Hagåtña, Guam – Officials are aware of a viral message circulating on whatsapp and social media claiming a case of the Coronavirus is now on Guam. This message is false. Currently there are no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 and no people who meet the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for a Person Under Investigation for COVID-19 in Guam. Guam is carefully assessing and monitoring the situation as it evolves. With any change in status, anticipate timely notification.
A United Guam Prepares for a Global Threat
The potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, globally, nationally, and to our island. The Government of Guam (GovGuam) has been working on a daily basis with counterparts at the CDC and with local health care providers to prepare for the possibility that COVID-19 will come to our island.
“Everything we can do as a government to protect and prepare for COVID-19 is being done. We have faced similar challenges before, and we always came through stronger and more united. Each of our families can help in small ways, but know that we are facing a global problem and working with every local and federal partner to keep Guam safe,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero.
Multi-Agency Efforts Continue
Governor Leon Guerrero met with Rear Adm. John Menoni, Commander, Joint Region Marianas (JRM), to further discuss Guam’s prevention and response planning efforts for COVID-19, adding to the already established integration of GovGuam and JRM agencies. “Joint Region Marianas will continue coordination with GovGuam to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 to protect our force and families, prevent the spread of the virus to U.S. territories and partner nations through our procedures, and maintain our ability to support the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s mission,” said Menoni.
As part of continued multi-agency response efforts, DPHSS is hosting a Guam Pandemic Plan Review working session on Wednesday, March 4 and Thursday, March 5, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pacific Star Resort. The purpose of the meeting is to enhance Guam’s capabilities in response to COVID-19. Media will only be allowed to cover the opening session, before 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4. Due to the sensitivity of the topic and the planned discussions of the internal procedures of all agencies, this meeting will not be open to the media beyond 9 a.m., Wednesday, March 4.
Take Precautions Now: Prevent the Spread of All Respiratory Illnesses
Everyone can do their part to help respond to this emerging public health threat:
It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Practice proper cough etiquette – cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces.
Stay home when you are sick – do not go to work or school.
Stay Up to Date with Reputable Sources
It is important to note that the situation can change daily. The community is reminded to only share official notices and visit the following links for the most up-to-date information:
CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/
DPHSS website: http://dphss.guam.gov/2019-
GHS/OCD website: https://ghs.guam.gov/
Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center: https://www.med.navy.mil/
sites/nmcphc/program-and- policy-support/Pages/Novel- Coronavirus.aspx
For more information, contact DPHSS Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., at (671) 735-7154.