Guam to receive new virus test kits soon

PASSENGERS: The vast majority of departing passengers at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport on Feb. 6 wore masks due to the threat of the new coronavirus. Guam doesn't have a single case of the new coronavirus. David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

The government of Guam is anticipating the arrival of novel coronavirus test kits in the next two weeks, allowing testing to be conducted locally rather than sending specimens off island. 

The Department of Public Health and Social Services confirmed its laboratory equipment was calibrated and is ready for testing as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Guam will receive the 2019-nCoV test kits, according to the governor's office.

Guam doesn't have a single case of confirmed new coronavirus, local officials have said.

The CDC's new laboratory kit tests patient specimens for 2019-nCoV. The kits have been shipped to U.S. domestic and select international laboratories. 

DPHSS expects the kits to arrive before the end of the month.

DPHSS Director Linda Unpingco-DeNorcey said the immediate health risk from the 2019 novel coronavirus to the general public remains low and Guam is carefully assessing the situation.

The public is advised to continue to take preventative steps:

• Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

• When you cough, cover your mouth with a tissue, throw the tissue away, and then wash your hands

• Cover your mouth with the sleeve of your clothing if you do not have any tissue

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

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