UPDATE: Public Health has cleared patient with ‘suspicious symptoms’; no coronavirus on Guam

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DPHSS Director Linda DeNorcey says her agency tracked down a suspected patient Wednesday morning and cleared him of coronavirus

The Department of Public Health says it has tracked down a patient with suspicious symptoms and cleared him of coronavirus.

The health agency is emphasizing that there are no confirmed cases of the virus on Guam.

This development coming after Linda Denorcey, the Director of Public Health, said her agency was contacted by a private clinic about a walk-in patient, who came into the clinic Tuesday evening with a cough.

The patient apparently got agitated with the clinic’s detailed line of questioning and left the facility. He was not assessed further. The clinic called Public Health suggesting the patient may need to be isolated, for fear of coronavirus symptoms.

Public Health was shut down for two hours Wednesday morning to respond to the reported patient, according to Medical Director Dr. Janna Manglona.

Public Health says they successfully reached the patient Wednesday. The patient was subjected to a full medical exam by a Guam provider, along with a detailed history report.

The private clinic worked with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and they determine the patient did not meet the specific criteria for isolation, and that he is low-risk for having coronavirus. Medical professionals are now trying to determine what could be causing the man’s coughing symptoms.

In a release on Wednesday, Public Health issued a message to the public:

“DPHSS is aware of additional rumors circulating on social media and chat groups regarding the identified patient and reminds the public that rumors and misinformation can spread faster than the virus itself, and can be just as dangerous. We understand that people are worried, we must ensure we are providing clear, timely, evidence-based information to respond to their concerns.

The community is reminded to only share official notices and refrain from sharing unofficial messages.”

The Agency also reminded health care providers of the critical need for patient confidentiality saying, “Providers must also be reminded of the importance in maintaining Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines when sharing any patient information.”

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Mai Habib
Mai Habib is a radio and television broadcaster and journalist originally from Toronto, Canada. She worked at CTV News and CFRA in Canada for over 5-years, where she was a reporter, anchor and show host. After a brief stop in Canadian politics and the non-profit world, she's happy to be back at the news desk on Guam. Mai is a graduate of Ryerson University's journalism program and completed her Master's in International Affairs and Public Policy at Carleton University. She is excited to be reporting on Guam's current affairs, legislature and other topical issues.