Today, the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) received an additional set of results from virus samples collected on Guam which have undergone genome sequencing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Virus samples were collected between March 2021 and April 2021. To date, a total of 116 SARS-CoV-2 virus samples have been submitted to the CDC for genome sequencing.
DPHSS received the fourth set of results from the CDC on May 28. Of the twenty-five (25) results, seventeen (17) cases were identified with Variants of Concern (VOC) and one (1) case was identified with a Variant of Interest (VOI). The breakdown is as follows: sixteen (16) were identified as B.1.1.7 or the U.K. variant, one (1) was identified as the B.1.351 or the South African variant, and one (1) was identified as the B.1.617.2 or the India variant. The B.1.617.2, or the India variant, is a Variant of Interest, which has the potential for reduced neutralization by some monoclonal antibodies and post-vaccination or previous COVID-19 infections.
Of the seventeen (17) samples confirmed as VOCs and (one) 1 as a VOI, five (5) were travel-related cases and thirteen (13) had no known travel history. Of the five travel-related cases, three (3) were identified in the government of Guam quarantine facility (QFAC). In accordance with DPHSS protocol, the three (3) travelers were isolated in the government isolation facility, and all close contacts to these travelers were quarantined in the QFAC for 14 days.
Additionally, of the eighteen (18) cases with variants detected, thirteen (13) were identified from two separate community clusters, and all were identified to have been infected with the B.1.1.7 or the U.K. variant. Of the five (5) travel-related cases, three were identified with the B.1.1.7 or the U.K. variant, one (1) was identified with the B.1.351 or the South African variant, and one (1) with the B.1.617.2 or India variant.
DPHSS previously reported Variants of Concern from results from the CDC, which identified the following:
- seven (7) cases identified with the B.1.1.7 U.K. variant
- eight (8) case identified with the B.1.429 California variant
- one (1) case identified with the B.1.351 South African variant.
Current results do not provide any evidence of the other Variants of Concern on Guam (P.1-- Brazil/Japan, B.1.427--a California Variant of Concern). DPHSS continues to send samples to the CDC for genome sequencing.
The community is reminded to remain vigilant:
- Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Watch your distance.
- Get vaccinated. Stay tuned to local media and the latest JIC releases for vaccine availability.
- Stay home if you are sick, keep away from others who are sick.
- Keep a safe distance of at least 6 feet from others who are not in your household.
- Practice social distancing around elderly family members.
For the latest information on COVID-19, visit dphss.guam.gov or guamrecovery.com. For inquiries on COVID-19, contact 311 through a local number, or call the Joint Information Center at (671) 478-0208/09/10.