Total hospitalizations the highest it’s ever been; ‘every day is a new record’

Guam Memorial Hospital (PNC file photo)

Dr. Felix Cabrera, a member of the Governor’s Physicians Advisory Group, says we’re in the battle of our lives against COVID-19 and this is a call to arms in the fight against the so-called invisible enemy.

As of Thursday morning, Dr. Cabrera says that at GMH, there were 64 patients for COVID-treatment and at GRMC there were 11.

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“Just between the two hospitals that’s already 75 admitted patients and I believe at Naval Hospital, there are about 3, which is 78 total patients, the highest we’ve ever been. Every day is a new record,” Cabrera said.

The doctor says the data just don’t lie and Guam is falling way behind among peers in the FEMA Region 9 area.

“When you look at the number of daily new cases per 100,000 persons – so it’s equal across the board: Hawaii is at 5.8 new cases per 100,000 daily; California 7.4; Arizona 10.8; Nevada 20.4; Guam 51.7. We are leaps and bounds above what our Region 9 brothers and sisters are going through right now,” Cabrera said.

He says Guam and Hawaii began rising in cases around the same time. But then Hawaii plateaued and Guam continued to rise past the end of August.

“One key thing that they’ve done differently that we haven’t, is that they’ve issued out citations like it was candy. In terms of the enforcement of quarantine or if there are certain restrictions, if we were to go into another lockdown, how do we enforce that in a way that is meaningful and that actually has teeth?” the doctor asked.

Cabrera says the legislature is where that enforcement really begins, with senators needing to pass a bill.

“[it’s] incredibly sad that we cannot rely on our legislature, who are servants to the public…and this is the time when we need them to be servants to the public,” the doctor said.

Cabrera says if we don’t understand how dire the COVID situation is, we can never really expect to turn it around.

The Physicians Group’s data shows that one major point of transmission for the virus is visiting family in different homes.

“What usually happens when you go over and you visit your family? You eat. And, when you eat, you can’t wear a mask and when you eat you tend to talk more with company. So that’s just a recipe for transmission,” Cabrera said.

And while he publicly said to mayors yesterday that “we’re losing the fight,” Cabrera says it’s not too late to change our fate and take the threat more seriously.

“I know everyone is getting fatigued with restrictions, and that’s understandable and it’s human nature. But this is a time we need to start rallying again, and we all need to be on the same page here,” the doctor stressed.