A member of Speaker Tina Muna Barnes’ staff has tested positive for COVID-19, said Chirag Bhojwani, the Speaker’s communication director.
“In the late evening of Friday, April 24, 2020, our office was notified that a member of our staff had presumably tested positive for coronavirus. The test had been sent by Diagnostic Laboratory Services to Hawaii for confirmation. Over the last few weeks, our office has been practicing social distancing and only operating with a limited number of essential staff physically present while the remainder of our staff have been teleworking,” Bhojwani said.
For the last two weeks, the individual had been working from home, and only on Tuesday, April 21 and Wednesday, April 22 did the individual come in to the Speaker’s office to perform duties.
During the two days that the individual was physically present at the office, Bhojwani said there was a limited number of staffers present, including the Speaker. Upon receiving notification from the employee’s physician that the test was positive, the staff member had personally informed everyone that the staffer had been in contact with.
According to Bhojwani, all those present in the office aim to get tested on Monday, April 27, and the Speaker’s office is committed to cooperating with the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services as they conduct their contact tracing.
In the meantime, the Speaker’s office will be operating remotely to allow for decontamination and sanitization procedures.
“The Speaker will continue to serve the People of Guam. While our doors may be physically closed, we understand that we have an important commitment to you, and you may still contact us by phone at 671-477-2520 between the hours of 8 am to 5 pm on Monday to Friday, or email us at email@example.com. Those mandated by law to provide reports to the Legislature, can also email such documents to firstname.lastname@example.org and once received, we will still transmit such documents to comply with the law. We are hopeful that this is an isolated incident and will ensure that we remain transparent throughout this process. To all of you who have offered prayers and words of encouragement – we are truly grateful for your continued support as we overcome this,” Bhojwani said.