As the government announces the use of new rapid kit tests, which have shown false negatives nationally, there’s news of a new positive COVID-19 case.
The most recent positive results comes from tests conducted by U.S. Naval Hospital Guam and its mainland clinic, bringing Guam’s total positive cases since testing started in March to 138. In the last month, the island also has seen 126 recoveries and five people have died.
The government also is preparing for its pilot testing program in Astumbo, Dededo, this Saturday.
It’s unclear if they will be using the new Abbot ID Now, though apparently the test, manufacturers of which boasted a 15-minute turn-around time, has been in use for at least a week.
“Since April 14, the GPHL has run 51 specimens with the Abbott ID NOW, with results of 50 negatives and 1 follow-up positive,” stated a Joint Information Center press release.
Local health officials were informed on April 14 by the Abbott Point-of-Contact Technical Consultant Trainer “that there are some false negatives due to how the specimens may be stored through the Viral Transport (3ML) Medium (VTM) Collection System.”
“The DPHSS Guam Public Health Laboratory is aware of inaccuracy of false negative results from the Abbott ID NOW laboratory instrument that tests for the virus for COVID-19. GPHL has not conducted any of its specimens in the viral transport 3mL dilution that would lead to a false negative.”
The company believes the “dilution of swabs immersed in 3mL liquid/medium may have caused false-negatives.”
Local official said Guam’s Public Health Laboratory ran its validation tests using 1mL liquid/medium, the release states. The Abbott Technical Consultant Trainer acknowledged that GPHL’s “validations went very well but that could be due in part to the fact that you’re only using 1mL of VTM for each swab (whereas many of our customers are using 3mL).”
The GPHL will continue to accept 1 mL of VTM for each swab, which will minimize false negativity of the result and will yield higher accuracy and less false negativity, according to the press release. Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 Fact Sheets for healthcare providers are attached to all negative results, followed by a medical disclaimer stating that there is a possibility of false negativity for which patient follow up and repeat testing are recommended.
COVID-19 pilot project drive-through/walk-in testing
The government is launching its COVID-19 Pilot Project Drive-Through/Walk-In Testing of COVID-19 for residents who live in Sagan Linhanyan and Lower Astumbo, Dededo.
The drive-through/walk-in testing will take place from 9 a.m. – noon, Saturday, April 25 at the Astumbo Gym in Dededo. Testing is limited and is free and open to residents of Sagan Linhanyan and Lower Astumbo who meet the following criteria:
● Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms
● Multi-generational families in a household (parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, adult children, their children) with COVID-19 symptoms
Additionally, DPHSS nurses and public health officials are canvassing the areas on Thursday and Friday to pre-screen residents and issue passes. A resident who meets the criteria for the pilot test will be issued an individual pass to enter the drive-through or walk-in line on Saturday for testing.
Residents who show up on Saturday and do not have a pass, but exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or who are asymptomatic, will be given an informational leaflet and have their information collected by public health nurses. They will be contacted by DPHSS at a later time. This is a pilot program, with the intent to provide the service to more people in the future.
If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please call your health care provider. If a patient does not have a regular health care provider, they can call any of the Community Health Centers or the DPHSS Medical Triage Hotline Phone Numbers listed below to report symptoms and obtain guidance from clinicians, or call 311.
● (671) 480-7859
● (671) 480-6760/3
● (671) 480-7883
● (671) 687-6170 (ADA Dedicated Number)
Medicaid Services (CMS) regulates all laboratory testing performed on humans in the U.S. through CLIA.
For inquiries on COVID-19, contact 311 through a local number, or call the Joint Information Center at (671) 478-0208/09/10.