Island neighbors donate more than 3,500 test kits to Guam

Majuro Hospital Laboratory Staff Pack Up Boxes of COVID-19 Tests for Guam (from PIHOA )

Nearly 3,537 COVID-19 Abbott ID NOW and Cepheid GeneXpert tests were donated to Guam by the FSM, RMI, Palau and CNMI to help its fight against the novel coronavirus.

“We would like to extend our greatest appreciation to our brothers and sisters in Palau, Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae, CNMI, and Majuro for donating 2,987 Abbott ID NOW tests and 550 Cepheid GeneXpert tests,” said Anne Marie Santos, Guam Public Health Laboratory Administrator.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Guam has been steadily increasing over the past three weeks, reaching its highest single-day tally last week with 136 cases. In contrast, nearby FSM, RMI, and Palau, remain COVID-free and began to build up a surplus of Abbott ID NOW tests. If left unused, the donated test kit would have expired within months.

Guam reported 59 new cases yesterday and one death, raising the total number of active cases to 861. With the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases on Guam, the donations could not have come at a better time.

“They arrived in a timely manner when our COVID-19 cases have dramatically increased. We distributed to multiple testing sites in which we have given 20 Abbott ID NOW machines,” said Ms. Santos. “These testing sites perform about 100 ID NOW tests per day and they’ve been helpful in identifying our most infectious cases and enabling us to perform contact tracing immediately.”

Guam has been in Pandemic Condition of Readiness 1 (PCOR1) since August 17 and will remain in PCOR1 indefinitely, according to the Governor’s office. Since Guam started testing in March, there have been 1,619 confirmed cases, 861 of which are active and 15 deaths as a result of COVID-19.

PIHOA would like to acknowledge and thank the CDC, DOI OIA, HHS, UNICEF, and WHO for supporting the USAPIs in procuring COVID-19 tests and related lab supplies. All items were shipped using the PIHOA Laboratory Shipping Mechanism.

(press release from PIHOA)