The Joint Information Center was notified that Guam’s 15th COVID-19-related fatality occurred at the Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH) Friday night at approximately 9:15 p.m. (ChST).
The patient was a 55-year-old male with comorbidities that were compounded by COVID-19. He was admitted to GMH on August 29.
“Yesterday, we mourned our fourteenth COVID-related death. And our mourning continues as we lose another soul to this virus,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero said in a statement released Saturday morning. “No words can heal the pain of losing someone, but Jeff, Lt. Governor Josh, and I send our condolences and deepest sympathies to those who loved him. To everyone who has lost someone to COVID-19, you remain in our thoughts and prayers. We all need to do our part to protect our families and loved ones—we cannot afford another loss. Please continue to stay home, wear your masks, and social distance. ”
On Friday, the governor extended the island’s stay-at-home order another week as she announced the 14th COVID-related death on the island.
As the island’s new cases mount and hospitalizations reach a breaking point, the Governor says there’s nothing to do but stay the course and extend her stay-at-home order for a week until noon on Friday, September 11th.
At her news conference Friday morning, the Governor delivered the news of the 14th COVID-related death, this time a 59-year-old man admitted to GMH on August 25th for respiratory failure. He had tested positive for COVID-19 and had underlying health issues and he died at 9 am Friday morning at GMH.
“One more person. One more person with family, friends, and people who loved him. One person who still had a lot of living to do. To the people of Guam, I said we must prepare for rough days ahead but even then I could not have imagined losing so many people to this virus, so soon,” the governor said.
With that, the governor listed off some sobering statistics at her conference as an eye-opener, she said, for those who still think coronavirus is similar to the common flu or cold.
Since PCOR 1 was declared on August 14th, Guam has confirmed 1096 new cases 70% of our total since March.
49 people were hospitalized this morning at GMH for COVID treatment but with one death, it’s down to 48 patients, 11 in intensive care and 10 on ventilators. This time last week, 36 people were in the hospital, making that an increase of 39% in one week. There are also 5 patients at GRMC awaiting transfer to GMH and 2 still being treated at Naval Hospital.
Nine people have died since mid-August, bringing us up to 14 deaths, after recording 5 since April.
“The stress placed on GMH is nothing like we have seen before,” the governor said.
The Governor and many in the medical community say the real scare is the pressure on the island’s hospital and healthcare system and while she says our new case count is plateauing, it’s not happening fast enough.
“It means, we may force doctors to choose who should be treated because we lack the resources to do so. This is a fight, we cannot afford to lose,” Leon Guerrero said.
Dr. Felix Cabrera, from the Governor’s Physicians Advisory Group, did share a sliver of optimism on the hospitalization front.
“If the past week has been any indication for moving forward, is that hopefully at worst, we’d be at the green line here [the lower trajectory], and ideally, we start dropping below that.”
Cabrera did also say, though, that our test positivity rate being at some 10.7% average … this is an indication of a far wider community spread and that the daily new case number is not actually indicative of the virus’ impact on Guam.
The Governor says whatever businesses are operating now can continue to do so but she will not be allowing any others to open during this extended stay-at-home order.
“Yes, the economy and businesses are a big concern. But, as I’ve always said, my priority is the health of our people,” she said.