GMH Staff who cared for COVID-19 patients “on a strict monitoring system”

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Guam Memorial Hospital (PNC file photo)

The nurses and other staff members who cared for the deceased COVID-19 patient and the other confirmed COVID-19 patients at GMH “are on a strict monitoring system,” according to the Joint Information Center release #21.

Public Health and GMH officials are “checking in regularly” with them “regarding any signs or symptoms” of COVID-19 that they may be showing.

On Friday GMH administrator Lillian Perez-Posadas told PNC News that a patient who was recently admitted to GMH for an unrelated illness later tested positive for COVID-19.

In a Thursday memo to all GMH staff Lillian Perez-Posadas wrote – “It was only when a radiological procedure was completed a few days later that the physician determined the individual may have COVID-19.”

“As soon as we received the information, all appropriate isolation measures were instituted,” she said.

Perez-Posdas was unable to say how many staff members may have been exposed to the COVID-19 patient before it was learned that the patient was positive for the COVID-19. But she said those that were in the room with the patient are being screened and tested.

When asked how many staff have been placed in quarantine Perez-Posadas said “I think two or three. Those who were in direct contact with the patient.”

The JIC release states that health officials “will continue to screen all who have come in contact with COVID-19 confirmed patients.”

Public Health “along with health care providers, various Government of Guam agencies, and our military counterparts are working tirelessly to work toward containment of the spread of the virus,” states the release.

READ the release from the Joint Information Center in FULL below:

Joint Information Center – JIC Release No. 21
March 22, 2020, 11:40 a.m. (ChST)

First COVID-19 Related Fatality on Guam

On Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 1:30 a.m. (ChST), Guam’s first COVID-19 related fatality occurred at the Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH). The patient was originally admitted to GMH on Sunday, March 15, 2020 and remained in isolation throughout the week. The patient was among one of Guam’s initial COVID-19 patients.

The patient was 68-years-old with underlying health issues, which were compounded with COVID-19. The patient had no recent travel history before contracting the virus but initial investigations indicated the patient may have contracted it from someone who did.

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and her chief medical advisors, Dr. Mike Cruz and Dr. Joleen Aguon, urge everyone to stay home, exercise good hygiene, wash your hands, and practice social distancing by maintaining a physical distance of six feet between yourselves and others. Though these measures are not dramatic, they are the most effective things we can do to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Leon Guerrero also met with her Physicians Advisory Group, a group of bipartisan community physicians committed to stopping the spread of COVID-19 through coordination and expert advice.

DPHSS, along with health care providers, various Government of Guam agencies, and our military counterparts are working tirelessly to work toward containment of the spread of the virus. Currently, the hospital staff that cared for the patient, and any COVID-19 confirmed patients, are on a strict monitoring system, checking in regularly with updates regarding any signs or symptoms. Health officials will continue to screen all who have come in contact with COVID-19 confirmed patients.

Medical Triage Hotline Numbers for COVID-19
If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider. If a patient does not have a regular health care provider, they can call any of the Community Health Centers or the DPHSS Medical Triage Hotline Phone Numbers listed below to report symptoms and obtain guidance from clinicians:

  • (671) 480-7859

  • (671) 480-6760/3

  • (671) 480-7883

  • (671) 687-6170 (ADA Dedicated Number)

These numbers are operational daily, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and are limited to medical-related inquiries only.

For media inquiries, contact the Joint Information Center at (671) 478-0208/09/10 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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