Contact tracing investigation underway at DOC after guard tests positive for COVID-19

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DOC has been anticipating the virus making it past their perimeter since the pandemic began, knowing it was just a matter of time. (PNC file photo)

A Department of Corrections officer has tested positive for coronavirus but the department says they have protocols in place to prevent the virus from spreading within the prison.

On June 24, a Department of Corrections officer assigned to Post 8, or the women’s facility, did not report to work due to potential illness.

The following day, a COVID test was performed and came back positive for the infectious respiratory disease. The unit the officer is assigned to houses 22 inmates and detainees, raising concerns about possible exposure.

According to DOC Major Antone Aguon, none of those individuals are experiencing symptoms. However, they have not been tested by Public Health.

He says Public Health has been informed and contact tracing investigation is underway. Aguon also assured the community that DOC has stringent COVID-19 policies and preventive measures in place.

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“We do have protocols in place that hopefully would have mitigated any possible spreading of this. We already have procedures and protocols in place so it’s just basically sticking with those protocols and we are going to wait on contract tracing results to figure out what else needs to be done,” Aguon said.

He added: “Again, the officer is not on duty. She’s off from work right now. We have our medical staff on standby and they have been communicating with the inmates and the officers on signs and symptoms if they develop anything.”

This is the second positive case to spring up at the facility. The first case involved a DOC recruit who contracted the disease from a relative. As for this latest case, Aguon says that they have yet to identify how the DOC officer contracted the disease, further stating that the two cases are not related.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.