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As Guam's COVID-19 count increased Monday by two, to 58 confirmed cases, Guam's public health director notified island doctors they can refer nonpriority patients for testing at the privately-run Diagnostic Laboratory Services.
The private lab can conduct “commercial testing” based on referrals from doctors and clinics, stated Department of Public Health and Social Services Director Linda Unpingco-DeNorcey.
The private lab can test patients whom the government does not consider a priority, she said. The government prioritises certain patients including people who are hospitalised or in the emergency room, have chronic diseases and show COVID-19 symptoms, among other criteria.
A total of 408 tests have been conducted between 12 March and 30 March. Twenty additional tests were conducted Monday.
The administration is enhancing efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases on Guam.
“Stronger measures need to be taken,” Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said during a press briefing held Monday at Adelup.
Public Health reported the majority are in home isolation, and 17 are hospitalized between Guam Memorial Hospital and the COVID-19 isolation facility in Barrigada Heights.
Seven of the confirmed cases have fully recovered.
The governor said as of midnight, 31 March, all incoming passengers are subject to a 14-day quarantine, no matter where they traveled from.
She said the only exception would be passengers who have certified documents that state they have been cleared of the virus within the past 72 hours.
“I cannot stress this enough: Stay home and practice social distancing. You may be tired of hearing this, but it needs to be said, understood and practiced by everyone,” she said. “I know staying home can seem unrealistic when you are worried about bills or putting food on the table. I want you to know that we are going to help people whose lives have shut down.
“This threat cannot be overcome by Guam alone. This is the message I continue to communicate to the Department of Defense leadership on island.”
The governor deferred questions to the military regarding the latest results of sailors who tested positive on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, which is docked at Naval Base Guam.
The last number that the governor confirmed of COVID-19-positive sailors from the aircraft carrier was 23.
The latest numbers are reportedly at 36 from the Navy ship; however, the Navy has since declined to specify the exact number of sailors infected, citing operational security.
Since the aircraft carrier docked on Guam, the Navy stated military health professionals are continuing thorough contact investigations and testing. Sailors in contact with those who tested positive are also being tested and quarantined ashore, monitored for 14 days and then re-tested before they can return to the ship. The military adds that the ship is also being thoroughly cleaned multiple times a day.
Leon Guerrero said the military is using their own test kits and Guam is awaiting the arrival of more test kits as well.
SOURCE: THE GUAM DAILY POST/PACNEWS
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