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With three additional COVID-19 patients confirmed Tuesday evening, Guam's total has increased to 32 in less than two weeks.
The Guam Public Health Laboratory tested 40 individuals for the virus that causes COVID-19 on Tuesday, according to governor's spokeswoman Krystal Paco-San Agustin. The governor also Tuesday extended the public health emergency which prolongs the closure of Guam public and private schools through 13 April.
Three tested positive and 35 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 and two were deemed inconclusive.
A total of 233 tests have been conducted on Guam since 12 March.
One person has died from the respiratory illness. To stem the spread of the virus, the governor announced an extension of the ban against socializing and the shutdown of nonessential government offices and businesses.
Of the COVID-19 patients, 17 remain in home isolation, 10 are being monitored at Guam Memorial Hospital, and one is at the COVID-19 isolation facility in Barrigada Heights.
There are 21 patients in stable condition, while seven are hospitalised.
Seven are from the north, 14 from central, seven from the south and one pending location confirmation.
Three of the confirmed cases are in their 20s, while three others are in their 30s.
Five cases are in their 40s, while four are in their 50s. The largest group – 11 cases – are in their 60s, while two are in their 80s and one is in their 90s.
Health officials are preparing for the coming days when the first batch of positive cases will complete their 14 days in isolation.
“In order to be declared COVID-19-free, you have to have no symptoms for seven days, then tested twice within 24 hours,” Governor Lou Leon Guerrero said during a briefing held at Adelup on Tuesday.
Department of Public Health and Social Services Director Linda Unpingco-DeNorcey said DPHSS has 170 test kits and has since requested an additional 200.
Guam Memorial Hospital(GMH) Administrator Lilian Perez-Posadas said limited staff and equipment is the reason the hospital is caring for acute patients. She said the goal is to eventually be able to isolate all cases at the COVID-19 isolation facility in Barrigada.
GMH also confirmed three of its nursing staff, who were potentially exposed to the patient who later tested positive at the hospital, are in quarantine after they showed COVID-19 symptoms. Perez-Posadas said they were tested, but their results were not discussed.
State surgeon Dr Mike Cruz said the island has 47 adult and six pediatric ventilators to include the units being used at Guam Regional Medical City, in the private sector and at home care.
Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the coronavirus task force, said he spoke with all state governors about a breakthrough on the availability of ventilators. He asked the respective governors to survey all outpatient surgical clinics and hospital operating rooms. Pence said, through Food and Drug Administration guidelines, those can be converted to ventilators for people struggling with severe illness from the virus.
Cruz said there is a concern about the mothers and babies at GMH.
However, he said, the plan to move them to GRMC is still a work in progress and there is no need to relocate them at this time.
The governor on Tuesday said there is a small window of opportunity to stop the spread of the virus.
She again encouraged the public to “stay home.”.
SOURCE: THE GUAM DAILY POST/PACNEWS
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