Door-to-door testing to start with FSM community

John O'Connor | The Guam Daily Post

Oct 15, 2020

The Department of Public Health and Social Services, working with Yigo Mayor Rudy Matanane and the Department of Public Works, conducted an assessment Wednesday in preparation for door-to-door COVID-19 testing today at Gill Baza and Zero Down subdivisions. 

Nurses, social workers and members of DPHSS' isolation team will be part of the efforts, Public Health spokeswoman Janela Carrera said. "We'll be going basically from door to door and talking to the residents and offering the testing to them."

The testing will produce results within 10 to 15 minutes, she said. 

The initiative, which is functioning as a pilot, is a result of data indicating that the majority of COVID-19 cases are coming from northern villages.

The department is also working with Teresa Filepin, consul general of the Federated States of Micronesia.

"These areas that we're visiting tomorrow, the residents that live there are mainly comprised of those that are from the FSM community, so we want to make sure that leaders from the FSM, the consul general, is

involved in this effort," Carrera said.

That partnership is also due to a high number of residents from the FSM testing positive for COVID-19. Public Health data shows that people from the FSM state of Chuuk make up the third-highest percentage of positive cases at about 15%. The highest are CHamoru people at 25% and the second-highest are Filipinos at 21%.

But within the FSM community is also a disproportionately high number of deaths compared to its population size, according to Carrera. The FSM community represents about 7% of the population on Guam but make up about 26% of COVID-19-related deaths as of the first week of October, she said.

As of Wednesday, Guam had 75 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19. These were confirmed results of 526 tests conducted, the Joint Information Center stated.

Officials also reported 62 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Guam Memorial Hospital had 57 — 12 of whom were in the intensive care unit. Four GMH patients were on ventilators to help them breathe.

Naval Hospital Guam has two patients, both of whom are in the ICU.

Guam Regional Medical City reported three patients, none were in ICU.

This brings the total COVID-19 confirmed cases to 3,341 since testing started in March. There have been 61 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.

Among the new cases are two Guam Department of Education employees. Of the total cases, 3,059 are civilians and 282 are military service members.

Of the 75 new cases, 19 were identified through contact tracing. Four cases reported recent travel from other parts of the United States and were identified in quarantine.

A majority of Guam's COVID-19 cases are in the northern villages, which are the most populated. The breakdown by region follows:

  • • North: 1,820
  • • Central: 918
  • • South: 430
  • • Homeless: 4
  • • Non-resident: 87

According to officials, a majority of the positive cases were through household contact, the data follows:

  • • Household contact: 966
  • • Community contact: 721
  • • Workplace contact: 300
  • • Healthcare contact: 58