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Three breakthrough deaths reported; CDC begins probe into DOA cases

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The Joint Information Center reported three breakthrough deaths, that raising Guam's Covid death toll to 245.

The 243rd fatality was pronounced dead on arrival at the U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Guam on Nov. 1. The patient was a 42-year-old female, vaccinated, with underlying health conditions. She tested positive on Nov. 1.

The 244th fatality occurred at Guam Memorial Hospital on Nov. 2. The patient was a 63-year-old male, partially vaccinated, with underlying health conditions. He tested positive on Oct. 25.

The 245th fatality occurred at GMH on Nov. 3. The patient was a 58-year-old vaccinated man with underlying health conditions. He tested positive on Oct. 4.

The Depertment of Public Health and Social Services reported 42 new positive cases out of 843 tests performed on Nov. 2. Twelve cases were identified through contact tracing.

To date, there have been a total of 18,410 officially reported cases, 245 deaths, 2,431 cases in active isolation, and 15,734 not in active isolation. The CAR Score is 10.3.

On Wednesday, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero welcomed a U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention team who arrived this month to review the island’s high rate of dead on arrivals (DOA).

CDC deployed this team following a request from DPHSS Director Art San Agustin to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Oct. 7,.

The team consists of Medical Epidemiologist Jan White, Senior Microbiologist Duping Zheng, Junior Public Health Advisor Candrita McLemore, and Biostatician Hong Zhou, who will arrive shortly.

“Our island suffered too many losses with the onset of COVID-19 and even more so in the last few months, many of whom were dead on arrival,” Lou Leon Guerrero.

“Although we boast one of the highest vaccination rates in the country, we can stand to learn how to better protect our community from all corners. We are very privileged to welcome our partners in public health from the CDC, especially when there are struggling healthcare systems across the country. This tells us that Guam can contribute to furthering federal research and refining how we all respond to this pandemic.

"We are committed to ensuring our partners have the resources they need to support this mission, and we look forward to utilizing their data to improve our response efforts. We will continue working with our federal partners to focus our strategies on protecting and saving more lives.”

“There is a story to be told with every person who has passed on and the findings made by the CDC team will shed light on why our island has seen as many DOA cases as we have,” San Agustin said. “Their findings have the potential to paint us a clearer picture of our community transmission and may give us the information we need to prevent any unnecessary loss of life. We are encouraged by the team’s commitment to identify trends, patterns and next steps in our response efforts to mitigate COVID-19 transmission.”

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