Up to 80% of Gil Baza and Zero Down already tested for COVID-19

DPHSS COVID-19 testing (PNC file photo)

The Department of Public Health and Social Service’s Rapid Engagement Team began day three of testing in Yigo Monday morning.

The Rapid Engagement team was able to serve between 70 and 80 percent of the Gil Baza and Zero Down communities during the first two days of testing, according to Public Health spokesperson Janela Carrera.

Originally scheduled for two days, Carrera says that they’ll keep going back until they’ve reached out to every household in the area.

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“Ultimately, of course, we’re happy to be here again. We’re happy to do the community testing, community outreach, both at the Yigo Gym and here at Gil Baza and Zero Down. We really want to be able to contain the spread. As we’re doing this community outreach and testing, we are going to, of course, expect to see an increase in COVID-19 positive cases. But we are hoping that as we see these positive cases, by being able to find these positive cases over the long run, we’re hoping to see a decrease as well,” Carrera said.

She added that although some people have refused testing, the community has mostly been cooperative.

On the first day of testing last Thursday, 124 samples were collected and 48 tested positive.

The next day, 167 samples were collected and 33 tested positive.

And during community outreach testing at the Yigo Gym on Saturday, 155 samples were collected and 30 tested positive.

The Joint Information Center had previously reported that 33 samples from the Yigo outreach tested positive, but later issued a correction.

Carrera says the Rapid Engagement Team’s efforts would not be possible without its partners such as the Yigo Mayor’s Office, Homeland Security, the Guam Fire and Police Departments, the FSM Association of Guam, and the FSM Consulate office.

She also wanted to emphasize that although the Rapid Engagement Team is currently focused on the FSM community, such a spike could happen anywhere and the whole island is in it together.

“It’s not really tied to just one particular race, one particular type of community. There are hard-hit areas throughout the entire island. And wherever the evidence points us, that’s where we’re going to go and intervene and stop the spread within all the communities, where the evidence points us,” Carrera said.

Carrera added that after the Rapid Engagement Team’s mission in Yigo is complete, it will regroup, examine the latest data, and stand ready to respond to any new areas of concern that might arise.