JIC #32: GMHA suspends viewing of deceased; GBHWC telehealth counseling available; DPHSS updates

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JIC Release No. 32 – March 26, 12:05 p.m.:  The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) tested 37 individuals for COVID-19 on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 with conclusive results. Five tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 32 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. The Government of Guam (GovGuam) is aggressively implementing its COVID-19 response to identify and contain transmission of COVID-19 in Guam. With any change in status, anticipate timely notification.

GMHA Guidance on Viewing Suspension

The Guam Memorial Hospital Authority (GMHA) is suspending viewing of deceased loved ones effective immediately. This action was taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as part of Governor Lou Leon Guerrero’s social distancing directive and in line with efforts to prevent further spread of the virus. The GMHA is very sympathetic to family members who wish to see their loved ones and will work to coordinate transfer of the deceased to funeral homes as quickly as possible.

GBHWC Telehealth Counseling Services

The Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center (GBHWC) has launched Telehealth counseling services for medical professionals, frontline heroes, and first responders during this pandemic. Telehealth services will include the use of video conferencing and telephone support for individual and/or group sessions. Dr. Mary Fegurgur a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with training/certification in Telehealth will provide individual/group sessions Monday through Friday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and other times, as requested. Telehealth sessions are completely confidential. Appointments can be scheduled directly by contacting:

Dr. Mary Fegurgur at 483-4278 or

Theresa Arriola at 482-9231

GBHWC Crisis Hotline continues to be available 24/7 at 647-8833. GBHWC continues to provide services Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with 100% health check screening in effect.

GBHWC Pharmacy hours effective Monday, March 30 until April 13 or until further notice:

OPEN: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

CLOSED: Tuesday and Thursdays

DPHSS Division of Environmental Health Enforces Executive Order 2020-05

DPHSS’ Division of Environmental Health (DEH) has activated its teams of inspectors to enforce provisions of Executive Order No. 2020-05 which prohibits the operation of non-essential businesses to combat the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Enforcement is done in coordination with the Department Revenue and Taxation (DRT) and the assistance of the Guam Police Department (GPD). DPHSS reminds the public and the industry to practice social distancing of at least 6 feet and institute frequent and proper handwashing.

DEH is also conducting inspections of food establishments that prepare and serve food through delivery or carry out to ensure foodborne illness risk factor violations are being addressed by the establishment in order to prevent foodborne illness from occurring. To report any potential violations of the Executive Order specific to food and beverage, please contact the Division of Environmental Health at 300-9579, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For all other potential violations of the Executive Order, please contact the compliance hotline numbers below:

(671) 475-9473

(671) 475-4770

Certification End-Dates Extended

DPHSS’ Division of Public Welfare Bureau of Economic Security (BES) has announced extended certification end-dates for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Cash Assistance Programs:

Medicaid and Medically Indigent Program Recipients Must Renew or Case Terminates
Recipients of Medicaid and Medically Indigent Programs will still need to renew their cases or their case will be terminated. Recipients can submit their renewal applications at the drop boxes located in front of the Northern Region Community Health Center in Dededo, Southern Region Community Health Center in Inarajan, and Castle Mall Building in Mangilao, or by email at [email protected]. Information sent by email will be kept confidential.

For any questions or concerns, please call the Bureau of Economic Security within the Division of Public Welfare at (671) 635-7488 (Northern), (671) 828-7542 (Southern), or (671) 735-7344 (Castle Mall).

How to Stay Healthy Around Animals 

In the United States, there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets, livestock, or wildlife, might be a source of COVID-19 infection at this time. However, because all animals can carry germs that can make people sick, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals.

Wash your hands after handling animals, their food, waste, or supplies.

Practice good pet hygiene and clean up after pets properly.

Take pets to the veterinarian regularly and talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s health.

How to Protect Pets if You are Sick

If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed), you should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. This can help ensure both you and your animals stay healthy.

When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. Avoid contact with your pet including, petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

At this point there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19. When a public health professional is notified of a pet, or other animal, in the home of a person with COVID-19, they should notify the territorial veterinarian or other designated animal health professional. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

Download Educational Materials on “What You Need to Know About COVID-19″
DPHSS developed materials in different languages: English, Tagalog, Chuukese, Marshallese, Ilocano, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese. These educational print-ready materials are available for sharing, downloading, printing, and distributing from the DPHSS website: http://dphss.guam.gov/2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-n-cov/ .

For media inquiries, contact the Joint Information Center at (671) 478-0208/09/10 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.