DPHSS Continues to Follow Protocols in Place; CDC Diagnostic Test Kits Requested

DPHSS Continues to Follow Protocols in Place; CDC Diagnostic Test Kits Requested

As of 1:30 p.m. on February 7, 2020, there remain no confirmed cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on Guam. With any change in status, anticipate timely notification.

The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) continues to follow established protocols for reporting infections of public health significance.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided criteria for determining whether or not a patient should be considered as a Patient Under Investigation (PUI) for 2019-nCoV.  The link to this criteria follows:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html.

Our Guam medical providers have stepped-up to the challenge, and are reaching out to Guam DPHSS to discuss and evaluate suspicious cases.  So far, no patients on Guam have met the PUI criteria for 2019-nCoV.  DPHSS continues to collaborate with providers and facilities to provide updates and review procedures for evaluating patients. 

Please note that this is a rapidly changing situation.  DPHSS and CDC guidance will change as the situation dictates.  DPHSS will continue to provide regular updates through the Government of Guam’s Joint Information Center.  Also frequently check reliable sources for information, like cdc.gov to keep up-to-date. 

Testing for New Coronavirus

At this time, all testing for 2019-nCoV is completed at the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia. CDC recently developed a new laboratory kit that tests patient specimens for 2019-nCoV. DPHSS has requested these test kits to establish testing here on Guam. Each test kit can test approximately 400 patient specimens. On Feb. 5, 2020, the CDC began shipping the 2019-nCoV diagnostic test kits to U.S. domestic laboratories and select international laboratories.

The community is reminded that official updates regarding the novel coronavirus will be issued directly from DPHSS or through the Joint Information Center only. The community can help reduce the spread of misinformation by only sharing official notices. 

Providers are reminded of the importance in maintaining Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines when sharing any patient information. 

Visit the following link for the most up-to-date information: https://www.cdc.gov.

For more information, contact DPHSS Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., at (671) 735- 7143.



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June 2018 is Typhoon Preparedness Month