By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
Guam breaks its single-day record with 422 new Covid cases
No new restrictions; governor retains status quo
Guam today reported its 273rd Covid-19 death and 422 new positive cases, breaking its daily record for new infections and shooting up the island's Covid Area Risk score to 189.3.
Despite the phenomenal increase in new infections, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said she is not currently inclined to change the status quo.
“Our Public Health interventions and protective measures remain effective and as such, I am not announcing any new restrictions at this time,” the governor said.
“Our focus remains on preventing severe illness, preventing increased hospitalization and saving lives,” she added.
A 90-year-old man died, who died at U.S. Naval Hospital on Jan. 5, was Guam's 273rd Covid-related death. He was partially vaccinated and had underlying health conditions. He tested positive on Dec. 27.
There are currently, 14 Covid-19 admissions within the island’s hospitals. One is receiving ICU level of care and “the remainder are not as severe,” the governor said.
The 422 coronavirus infections were detected in 2,304 specimens analyzed on Jan. 10. This is the largest single-day result ever recorded on Guam. Of the total number of new positive cases, 126 were identified through contact tracing.
Although data is not currently available, public health officials speculated that the omicron variant, described as high transmissible, is already spreading on island along with the delta variant.
To date, there have been a total of 21,540 officially reported cases, 273 deaths, 2,062 cases in active isolation, and 19,205 not in active isolation.
The unprecedented surge of infections has prompted the Department of Public Health and Social Services to accelerate the testing in Tiyan, which has transitioned to an appointment-based system.
“Scheduling of appointments for Covid-19 testing will allow for more efficient processing and reduce long lines and wait times,” the department said.
Testing has been expanded to six days a week and six hours a day.
“We know that community testing helps us quickly identify new COVID cases, so we can isolate the virus. Please get tested,” the governor said.
"To expand access and availability, we have added vaccination and booster clinics at six schools, in addition to clinics widely available at the University of Guam, Public Health community centers, and private providers," the governor said.
She reiterated her advice for residents to "Wash your hands, wear your mask and watch your distance."
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said last week that despite the astronomic rise in omicron-related Covid cases nationwide, there is a possibility that the number will fall just as fast.