Hagåtña, Guam – Today, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero welcomed a U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention team who arrived this month to review the island’s high rate of Dead on Arrivals (DOA). CDC deployed this team following a request from Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) Director Art San Agustin to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on October 7, 2021. The team consists of Medical Epidemiologist Jan White, Senior Microbiologist Duping Zheng, Junior Public Health Advisor Candrita McLemore, and Biostatician Hong Zhou, who will arrive shortly.
“Our island suffered too many losses with the onset of COVID-19 and even more so in the last few months, many of whom were Dead on Arrival,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “Although we boast one of the highest vaccination rates in the country, we can stand to learn how to better protect our community from all corners. We are very privileged to welcome our partners in public health from the CDC, especially when there are struggling healthcare systems across the country. This tells us that Guam can contribute to furthering federal research and refining how we all respond to this pandemic. We are committed to ensuring our partners have the resources they need to support this mission, and we look forward to utilizing their data to improve our response efforts. We will continue working with our federal partners to focus our strategies on protecting and saving more lives.”
“There is a story to be told with every person who has passed on and the findings made by the CDC team will shed light on why our island has seen as many DOA cases as we have,” said DPHSS Director San Agustin. “Their findings have the potential to paint us a clearer picture of our community transmission and may give us the information we need to prevent any unnecessary loss of life. We are encouraged by the team’s commitment to identify trends, patterns and next steps in our response efforts to mitigate COVID-19 transmission.”
The CDC team is deployed to Guam for the next month.