DPHSS: Few clinics respond to Public Health’s appeal for coronavirus isolation rooms

Linda DeNorcey, director of the Department of Public Health and Social Services, said they're taking a proactive approach to be very prepared against the coronavirus.

Beyond the holding area at the airport, the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services has not yet publicly announced any other location for suspected coronavirus cases.

And only a few clinics have responded to Public Health’s appeal for isolation rooms in the event that a case occurs.

DPHSS Director Linda DeNorcey says that 75 letters have been sent to local healthcare providers asking about the number of isolation rooms they have.

With around 1000 cases of the novel coronavirus in South Korea, DPHSS says they are taking a proactive approach to ensure that the proper preventative measures are being carried out.

These measures include assessing the number of isolation facilities that can hold symptomatic patients and designating areas such as gymnasiums to quarantine those who are asymptomatic but may have been exposed to the virus.

If a potential case were to emerge on the island, DeNorcey says that the quarantine period may be longer than the initially projected 14 days.

“When this event first occurred, the incubation period was about 14 days. Airports were quarantining for 14 days. And now with all of these changes occurring, it could be longer, depending on the situation. And we’re seeing that it could be more than 20 days,” De Norcey said.

In addition, the shipment of coronavirus test kits from the U.S. CDC will be delayed because of the high number of defective kits in their initial shipment.

“The U.S. CDC decided to remanufacture the test kits and so nobody is going to get it until the remanufacturing of the test kits is completed. We won’t have a time frame as far that is going to be. In the meantime, we can still send any specimens to the U.S. CDC in Atlanta, Georgia,” DeNorcey said.