Guam's Covid toll: 305
'Operation Homebound' launched; Public Health-National Guard team deployed to conduct home-testing focusing on high-risk communities
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
A 48-year-old man was pronounced dead on arrival at Guam Regional Medical City Thursday. The patient, whose vaccination status was unknown, had underlying health conditions and tested positive on the same day.
Also on Thursday, a 61-year-old man died at Guam Memorial Hospital. He was vaccinated and had underlying health conditions. He tested positive on Feb. 4.
The two latest fatalities raised Guam's Covid death toll to 305.
The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) reported 622 new cases of Covid-19 from 2,437 specimens analyzed on Feb. 9. The tally includes 76 cases reported through the Department of Defense. There are 50 hospital admissions.
To date, there have been a total of 38,672 officially reported cases, 305 deaths, 6,505 cases in active isolation, and 31,862 not in active isolation.
"As we recalibrate ourselves, we also take time to recognize the terrible toll our island has suffered. This week, Guam’s Covid-related deaths surpassed 300, and it is a moral imperative for us to give meaning to these monumental losses," Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said in a video message.
Beginning Thursday, today, Public Health has teamed up with Joint Task Force 671 of the Guam National Guard to directly target the virus and protect at-risk communities from reaching concerning levels of transmission as part of Operation Homebound.
"Three teams consisting of a healthcare worker, combat medic, and interpreters have been mobilized to conduct home testing, vaccinations, and health assessments in communities of concern and underserved communities across our island," the governor said. "Social workers will also be present to increase awareness and offer assistance in applying for Medicaid and Medicare insurance, and welfare, housing, and nutrition programs. These joint efforts are another tool added to Guam’s COVID defense kit," she added. The governor said the mobile track, test, and treatment teams will help the public health sector better understand the health trends in populations that are unaware of the severe symptoms that could lead to a hospital trip or worse.
"With determination to save more lives and balance our initiatives to rebuild Guam, we decisively met this omicron-driven surge with the support of all the health interventions available to us that are trusted and proven at preserving life," she added. Since January, Guam has performed more than 70,000 tests with an average of nearly 2,000 per day.
"Despite the national shortage, we continue placing orders for more test kits and have focused our efforts on a targeted approach," Leon Guerrero said.
But there's light at the end of the tunnel.
"Public Health experts tell us we are starting to see the end stage of the pandemic and at a recent meeting of the nation’s governors, the consensus was that hope remains," the governor said.