4 new positive cases of COVID-19; Guam now has 12 positive coronavirus cases

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The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) tested 16 individuals for COVID-19 on Thursday, March 19, 2020. Four tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 12 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

A total of 81 tests were performed from March 12, 2020 through March 19, 2020 with conclusive results. To date, a total of 12 cases tested positive and 69 cases tested negative for COVID-19. The Government of Guam (GovGuam) is aggressively implementing its planned COVID-19 response to identify and contain transmission of COVID-19 in Guam. With any change in status, anticipate timely notification.

Four New Positive Cases

The results received Thursday confirm four additional positive cases. Of the four cases, one had travel history. Additionally, the three results confirmed on Wednesday, March 18 had no travel history.

COVID-19 Response Continues

As part of the GovGuam’s coordinated COVID-19 response, the DPHSS continues contact tracing for the twelve positive COVID-19 cases identified this week. The contact tracing investigation includes identifying close contacts of the individuals. Close contacts may include family members and co-workers who will be quarantined and actively monitored by DPHSS for 14 days after their last contact with the case.

Additionally, GovGuam has instituted COVID-19 Mandatory Quarantine Protocol (MQP) measures for all incoming travelers. Any and all travelers arriving without these credentials will be subject to mandatory quarantine.

Executive Order Promotes Social Distancing

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero signed Executive Order 2020-05 which further highlights prohibitions on large gatherings and mandatory social isolation, effective Friday, March 20, 2020 at noon. Directives are in order for the health and safety of the community, including the need for social distancing.

Most often, person-to-person spread is thought to happen among people in close contact (about 6 feet) with each other. Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. If there is community spread of COVID-19, take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people. Stay home. Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks.

Older Adults, People with Serious Chronic Medical Conditions are Most at Risk

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

Older adults

People who have serious chronic medical conditions like

Heart disease

Diabetes

Lung disease

Guidance for those at Higher Risk

If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

Stock up on supplies.

Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.

When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.

Avoid crowds as much as possible.

Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.

During a COVID-19 outbreak, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.

Stay Up to Date with Reputable Sources

It is important to note that the situation can change quickly. The community is reminded to only share official notices and visit the following links for the most up-to-date information:

CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

DPHSS website: http://dphss.guam.gov/2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-n-cov/

GHS/OCD website: https://ghs.guam.gov/coronavirus-covid-19

(JIC press release)

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