JIC #196: At least 30 businesses may have been exposed to COVID-positive airmen

Tumon skyline (PNC file photo)
JIC #196

Guam Public Health has released a list of 30 businesses on island that were visited by members of an unnamed group of Andersen AFB airmen, 35 of whom have since tested positive for COVID-19.

The airmen were subject to restricted movement orders which they violated when they ventured out of the Reef Hotel in Tumon where they were staying to patronize the places on the list.

The coronavirus-infected members of the group may have passed the disease onto unsuspecting patrons of these establishments.

Public Health “has determined that potential exposure to staff and patrons may have occurred,” states Joint Information Center release No. 196

The vast majority of these places are restaurants with take-out and dine-in options. 19 of them are in Tumon.

Since these establishments have been practicing social distancing guidelines, Public Health believes that in some cases there is a low risk of exposure to members of the public who may have been at these places at the same time that the COVID-positive airmen were there.

But out of an abundance of caution, Public Health has decided to publicly list all of the locations traced to the Andersen AFB cluster, including those that may be low risk.

Public Health is advising anyone who went to any of these businesses between June 4 and June 13 to monitor their health.

Next week, Public Health will announce a testing site for those who think they may have been exposed. Concerned individuals can also go to their doctor and ask to be tested.

A case investigation is ongoing and the list may grow.

Close Contacts of someone with COVID-19:

  • If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, an employee from the DPHSS (contact tracer) might call to inform you that you’ve been exposed. They will ask you to stay at home and self-quarantine.

    • Close contact means you were within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes.

    • You should stay at home and self-quarantine for 14 days, starting from the most recent day that you were possibly exposed to COVID-19. The contact tracer will inform you of the dates of your self-quarantine.

      • Self-quarantine means staying home, monitoring yourself, and maintaining social distancing (at least 6 feet from others at all times). You should remain in a specific room separate from other non-exposed people and pets in your home, and use a separate bathroom, if possible.

      • If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a cloth face covering.  This will help protect the people around you.

      • If you need support or assistance with self-quarantine, then your health department or community organizations may be able to provide assistance.

      • Self-quarantine helps slow the spread of COVID-19 and can help keep your friends and neighbors healthy.

    • You should monitor yourself for any symptoms of COVID-19 and notify DPHSS if you develop symptoms. Seek medical care if symptoms become severe. Severe symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.

Continue to wear face masks and practice social distancing 

As more establishments open up, with more people patronizing businesses and restaurants, it will be more likely that possible exposures can occur. All people in our community need to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing.

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person. It is primarily spread by direct contact with respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. You may also get it by touching a contaminated surface or object, and then touching your face. Symptoms can range from mild (or no symptoms) to severe illness.

Test results

To date, there have been a total of 226 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 5 deaths, 174 released from isolation, and 47 active cases.

Of those cases, 184 are classified as civilians, and 42 are military service members—35 of which have been recently identified among a unit deployed to Andersen Air Force Base (AAFB).

As this is an evolving situation, information is subject to change with little to no notice.

COVID-19 test results are reported from multiple labs at varying times of the day. The cumulative total from all labs will be reported on a nightly basis, unless unavailable.

For updated information on COVID-19 cases on Guam, visit the COVID-19 Dashboard and Situation Report at http://dphss.guam.gov/covid-19/.