Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has tested positive for COVID-19, soon after coming in close contact with an immediate family member who had also tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Arnold I. Palacios immediately issued a statement on Tuesday evening, wishing Leon Guerrero well as she recovers from the coronavirus.
This comes as one more person has tested positive for COVID-19 in the CNMI last Aug. 10, boosting the CNMI’s cumulative total to 49. The newest case was discovered through the port-of-entry screening process.
Leon Guerrero assured that she remains at the helm of the Guam government, and that Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio remains negative for the coronavirus.
She confirmed her diagnosis in a statement issued late Tuesday night, soon after being told that her test had shown her positive for the virus. Later, in an interview with Guam’s K57 radio host, Patti Arroyo, she said she may have gotten it from her son, Joaquin Cook, who had publicly announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 after coming in contact with someone who had also tested positive
“For me, it was an infection that I think occurred Tuesday. My son, Joaquin, also had been in contact with a positive person, and he wanted to make sure the family was safe. So all my family got tested on Wednesday, and we were all negative except for him,” said Leon Guerrero, adding that all of them went into self-quarantine all the same.
The following Saturday after her negative result, Leon Guerrero said she started to feel some symptoms—she felt dizzy, “spacey,” and not right. “That afternoon [Saturday], the whole night and the next day, were miserable days for me. Monday was better and today is much better. So hopefully, you know, I’m over it, but with this virus you cannot predict,” said Leon Guerrero.
She said the virus “doesn’t discriminate” and is contagious, serious, and the only way to prevent it, until there is a vaccine, is to quarantine and follow public health directions. “We need to be very vigilant, diligent, and so much adhering to what the mitigation efforts are,” she said.
This was echoed by Torres and Palacios in the statement they issued Tuesday night, saying, “This virus affects all of us, and we need to do our part to slow the spread by helping one another as one Marianas. We need to take this seriously. Wash your hands. Watch your distance when out in public. And wear a mask.
“Please avoid unnecessary travel except trips to the grocery store and picking up food and medication. Please avoid contact with our man’amko and our loved ones with preexisting illnesses. They are most at risk to contract severe illness from the COVID-19 virus. …As Gov. Lou said, please use her experience and courage as a reminder to protect yourselves, your families, and our beautiful islands.”
As for the CNMI’s newest positive case, the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. said that the individual was identified through the incoming traveler screening and was moved to the designated isolation area where CHCC can closely monitor the individual.
CHCC has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts which includes passengers on the same flight, close family members, friends, and associates.
Of the CNMI’s total 49 cases, 25 cases were identified through travel screening, with 20 of them originating from the U.S. mainland, two from a U.S. territory, and three from a foreign country.