Guam logs 2 more Covid deaths, 815 new cases; Omicron variants confirmed
Updated: Jan 19, 2022
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Guam reported two new Covid-19-related deaths and 815 new infections.
The number of hospitalization has increased to 27.
Results of the latest genome sequencing identified the presence of omicron variants on island, confirming local health officials' suspicion.
The 275th Covid-19-related fatality was pronounced dead on arrival at the Guam Memorial Hospital. The patient was a 70-year-old female, unvaccinated, with underlying health conditions. She tested positive on Jan. 18.
The 276th fatality occurred at GMH. The patient was a 67-year-old male, vaccinated with underlying health conditions. He tested positive on Jan. 8.
“Though the fight with Covid-19 has us fatigued, we must not surrender to this virus which has taken too many of our loved ones too soon,” said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. “For those who grieve, Jeff, Josh, and I offer our deepest sympathies and prayers in your time of mourning. With each moment of silence, let us all recommit to the safeguards that have helped us reach this point in the pandemic. Get vaccinated if you haven’t done so already. Get boosted if it’s your time. And continue to practice the 3 Ws.”
The Department of Public Health and Social Services received nine new results from virus samples collected on Guam between Dec. 19 to 27, which have undergone genome sequencing by the Hawaii Department of Health State Laboratory Division.
DPHSS received the second set of results from the Hawaii DOH State Lab Division. Of the nine samples, seven were identified as the omicron variant of concern, while two were identified as the delta VOC. The breakdown is as follows:
To date, 521 SARS-CoV-2 virus samples have been submitted to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Hawaii DOH State Lab Division for genome sequencing and identified a total of 320 Covid-19 cases infected with variants. DPHSS previously reported variants from results from the CDC and the Hawaii DOH State Lab and identified the following:
89 cases identified with the B.1.1.7 Alpha variant
14 cases identified with the B.1.429 Epsilon variant
four cases identified with the B.1.351 Beta variant
212 cases identified with the Delta variant and its sublineages
one case identified with the P.1 Gamma variant
Today, the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) reported 815 new cases of Covid-19 from 2,893 specimens analyzed on Jan. 18. Forty-six cases were identified through contact tracing. To date, there have been a total of 25,033 officially reported cases, 276 deaths, 5,269 cases in active isolation, and 19,488 not in active isolation.
Val Rodriguez, superintendent of Guam Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Agana, announced that Guam’s Catholic schools will proactively transition to distance learning on a temporary basis effective Jan. 20 to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Rodririguez made the decision with the concurrence of Archbishop Michael Byrnes and met with principals of all 13 Catholic schools and the Archdiocese of Agana’s Covid-19 Liaison Cathy Rivera Castro this morning.
School administrators will communicate to their parents, students, faculty, staff and overall school community respectively regarding specific details, such as class schedules and pick-up of class materials.
The temporary period of distance learning, also known as remote learning, is projected to take place until Feb. 7, 2022. The Archdiocese will continue to monitor the virus community-wide and will make updates as needed.