The government of Guam Joint Information Center on Friday evening confirmed the island has lost five more lives in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The death toll linked to COVID-19 on Guam has risen to 179.
The island has recorded 29 deaths in a little more than two weeks. The number of cases began accelerating on Sept. 1, when Guam recorded the 150th death linked to COVID-19.
The governor and island health officials on Monday voiced concern over the increasing number of COVID-19 patients who are deceased by the time they arrive at hospital emergency rooms.
The officials warned of a phenomenon called "silent hypoxia." This is a condition that occurs when a patient does not realize the loss of oxygen until the damage has been irreversible or significant. It's called a silent killer because indicators of a loss of oxygen, such as difficulty breathing, do not necessarily show until it's too late, the health officials said Monday during a press conference.
The number of new COVID-19 cases also remained in triple digits, at 204 positive results out of 1,586 tests performed on Sept. 16.
According to GovGuam:
● The 175th fatality was pronounced dead on arrival at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam on Sept. 13. The patient was a woman, 63, who was partially vaccinated. She was reported to have had underlying health concerns and had tested positive on Sept. 13.
● The 176th fatality was pronounced dead on arrival at the Naval Hospital on Sept. 15. The patient was a man, 59, whose vaccination status was unknown and who was described as someone who had underlying health concerns. He tested positive on Sept. 15.
● The 177th fatality occurred at Guam Regional Medical City on Sept. 16. The patient was a 71-year-old woman who wasn't vaccinated but who had no known underlying health concerns. She was known to have tested positive.
● The 178th COVID-19-related fatality was pronounced dead on arrival at GRMC on Sept. 17. The patient was a 65-year-old man who was not vaccinated and who had underlying health concerns. He tested positive on Sept. 17.
● The 179th COVID-19-related fatality was pronounced dead on arrival at GRMC on Sept. 17. The patient was a 58-year-old woman who was not vaccinated and who appeared to have underlying health concerns. She tested positive on Sept. 17.
“The men and women who we keep in our thoughts and prayers tonight are far more than stats – they embody pleasant memories, sources of light, wisdom and love for families whose hearts are now in a place of torment,” said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. “Lives may continue to be lost at disturbing rates, with each loss regrettably offering more cautionary tales about a very real, very dangerous virus that can be controlled when we heed the warning signs.”
The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized remains high at 85. Fourteen patients were in intensive care units and eight were on ventilators to help them breathe.
Of the 85 who were hospitalized, 43 had not been vaccinated. Twelve had unknown vaccination status and one patient was not eligible for vaccination.
New cases: 204
Of the 204 new cases, 20 cases were identified through contact tracing. There have been a total of 13,349 officially reported cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began last year.
The COVID-19 Area Risk Score is 36.2. The safe threshold is 2.5, as determined by the government of Guam.