Government officials today reported nine more Covid-19 related fatalities that occurred over the weekend, raising Guam's death toll to 168.
Half of the eight patients were "dead on arrival" and one case was an old incident that the government didn't discover until last week, officials said.
"Dead on arrival means our medics or first responders are called to the homes of people who have been found lifeless and breathless-- all unvaccinated," Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said at a press conference today.
According to data from the Department of Public Health and Social Services, there have been 42 Covid-related deaths on Guam. Four deaths have known vaccinations. Two of these four had multiple severe co-morbidities.
Since the July-August-September 2021 surge, there have been 26 deaths, three of whom were fully vaccinated.
"We are battling this highly contagious delta virus. That means, it spreads faster and easier than the virus that we started fighting 18 months ago," the governor said. "As a result, new data on recent deaths, increased hospitalizations at GMH and GRMC, and increased community transmissions continue to be a concern."
Records show that the largest number of positive cases is found in the 18-to-39 age bracket.
The governor noted that the most infected group represents parents of school-aged children. "They need to get vaccinated to protect their kids," the governor said.
The new surge has prompted discussions on a possible lockdown, but the governor said she is ruling out this option at this time.
“We’re looking at what we can do to help. Maybe not a total lockdown, but maybe some other restrictions," she said. "We have made those discussions. But right now, we feel with the measures that we have placed in our community and the tools that we have used to intervene to protect our community are very adequate"
"We have restricted social gatherings and we have asked businesses to enforce the vaccination mandate,” Leon Guerrero said at the press conference.
Later in the day, the government released the information related to the deceased patients.
The 160th fatality occurred at Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH) on Sept. 4. The patient was an 81-year-old male, unvaccinated with unknown underlying health conditions who had tested positive on Sept. 4.
The 161st fatality occurred at the Guam Regional Medical City (GRMC) on Sept. 9. The patient was a 95-year-old male, unvaccinated with known underlying health conditions and was a known positive case.
The 162nd fatality was pronounced dead on arrival at GMH on Sept. 10. The patient was a 77-year-old male, unvaccinated with known underlying health conditions who tested positive for Covid-19 on Sept. 10.
The 163rd Covid-19-related fatality occurred at the GRMC on Sept. 10. The patient was a 68-year-old female, vaccinated, with underlying health conditions who was admitted on Aug. 30 and was a known positive case.
The 164th fatality was pronounced dead on arrival at GMH on Sept. 10. The patient was a 55-year-old male, unvaccinated with known underlying health conditions who tested positive on Aug. 30.
The 165th fatality was pronounced dead on arrival at GMH on Sept. 11. The patient was a 56-year-old male, unvaccinated with unknown underlying health conditions and tested positive on Sept. 9.
The 166th fatality was pronounced at GMH on Sept. 11. The patient was a 29-year-old male, unvaccinated with unknown underlying health conditions who tested positive on Sept. 11.
The 167th fatality occurred at GRMC on Sept. 11. The patient was an 80-year-old female, unvaccinated with underlying health conditions.
The 168th fatality was pronounced dead on arrival at GRMC on Sept. 12. The patient was a 62-year-old male, vaccinated, with unknown underlying health conditions.
DPHSS reported 174 new cases from tests performed on Sept. 11 to 13. To date, there have been a total of 12,553 officially reported cases of Covid-19 with 168 deaths, 1,822 cases in active isolation, and 10,563 not in active isolation. The CAR Score is 37.2.
At the press conference, Dr. Joleen Aguon, GMH associate administrator for clinical services, said the dead-on-arrival cases may have been the result of "silent hypoxia,” which refers to low oxygen to tissues.
Aguon said a person exposed to Covid generally develops symptoms of dyspnea on the sixth day. "(They) feel short of breath and by day eight of that exposure, they are admitted into the hospital. If that shortness of breath or respiratory failure continues to progress, they are admitted into the ICU between days 10 and 12,” she said.
When a person has an oxygen level below 95, Aguon said, that is already a cause for concern.
“You have no idea that your oxygen levels are critically low in your tissues. And so the advice that I give to the community is, if you test positive for Covid, you should purchase a pulse oximeter, which measures your oxygen level," Aguon said.
On day five and on from your exposure, you should check your oxygen level several times during the day because you will not know that your oxygen levels are that low and that’s what I think is contributing to these dead on arrival cases,” Aguon said.
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