Guam now has 41 hospitalized COVID patients; 5 of them critical

Guam Memorial Hospital
Guam Memorial Hospital (PNC file photo)

As of Friday, Aug. 28, Guam has 41 admitted patients in the island’s three hospitals, according to Dr. Felix Cabrera, a member of the governor’s Physicians Advisory Group.

During a news conference Friday afternoon, Dr. Cabrera said there are 33 COVID patients at the Guam Memorial Hospital, two at Guam Regional Medical City, and six at Naval Hospital Guam.

Five of the 41 patients are critical care patients, Cabrera said.

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“The concerning part here is that we’ve been trending above the projected worse case scenario. We’re targeting, hoping no later than Friday, the fourth of September, to be the peak of our hospitalizations, but it’s hard to say where in the curve you may end up,” the doctor said.

Cabrera said they are trying to keep the virus as contained as possible. “We don’t want this to grow and once it’s suppressed we want to keep it suppressed. This is the bottom line.”

The doctor acknowledged that the increasing number of COVID-19 cases could overwhelm the limited resources that Guam has.

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“It’s going to be very very difficult without compromising the standard of care that we’ve become accustomed to here on Guam. And I wish I could say with a lot of confidence that that won’t happen,” Cabrera said.

Another factor, Cabrera said, is that a number of the frontline workers have already become ill because of the virus. “That has really hampered our abilities overall,” Cabrera said.

Just this week, a GMH nurse became one of the 10 COVID-19 fatalities that Guam has had so far.

Adding to the complication, Cabrera said, is that the flu season is now upon Guam. “This adds to the comorbidities, especially for those who have a dual infection. We haven’t seen that entirely yet. But we are starting because there are a number of influenza cases that are now showing up in the hospital.”

Until there is a vaccine and an effective treatment for COVID-19, Cabrera said the potential “wave” will always be there.

“You know, we actually did a very good job for several months where we didn’t have numbers close to this. But we’ve always known that there was a potential for a surge and that we’ve always had ‘dry kindling’ so to speak and that all it took was a spark to erupt,” Cabrera said.

He added: “So we can’t say that this current wave of COVID-19 is the last. And even if we suppress this, I hope that people’s memories aren’t short and that they understand how important it really is to have personal responsibility … to protect, not just yourself, but, everyone else on the island.”