Slow, steady, downward trend in new COVID cases continues; virus may be ‘plateauing’

COVID 19 testing (PNC file photo)

The slow steady downward trend in COVID-19 cases continues, and the average weekly cases have dropped by 20 in the last week, the Department of Public Health and Social Services reported in its latest COVID-19 data and surveillance update.

According to Public Health, the 7-day rolling average for cases is now below 100, and the CAR score follows the rolling average trend.

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“With the steady drop in cases, we are also seeing the same in test positivity rate. Average testing per day is still at 1000 but that capacity has been slowly dropping as well,” DPHSS stated.

Although the 18-39 and 40-59 age groups have a similar rate, DPHSS said this is likely due to household transmission. Most notably, the 12-17 age group has been the least risky recently and this likely correlates with increased vaccination.

According to DPHSS, hospitals are continuing on a slow decrease following other trends.

“Recently, there has been a decrease in ICU, which has been stagnant for the last 2 weeks. Deaths still continue to fluctuate, although the weekly numbers are slowing down as well,” Public Health stated.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the governor’s Physicians Advisory Group believes that the virus may be “plateauing” on Guam.

Dr. Nathaniel Berg said they are cautiously optimistic that the COVID-19 spread in the community may be slowing down a bit.

“I think the rest of the island can tentatively take a little sigh of relief. We’re cautiously optimistic. I think the island community has come together like nobody does. We really are making a huge effort to continue to get vaccinated, to continue to get tested and to try to present as early as possible to your doctor with any healthcare illnesses, particularly kids and unvaccinated people. That’s helped, I think a lot. And in terms of slowing down the spread, it’s still there. But we will plateau. Probably longer than most communities because we didn’t allow for a giant peak of the surge, which is what we need to avoid, particularly in our community because of the fragile healthcare system,” Berg said in an interview with NewsTalk K57’s Patti Arroyo.

As long as the community continues what it’s been doing, Berg said Guam will be okay.

“We’re seeing numbers come down slowly. Another physician asked me just recently, why aren’t we coming down faster. And I said, because we didn’t go up faster, we kind of allowed this as a community to slowly spread, which is exactly what we needed to do. So I’m very happy about how and what our response has been,” the doctor said.

Berg added that his concern is that we don’t get too happy, pat ourselves on the back, and become complacent. He said Guam is still looking at at least 40,000 members of the community, who, even if they wanted to get vaccinated, really can’t for whatever various health conditions that don’t allow it.