GVB proposes new strategy for COVID-19 testing; says current testing not making an impact

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the PCR test is still the gold standard, however, this is lab-processed and the results don't come out until three days later. (PNC file photo by PNC Chief Photographer Allan Balbin)

The Guam Visitors Bureau, frustrated by the continuing high numbers of COVID-19 cases, is proposing a new coronavirus testing strategy that will employ a variety of cheaper test kits that can be deployed more widely and would have results as fast as 5 to 15 minutes.

GVB vice president Gerry Perez said the current test kit being employed is not making a significant impact. He said the PCR test is still the gold standard, however, this is lab-processed and the results don’t come out until three days later.

“And what this means is that you can miss the most infectious stage, which is two to three days before symptoms appear. This is significant because whatever PCR testing that they’re doing today, it’s not necessarily reflecting what’s happening out there in the most infectious stage of the virus,” Perez said.

As an alternative, GVB now wants to source and make available cheap, quick, simple, and repeatable testing kits based on price, scale, and accessibility.

To finance the procurement of the tests, GVB is proposing to secure CARES funding for the initial 10,000 and 5,000 follow-up tests.

Perez said the GVB proposal is not meant to replace the current Public Health testing strategy but rather, to augment it.

The GVB board agreed to present the proposal to Adelup for consideration.

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