CDC sending team to look into Guam’s COVID dead on arrival cases

A team of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Senior Public Health Officers are on Guam to lend their expertise and work alongside fellow clinical laboratory scientists at the Guam Public Health Laboratory. Pictured from left to right: CDR Thomas Maruna, CDR Christopher Le, LCDR Pamela Ogonowski, and LCDR Lura (Danielle) Baquero. (DPHSS photo)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has committed to send a team of deployers to Guam to support case investigation and address the “dead on arrival” (DOA) cases related to COVID-19.

This commitment to support Guam was made in response to a request by the Director of Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) Mr. Arthur U. San Agustin to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky earlier this month.

“The Department has a good working relationship with its federal partners, and they have been very supportive and responsive to our needs. We recognize that there are large demands across the US and resources may be limited. This is why we are always grateful for the support, the expertise, and the guidance we receive. It’s also an opportunity for our team to learn and exchange ideas as we work alongside our federal counterparts,” said DPHSS Director Art San Agustin.

“The boots-on-the ground technical support from the Federal Government has given us the tools we need to expand COVID-19 resources to our people and fill the gaps—vaccination, testing, monoclonal antibody therapy, booster shots, quarantine and isolation. It’s important we remain focused on the mission to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and encourage healthier habits. Now that we have a team arriving to investigate DOA cases, we hope to prevent more fatalities from occurring,” said DPHSS Chief Public Health Officer Chima Mbakwem.

DPHSS is also pleased to announce that three additional members from the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) arrived last week and one member who previously arrived in September was extended for another 30 days.

The four clinical laboratory scientists are assigned specific roles at the Guam Public Health Laboratory. All four are highly skilled U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) senior officers providing technical laboratory assistance to GPHL.