Man, 55, Guam's 338th COVID-19-related death

DEATHS: Guam Memorial Hospital is shown in this Jan. 9 file photo. Post file photo

Two more deaths, including one case pronounced dead on arrival, were reported by the Joint Information Center on Wednesday night.

Both fatalities occurred on Jan. 18, the JIC reported Wednesday night. 

• A 70-year-old woman who was not vaccinated and had underlying health conditions is the island's 275th COVID-19-related fatality. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the Guam Memorial Hospital. She tested positive on Jan. 18.

• The 276th COVID-19-related fatality also occurred at GMH. The patient was a 67-year-old male who was vaccinated and had underlying health conditions. He tested positive on Jan. 8.

“Though the fight with COVID-19 has us fatigued, we must not surrender to this virus which has taken too many of our loved ones too soon,” said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. “For those who grieve, Jeff, Josh, and I offer our deepest sympathies and prayers in your time of mourning. With each moment of silence, let us all recommit to the safeguards that have helped us reach this point in the pandemic. Get vaccinated if you haven’t done so already. Get boosted if it’s your time. And continue to practice the 3 Ws.”

The JIC also reported a new high of 815 new daily cases of COVID-19 confirmed out of 2,893 specimens analyzed on Jan. 18.

Guam now has 5,269 cases in active isolation after testing positive. That's the highest number of active cases in a single day since the pandemic landed on the island in March 2020. 

There currently are 27 people in local hospitals who've tested positive for COVID-19. Of those two are in the intensive care unit, with one person requiring a ventilator, according to the JIC report. 

Genome tests confirm omicron 

On Wednesday, the Department of Public Health and Social Services received nine new results from virus samples collected on Guam between Dec. 19, 2021 to Dec. 27, 2021, which have undergone genome sequencing by the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) State Laboratory Division. DPHSS received the second set of results from the Hawaii DOH State Lab Division.

Seven samples were identified as the Omicron Variant of Concern (VOC), while two (2) were identified as the Delta VOC. 

To date, 521 SARS-CoV-2 virus samples have been submitted to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Hawaii DOH State Lab Division for genome sequencing and identified a total of three hundred twenty (320) COVID-19 cases infected with variants.

DPHSS previously reported variants from results from the CDC and the Hawaii DOH State Lab and identified the following:

• 89 cases identified with the B.1.1.7 Alpha variant

• 14 cases identified with the B.1.429 Epsilon variant

• 4 cases identified with the B.1.351 Beta variant

• 212 cases identified with the Delta variant and its sublineages

• 1 case identified with the P.1 Gamma variant

Most vulnerable

Officials reiterate that those most at risk for serious complications and death due to SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, are older adults and individuals with serious chronic medical conditions.

Serious chronic medical conditions include: heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, obesity, immunocompromised conditions such as cancer and lupus, chronic liver and renal disease, neurologic or neurodevelopmental condition, current or former smoking. 

Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who is showing symptoms should also be aware of emergency warning signs. Seek emergency medical care immediately or call 911 if you have trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.

Individuals who are sick are advised to:

• Stay home, except to seek medical care. Call ahead before visiting the clinic/doctor.

• Monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headaches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, nausea and/or diarrhea.

• Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19. While waiting for test results, you should stay away from others, including staying apart from those living in your household.

GBHWC Crisis Hotline

The Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center (GBHWC) has a Crisis Hotline available 24/7 at (671) 647-8833/4. For those feeling anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, or need to talk to someone, GBHWC has experienced providers available and ready to assist the community with any heightened stress and anxiety experienced as a result of COVID-19.

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