Drug rehab center on lockdown  after several clients get virus

LOCKDOWN: The Lighthouse Recovery Center building in Tiyan is shown Wednesday as it is on lockdown. Nine of the center's drug rehabilitation clients have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

The Lighthouse Recovery Center in Tiyan, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, has been on lockdown for a week after a growing number of COVID-19 cases were reported.

“No one was allowed to enter or leave,” said Lourdes Hongyee, LRC Program coordinator.

A total of nine inpatient clients, who reside at the center, have since been moved and are being monitored at the government’s isolation facility in Tumon.

“We were all scared,” she said.

The scare began Oct. 6 when one of the LRC staff was identified through contact tracing as having been exposed to someone who had the virus. The staff member tested positive, but did not experience any symptoms, Hongyee said.

Then, a client started feeling ill and tested positive Friday. The center scheduled for all its clients to then be tested Sunday.

“We continued to practice social distancing before we had the mass testing,” she said. “No one was experiencing symptoms at that point.”

The results returned the following day with a total of seven positive cases. According to Hongyee, an additional case was confirmed, and a total of nine clients had contracted the virus over the past week.

“We are talking with Public Health to see what they can do to help us,” she said.

The facility currently has a total of 20 clients.

Hongyee said this is the first time they’ve had a COVID-19 scare at the center during the pandemic. Staff are currently trained to follow Department of Public Health and Social Services guidelines and use personal protective equipment.

“It is very scary for us. We are scared the clients will get it and if the staff get it then who will take care of the clients,” she said.

Another mass testing is tentatively scheduled for this Friday.

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