With the first of the weekly COVID-19 reports about to be released by Public Health, officials revealed a snapshot of the mortality trend based on the data culled for the report.
Senator Therese Terlaje, the legislative health committee chair, convened the oversight hearing to get updates on the timely release of COVID-19 data regarding positive cases to facilitate contact tracing efforts and prevent the spread of the virus.
Terlaje asked Public Health to report on the status of the daily and weekly COVID-19 situation reports, noting that during the Sept. 10 public hearing, the department reported that they were in the process of streamlining the daily situation report and that a weekly report is also forthcoming.
Territorial Epidemiologist Ann Pobutsky says the weekly surveillance report will be released this week to include more detailed information about community spread and other data.
“The weekly report will include a lot more data on the characteristics of cases, including more detailed demographics, information on chronic, diseases, hospitalizations, deaths, response metrics, at-risk groups, and vulnerable populations and clusters. The daily summary will also continue,” Pobutsky said.
With more than 100 recorded COVID-19-related deaths on Guam so far, Pobutsky says they were able to triangulate the data from these cases to see a snapshot of those who are at risk for death.
“It is that data — we get doctors’ notes when they die and we also get the death certificate information. And from that information, we were able to get more of a picture of people who are at risk for death. What we have found — and I have presented this to the diabetes coalition last Saturday, the 14th — more than half of our cases who have died have a diagnosis of diabetes.”
She added: “It is usually diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular diseases, which is much higher than what you see in the states.”
During the oversight hearing, the Public Health team also provided updates on their contact tracing capacity.