Guam has three confirmed cases of Covid-19

March 15, 2020

 Guam  Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero held a press conference at the Guam Homeland Security Office on Sunday, dislosing hree confirmed cased of Covid-9 on Guam. Photo by Mar-Vic Cagurangan  

 

(Updated: The infected patients who travelled to the Philippines were on the Feb. 29 United flight, not March as originally reported by the government) 

 

Guam has three confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection as of Sunday, Gov. Lourdes Leon Guerrero said, warning that more cases are anticipated.

 

The first two patients, who are related, traveled to the Philippines, where the number of cases has climbed to 140 and death toll hit 11.   They came back to Guam on United Airlines' Flight UA189 on Feb. 29 (not March 2 as originally reported by the government.

 

The third patient has no known travel history, with a family member who recently traveled to Japan, the governor said. They were tested on Saturday and the results came back at 4:40 p.m. Sunday. The three are currently in isolation at the Guam Memorial Hospital,'s Skilled Nursing Unit in Barrigada Heights, the designated isolation facility for Covid-19.

 

Leon Guerrero said she is confident GMH is capable of handling the situation.

 

Leon Guerrero said the Department of Public Health and Social Service, the Guam Homeland Security and Guam Customs and Quarantine have begun investigating and tracing passengers who were on the same fight and searching for people who may have been in contact with the infected patients.

 

“If you were on this flight and have flu-like symptoms, stay home and contact your doctors,” the governor said at a hastily-called press conference at the GHS office. “This is what we have prepared for. While we must expect more cases, everything that can be done is being done.”

 

While Guam does not have the authority to impose a travel ban, the governor urged residents to avoid travel to the Philippines and other affected areas.

 

“If you travel to Manila, I urge you to self-quarantine for no less than 14 days,” Leon Guerrero said.

 

The governor also mandates the cancellations of community events and social gatherings with more than 100 people.

 

Leo Guerrero is scheduled to meet with public and private school administrators on Monday to discuss how to proceed. “The community will be updated if there is a change in guidance,” JIC said.

 

The three confirmed cases were among the five samples tested at the Guam Public Health Laboratory in Tamuning tested on Sunday. Two met the Persons Under Investigation  criteria and three were Surveillance Cases. Three tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, according to a press release from Joint Information Center.

 

A total of 14 tests have been performed at the Tamuning last since March 12. Eleven patients were tested negative for the virus.

 

“DPHSS, along with the Guam Memorial Hospital, is working as rapidly as possible to identify close contacts of the cases. Close contacts may include family members and co-workers who will be quarantined and actively monitored by Public Health for 14 days after their last contact with the case. DPHSS will release additional information as it becomes available,” homeland security officials said in a release.

 

Due to professional development, there are no classes for all Guam Department of Education schools on Monday.

Guam has three confirmed cases of Covid-19

 

The governor also mandates the cancellations of community events and social gatherings with more than 100 people.  During her special address on Saturday, the governor ordered the closure of public senior centers by close of business Wednesday, noting that the elderly are most susceptible to the viral infection.

 

 “We have been preparing for this and we are ready to respond. Let’s not surrender to fear and panic. Stay calm, stay informed, and do your part to protect yourself and others as we address this public health issue together,” Lou Leon Guerrero said.

 

 “We have been preparing for this and we are ready to respond. Let’s not surrender to fear and panic. Stay calm, stay informed, and do your part to protect yourself and others as we address this public health issue together,” Lou Leon Guerrero said.

 

As of Wednesday, 114 countries have reported that 118,000 have contracted Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, known as SARS-CoV2. Nearly 4,300 people have died. 

 

In the meantime, the governor urged resident to practice social distancing and basic hygiene.

 

The government issued the following reminders:

 

If sick, stay home as much as possible. Do not go to work, school or public areas, and avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. Do not entertain visitors in your household or visit others. If sick, separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. If sick, do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.

 

Practice Social Distancing

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC is promoting social distancing. Take extra measures to put distance between yourself and others to further reduce your risk of being exposed to this new virus. Social distancing includes avoiding high fives, shaking hands, hugs, or close contact with others.

 

Traveling Recommendations

If you recently return from travel off-island, stay at home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for 14 days. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work. Seriously consider canceling non-essential travel.

 

Take Precautions Now: Prevent the Spread of All Respiratory Illnesses

 

The public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, globally, nationally, and to our island. Everyone in our community can take steps now to prepare for this public health threat by doing everyday preventative measures:

  • It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. However, if soap and water are not readily available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Practice proper cough etiquette – cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

 

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