Guam's Covid risk back in medium level
By Aurora Kohn
The latest numbers of new Covid-19 infections showed that Guam’s community risk level is back in the medium-risk territory, health officials said today.
“As we were coming out of omicron, the numbers were going down but now we’re going up again. We don’t know where this will go but we’re watching it,” said Dr. Ann Pobutsky, Guam’s territorial epidemiologist.
The Department of Public Health and Social Services on Friday reported 156 new cases from 503 specimens collected June 9. Of this new tally, 24 were reported through the Department of Defense.
To date, there have been a total of 49,935 officially reported cases, 367 deaths, 576 cases
The seven-day rolling average was just above 80 cases per day with a high positivity rate at 14 percent. Most of the new infections were in the 18-39 age group and the 40-59 age group although infection rates have increased across all age groups.
New infections were largely asymptomatic, making it difficult to detect an infected person without testing.
Hospitalizations have increased but there “is no bump” in ICU cases. Sporadic deaths continued to occur.
“I’m happy that the hospitalizations and the severity of illnesses are not going up,” said Dr. Robert Leon Guerrero, interim chief medical officer at DPHSS.
He emphasized that there is treatment available to those who tested positive for Covid-19 and encouraged patients, especially those who are elderly, immunocompromised or have co-morbidities to consult with their physician if they feel sick.
“So don’t forget, if you feel ill, please seek your doctor, see if you do have Covid or the flu, and if you do have Covid, realize that we do have treatments. We have the monoclonal antibodies that are given at the hospitals, and we have oral antivirals, including packs of it, that are available at a few pharmacies,” Dr. Leon-Guerrero said.
Oral antivirals are available at the Dededo Public Health, drive-thru pharmacies like American Medical Center in Mangilao and Super Drugs in Oka Payless.
The oral antivirals are free but patients need to obtain prescriptions from their physicians in order to obtain the anti-viral tablets.
Officials advised patients to act quickly if they suspect that they are infected because available treatments such as Paxlovid, which has been shown to decrease the severity of the symptoms of the omicron variant, are effective if taken within 5 days from “symptom onset."
DPHSS recommended that residents continue to wear masks, watch their distance and wash their hands and to avail of Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters if they have not previously done so .