JIC #41: Commercial Testing of COVID-19 Available Now

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The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) tested 20 individuals for COVID-19 on Monday, March 30, 2020 with conclusive results. Two (2) tested positive through DPHSS and 18 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. The DPHSS overall count also includes two positive cases that were tested by the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) in San Diego. Additional results will be provided later this evening once today’s test results are finalized.

Preliminary Profiles of Earlier Confirmed Cases

Most of Guam COVID-19 known positive cases have epidemiological links to other confirmed cases. Profiles of the previous 58 confirmed cases, which includes reports of two positive confirmed cases that DPHSS received from the U.S. Naval Hospital that was tested through the Department of Defense and sent off island:

Commercial Testing for COVID-19 Available Through Diagnostic Laboratory Services
DPHSS announces that effective today, commercial testing of COVID-19 will be available through Diagnostic Laboratory Services (DLS). Health care providers can now refer specimens from patients who do not meet the criteria for priority group testing directly to Diagnostic Laboratory Services (DLS).  COVID-19 testing is covered under MEDICARE, MEDICAID, and MIP. If you have mild illness and want to be tested, contact your healthcare provider.

DPHSS reminds clinicians that the Guam Public Health  Laboratory (GPHL) COVID-19 testing remains limited to these Priority Groups:

1.  Hospitalized and Emergency Room patients with COVID-19 symptoms.
2.  Patients scheduled for urgent surgery (not elective surgery).

3.  People with chronic diseases at any age and COVID-19 symptoms (e.g., diabetes, cancer,   COPD, asthma, ERSD, lupus, cancer, and others as determined by clinician).

4.  Health care workers and first responders with COVID-19 symptoms.

5.  Older people, pregnant women and very small infants with COVID-19 symptoms.

6.  Indigent patients with COVID-19 symptoms lacking insurance.

Public Welfare Applications and Forms May Be Downloaded from the DPHSS Website
As the entire island is urged to practice social distancing during this State of Public Health Emergency due to COVID-19, the Bureau of Economic Security (BES) within the Department of Public Health and Social Services advises its clients that program applications and forms may be downloaded from the department’s website. Please follow these instructions to download forms:

  • On the address bar type www.dphss.guam.gov

  • Click on DIVISIONS drop down select Public Welfare (DPW)

  • To the right of this page under DPW Resource Links: click on BES Resource Page. This page will provide you with a list of forms.

  • Click on the form you want to download.

Please call the Bureau of Economic Security at your assigned site for questions on services:

  • BES Northern at 635-7488 (Dededo)

  • BES Southern at 828-7542 (Inarajan)

  • BES Central at 735-7256 (Mangilao – Castle Mall)

Extension of Effective Date to Enforce DPHSS Guidance Memo No. 2020-02:  Social Distancing Requirements, Posting of Signs, and Providing Handwashing Facilities or Hand Sanitizers for Essential Businesses with Customer-Facing Services

DPHSS today announced that the effective date for the enforcement of the expanded orders of Executive Orders 2020-05 through 2020-07, specific to social distancing and other requirements, for essential businesses will be 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

The extension of the date to enforce the executive orders allows Guam’s essential retailers and other essential businesses with ample time to come into compliance with the Executive Orders.  Affected businesses must ensure that:

(1) Social distancing by at least six feet from customers or patrons are enforced both within the facility and on the premises;

(2) Access to handwashing facilities or hand sanitizers must be provided to employees and customers/patrons;

(3) Signs must be posted in a conspicuous area at all public entries to prohibit entry of persons who are experiencing respiratory illness, including fever or cough; and

(4) All common “high-touch” surfaces are frequently cleaned and disinfected.

This Department and the Department of Revenue and Taxation, with the support of the Guam Police Department, will enforce the provisions of the Executive Orders.  Such enforcement may include fines and the termination of business license.

COVID-19: CDC Guidelines on How to Clean and Disinfect

This guidance provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of rooms or areas occupied by those with suspected or with confirmed COVID-19. It is aimed at limiting the survival of SARS-CoV-2 in key environments.

Hard (Non-porous) Surfaces

  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

  • For disinfection, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.

    • A list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available here.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products for concentration, application method and contact time, etc.

    • Additionally, diluted household bleach solutions (at least 1000ppm sodium hypochlorite) can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application, ensuring a contact time of at least 1 minute, and allowing proper ventilation during and after application. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.

      • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:

        • 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or

        • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Soft (Porous) Surfaces

  • For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:

Electronics

  • For electronics such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines, remove visible contamination if present.

    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.

    • Consider the use of wipeable covers for electronics.

    • If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.

Linens, Clothing, and Other Items That Go in the Laundry

  • In order to minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air, do not shake dirty laundry.

  • Wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.

  • Clean and disinfect hampers or other carts for transporting laundry according to guidance above for hard or soft surfaces.

For inquiries on COVID-19, local numbers can call 311 or contact the Joint Information Center at (671) 478-0208/09/10.