the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) on contact tracing and are also communicating with their parents and guardians.

Bishop Baumgartner Memorial School in Sinajana, Saint Francis Catholic School in Yona and Dominican Catholic School in Yigo each notified the archdiocese today of one student from their school testing positive.

This brings to seven the number of Catholic school students who are positive for Covid-19.

On Wednesday, the archdiocese reported one positive case from Academy of Our Lady of Guam, one from Notre Dame High School and two from Father Duenas Memorial.

The archdiocese said Catholic school administrators, with guidance from DPHSS, assure everyone that they’re taking all measures to ensure the safety of their students and adults. These include isolating positive individuals from the schools and providing direction to those students who require testing, quarantine, or isolation.

Covid-19 testing with the Abbott BinaxNOW rapid test is available for students, employees and families who are not vaccinated. Father Duenas Memorial School is working with DPHSS to offer the testing to the affected Catholic schools' individuals at its site in Mangilao.

Vaccinated students and students who have not been instructed to quarantine are still to report to school as scheduled.

At the Port Authority of Guam, another employee has tested positive for Covid-19. The employee had been exposed to an individual outside of the agency who tested positive for Covid-19.

This latest positive case is an employee who is vaccinated and is unrelated to the cases reported last week.

“We are aggressively working to get all our employees vaccinated to ensure that our Port remains a safe place to work for all of our employees and a safe environment for our tenants and customers who do business with the Port,” said Rory Respicio, general manager.

The Port’s Contact Tracing Team has identified all close contacts here at the agency of this latest positive case.

Five employees will be scheduled for Covid-19 testing with the DPHSS.

As of today, 293 (83 percent) of Port employees are fully vaccinated, 16 (5 percent) have received the first dose of the vaccine, and 42 (12 percent) employees are still not vaccinated.

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