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NEWS: More test kits arriving next week

The following is a news release from Sen. Therese Terlaje:

The Legislature’s Committee on Health is encouraged by news that the newly converted COVID SNF Isolation facility has opened the first of three wings to receive patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently receiving medical care.

The recently constructed A Wing can accommodate up to 20 people and the B & C wings can then be opened to accommodate 40 more patients for a total of 60, should the need arise.

There are multiple levels of contingency plans put in place by Linda DeNorcey and the team at the Department of Public Health and Social Services, together with GMHA and other government agencies and healthcare facilities, if expansion beyond the COVID SNF becomes necessary.

We continue to closely monitor our progress and are aware that there is still much work that needs to be done as we fight this unprecedented threat to the health, safety and security of the people of Guam.

Additionally, we have confirmed and would like to remind the public of the following:

-Pharmacies will remain open and are operating full time to handle increased demand while incorporating increased social distance precautions for patients.

-Insurance companies, and Medicaid and MIP have all authorized early and extended refills to decrease contact and facilitate sheltering in place especially of our most vulnerable patients.

-Insurance companies and providers on Guam have now worked out parameters for increased Telehealth during this pandemic emergency which will also help keep people safely at home.

-Providers are stepping up triage and urgent care methods that limit the risk of cross-infection of other patients and relieve the hospital.

-DPHSS is accepting new applications and renewals online for all public welfare benefits, including SNAP, Medicaid, and MIP.

-DPHSS is also handling prior authorization requests from health providers via fax.

-DPHSS has advised that more COVID-19 test kits are expected to arrive early next week.

My colleagues and I are fully aware of the layoffs and economic impacts to tourism industry and affecting all of Guam, and are committed to putting measures in place to assist all those impacted, who cannot be made whole through existing local or federal programs.

While our health professionals and other first responders are putting themselves and their families at risk, the rest of us need to shelter in place and work from home to save the lives of our Manamko’, our dialysis and cancer patients and all those with immunocompromised conditions.

We will not get a second chance to get this right. Whether the government is mandating you or not, please stay home and anticipate that many in the community may be carrying the virus without symptoms. Do not take a chance on exposure to the virus. Let us increase precautions by sheltering in place, to save the lives of our frontline workers and those we love.

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