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'No rest from days of sadness;' Guam reports 21st Covid death
04:02 am GMT+12, 10/09/2020, Guam

The Joint Information Centrer was notified that Guam’s 21st Covid-19-related fatality occurred at the Guam Memorial Hospital Thursday.
 
The patient was a 74-year-old woman with comorbidities that were compounded by Covid-19. She was admitted to GMH on 25 August.
 
“It seems we will not get rest from our days of sadness. This morning we lost another soul to COVID-19,” said Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero.  
 
“No words can heal the pain from such a loss, but Jeff, Lt. Governor Josh, and I send our condolences and sympathies to everyone she loved. To the people of Guam, we must do all we can to keep each other safe. ”  
 
Health officials advised that older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions are most at risk for serious complications and death due to SARS-CoV-2/Covid19.
 
Meanwhile, the public and private sectors on Guam have partnered to develop the Guam Covid Alert App, which is officially launched today.
 
The Centers for Disease Control, Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS), Galaide Group, UoG, and Infinity Web, along with the Office of Technology (OTECH) collaborated on this project. They reached out to tech titans, Apple, and Google to use their jointly developed Exposure Notification System. Six states have adopted the same system.  
 
“Ninety-nine percent of all mobiles run OS run Google or Apple. The app allows for unique identifiers that are near each other. It works via Bluetooth only.” said Frank Lujan, chief technology officer at OTECH.  
 
In a Zoom presentation made on 04 September, project stakeholders introduced the features of the app. The application uses smartphones built-in Bluetooth technology to allow phones with dynamically generated unique identifying numbers.
 
Through Bluetooth connectivity, the app user checks if they got exposed to someone who reports to DPHSS or has tested positive for Covid. It does so anonymously and without tracking your location. App user privacy is 100 percent protected.  
 
“It’s just basic math,” said Vincent Munoz,  managing member of Next Generation, LLC. “It’s important that we have a strong outreach plan and high app adoption rates.”
 
“The only way we can win and go back to normal is to contain the virus,” said Monica Guzman, CEO and managing director of the Galaide Group.
 
Guzman leads the creation and distribution of outreach materials. Businesses are encouraged to put up posters and ask their employees to download and use the app. Social media resources will be available to help with the information campaign.
 
The app is useful for anonymous contact tracing, where the smartphone user does not know other people in the location—for example, a bus, or in line at the post office. Smartphones will act as beacons, quietly signaling each other as people get within six feet. The app records each encounter and will show the date, time, and duration of the exposure. When a user comes within six feet of a person who tests positive and reports afterward, app users get a notification. They will be advised to self-isolate and may call DPHSS to schedule a test.  
 
“It’s really important that we get the community’s support,” said Janela Carrera, DPHSS public information officer. “The more people that download this app, the better chance we have in containing the spread.”
 
“I want to emphasise how historic this is that we are launching this app at the right time. When the outbreak accelerates, it can be very hard to get a hold of it. This is a great armament for Guam to use to be safe and to open again.” said W. Thane Hancock,  epidemiologist from the CDC.“It’s really important that we get the community’s support,” said Janela Carrera, DPHSS public information officer. “The more people that download this app, the better chance we have in containing the spread.”
 
“I want to emphasize how historic this is that we are launching this app at the right time. When the outbreak accelerates, it can be very hard to get a hold of it. This is a great armament for Guam to use to be safe and to open again.” said W. Thane Hancock,  epidemiologist from the CDC.
 

SOURCE: PACIFIC ISLAND TIMES/PACNEWS


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