Guam establishes localized PUI criteria; 2 COVID-19 tests pending analysis

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(PNC file photo)

The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) continues to work with local and federal partners to address the threat of the virus that causes COVID-19. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Guam. Guam continues to assess the situation as it evolves. With any change in status, anticipate timely notification.

Guam Criteria for Evaluating PUI

On Wednesday, DPHSS, in collaboration with healthcare partners, approved the Guam criteria for testing for COVID-19. The Guam DPHSS Health Professional Licensing Office disseminated the physician’s alert today, which defines Guam’s testing criteria and delineates between a PUI and a Surveillance Case.

As testing capacity expanded to the states and territories, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that state and territorial health departments develop their own PUI criteria to determine which cases are tested for the virus causing COVID-19.

Testing for COVID-19 is now available on Guam. Today, two tests returned negative for COVID-19 illness. Two additional samples are pending analysis. All four cases did not meet PUI criteria, but out of an abundance of caution, were tested as surveillance cases.

Health Care Staff on Board; Airport Thermal Scanners Operational

Starting today, 10 Certified Nurse Aides are working at the Guam International Airport Authority to provide additional screening and assessment of airline passengers. These health care staff are operating newly implemented thermal scanners. The technology can detect body temperature and identify “hotspots” or congestive conditions to alert airport officials to a situation within the facility. Recruitment for additional healthcare staff is ongoing for positioning at the ports of entry and in health care settings.

Skilled Nursing Facility to be Used for Isolation

The Skilled Nursing Unit (SNU) in Barrigada has been designated as an isolation facility, in line with response plans for COVID-19. Healthcare staffers are currently in the process of safely moving patients out of the SNU to homecare, St. Dominic’s Senior Care Home, and the Guam Memorial Hospital. The facility is being prepared to receive patients requiring isolation and acute care.

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/coronavirusasNovel-Coronavirus.aspx

For more information, contact DPHSS Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., at (671) 735-7154. (press release)

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