HAGATNA, 03 SEPTEMBER 2020 (THE GUAM DAILY POST) — Thirty-two hospital staff members, including nurses and doctors, at Guam Memorial Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19 over the last few weeks.
This information surfaced as the Joint Information Centre (JIC) confirmed that the number of hospitalised COVID-19 patients at GMH has reached 45 and eight of them were in the intensive care unit.
On Wednesday, officials reported 47 new COVID-19 cases on Guam. Of the new cases, 20 were identified through contact tracing and one reported recent travel from the United States and was identified in quarantine.
The news of the hospital staffers testing positive comes as eight members of the first phase of a federal medical team arrives on Guam. The team is here to help GMH.
Charles Esteves, Office of Civil Defence administrator, confirmed their arrival. In all, the team includes two intensivists who care for critically ill patients, 15 nurses and four respiratory therapists.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved Phase one and Phase two teams over the weekend. Phase two will be deployed if it’s determined that, after Phase one is integrated at GMH, there’s still a need to augment the existing staff.
“The federal medical team will be on island for no more than 30 days, during which time local officials will need to secure some long-term solutions,” Esteves said.
There’s no breakdown of what departments the COVID-positive staffers work in, according to Krystal Paco-San Agustin, governor’s press secretary. She said the staffers are in isolation but there was no information on their status.
This isn’t the first time GMH staffers have tested positive. Nor is it the only hospital to have this experience.
In April, GMH officials confirmed that 12 of their staffers tested positive for COVID-19 but have since fully recovered and reported back to work.
A GMH nurse who was a diabetic patient at the hospital for several weeks tested positive in the week she died – after having tested negative several weeks prior while in the hospital’s care.
The World Health Organisation has noted that “people most at risk of acquiring the disease are those who are in contact with or care for patients with COVID-19.”
“This inevitably places health care workers at high risk of infection,” the organisation states, adding that protecting them is a priority.
Wednesday’s JIC report states there are 828 active COVID-19 cases.
The number of people who have completed their isolation periods is 653.
In total, since testing started in March, Guam has 1,494 positive cases. There have been 13 deaths.
Of the total number of confirmed cases since March, 1,271 are civilians and 223 are military service members, the JIC report states….. PACNEWS

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *