Death of woman, 76, linked to COVID-19; toll now 38

COVID FATALITIES: Guam Memorial Hospital is seen Sunday, Sept. 20. Another fatality was linked to COVID-19 was announced Thursday, bringing the total to 38. Post file photo.

Two more deaths were linked to COVID-19, government officials said on Tuesday. 

The announcement followed another late Monday night. That brings the number of COVID-19-related fatalities to 37.

There were 43 new COVID-19 cases announced Tuesday. Thirty one of those were identified through contact tracing, according to the Joint Information Center. The total number of people currently fighting the novel coronavirus are 646; 39 of them are getting medical care at Guam Memorial Hospital, with 15 of them in the intensive care unit, the JIC report stated.

GMH Administrator Lillian Perez-Posadas said it is “hard to determine whether COVID caused the death or contributed” to it.

“I hope people don’t get too hung up on (the difference) and I don’t know why they would,” she said, “It’s real. COVID happens and when it happens to your system it can really wipe out everything – your heart, your respiratory system, your kidneys, your cardiovascular system, it affects every organ, every system in the body.”

Perez-Posadas said it is up to the attending clinician to determine what the cause of death is.

“Yes, there may be underlying medical conditions, but it’s very well possible that COVID exponentially sped up the process of those underlying conditions,” she said. “Some people think we are making it up that it’s a COVID death because we get more funding, but that’s not true. We don’t. As much as we can, we try to save these people and manage their treatment so they can be reunited with their families. ... We are not making this up.”

Recent fatalities

Around 1:08 p.m. Tuesday, Guam’s 36th COVID-19-related fatality occurred at Guam Memorial Hospital.

The patient was a 65-year-old man and was a known COVID-19 case. He was transferred to GMH from Guam Regional Medical City on Aug. 21.

Guam’s 37th COVID-19-related fatality occurred around 2:18 p.m. Tuesday.

The patient was a 52-year-old woman with underlying conditions that were compounded by COVID-19. She was admitted to GMH on Sept. 5 and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 upon admission.

A 56-year-old man died around 9:45 p.m. Sunday at Guam Regional Medical City. The announcement of his death was made around 11 p.m. Monday. The man had underlying health conditions that were compounded by COVID-19. He was pronounced dead on arrival at GRMC. He was swabbed and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 upon arrival on Sept. 20.

"To those they loved, Jeff, Lt. Gov. Josh, and I send you our deepest condolences and sympathies. I hope you are comforted by the outpouring of love and support surrounding you in this most difficult of times. Please know that you are not alone," said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. "To the people of Guam, now is not the time to become complacent. Let us do what we can to prevent any more moments of silence. Please, I ask that you stay home, wear your masks, and social distance.”

Since testing started in March, there have been 2,190 cases of COVID-19.

Currently, there are 646 cases in active isolation. There have been 1,507 people who’ve completed isolation.

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