48th Covid-19 fatality reported; Bereavement assistance fund created

 

A 61-year-old man died Wednesday morning at the Guam Memorial Hospital, becoming the 48th coronavirus death on Guam.

 

The patient passed away at 10:53 a.m. He had underlying health conditions and was admitted to GMH on Sept. 15 after testing positive at a private clinic earlier that day.

 

The 47th death occurred at the Guam Regional Medical City around 2:35 p.m. Tuesday. The patient was a 61-year-old woman and was a known positive case. 

 

To date, there have been a total of 2,443 officially reported cases of Covid-19 with 47 deaths, 585 cases in active isolation and 1,811 not in active isolation. Of those cases, 2,172 are classified as civilians and 271 are military service members. 

 

The Office of the Governor today announced the creation of the Covid-19 Bereavement Assistance Fund  to assist the families of individuals who have died due to Covid-19 or related complications. This one-time grant is worth $10,000 per decedent. 

 

“Losing a family member can be difficult under any circumstances, but Covid-19 is a ruthless, cold, and isolating virus. In what should be moments shared between family members, patients are instead left to pass alone, without their loved ones by their side,” said Gov, Lou Leon Guerrero. “These families are already grieving, and they should not have to worry about covering costs in their time of mourning.” 

 

“Too many in our community are dealing with the heartbreak and hardship associated with losing a loved one to Covid-19,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio. “We need to do what we can to help those impacted by this virus the hardest. This program is meant to ease the unexpected financial burden placed on families who are scrambling for the resources necessary to bury their loved ones.”

 

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In anticipation of the potential needs of an Alternate Care Facility for Guam’s ongoing response to Covid-19 and future emergencies, the government of Guam purchased 150 Emergency Field Beds through Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding.

 

The beds are valued at $142,500. The items were received last week by the Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense.  

 

“As we continue our response and recovery to this pandemic, we must also better prepare ourselves for the future. Our response to COVID-19 is constantly evolving, and we know more now than we did in March,” Leon Guerrero said.

 

“If we wait for the next pandemic to prepare, then we are already too late. By putting in place the proper infrastructure right now, we will better position ourselves to respond to future emergencies.”

 

Emergency Field Beds are ideal for medical surges. They are often used in triage centers and pop-up areas of care, including hospital emergency departments and military field hospitals. 

 

“We are continually working to expand public health and medical services capability and capacity for the island,” stated Charles Esteves, Office of Civil Defense administrator. “We continue to support Government of Guam front liners by coordinating the resources they need to stay in the fight. We want to recognize the Department of Public Works for the use of their Transportation Maintenance Section Warehouse for the temporary storage of medical equipment.”

 

“These beds are easily stored, are more adjustable for patient positioning and come equipped with an intravenous pole and medical grade mattress which can be easily sanitized. Fifty are designated to augment the Guam Memorial Hospital’s surge capacity. The remainder is on stand-by should we need to open an ACF. They can be rapidly deployed and used in any disaster,” said SGT Fernando Esteves, surgeon cell medical logistics and operations coordinator. 

 

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