Canvassing for COVID-19 pilot testing program has begun in Astumbo

Public health workers along with staff from the Dededo Mayor's office conducted COVID-19 canvasing in the Astumbo area.

Community canvassing began Thursday morning in Astumbo, Dededo to identify potential candidates for the pilot coronavirus testing program that will begin this Saturday at the Astumbo gym.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and the Department of Public Health and Social Services aim to increase testing on island to better understand COVID-19’s impact.

Dededo Mayor Melissa Savares told K57’s Patti Arroyo Thursday morning that there is now a more defined plan for the testing center.

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Community-based nurses, along with the mayor’s staff, are going door-to-door to canvass the Sagan Linahayan area in front of the Astumbo Gym.

Residents of the homes will be given flyers with information and asked about any symptoms they may be exhibiting. They will also be asked to fill out a questionnaire developed by the CDC and Public Health, according to Savares.

She said people found to be fitting for COVID-19 testing will be given a coupon to either walk-in or drive-thru the testing center on Saturday at the Astumbo Gym.

If they exhibit symptoms, the mayor said everyone in their home would be tested.

Community-based nurses are critical to the canvassing, according to Savares, because they have pre-existing relationships with members of that community.

The Sagan Linahayan housing community has around 80 homes, but with many family members in each home, it actually represents around 400 people.

DPHSS is starting in Astumbo with the pilot testing center and will expand from there to areas that otherwise don’t have adequate access to healthcare.