The virus now has a name.
The World Health Organization announced on Feb. 11 that the official name for the 2019 novel coronavirus is COVID-19. It was temporarily named 2019-nCoV.
As of 1:30pm yesterday, the immediate health risk of the novel coronavirus to the public remains low. Guam is carefully assessing the situation as it evolves.
Earlier this month, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed a new laboratory kit that tests patient specimens for 2019-nCoV and began shipping these kits to U.S. domestic and select international laboratories.
Guam’s Department of Public Health and Social Services received confirmation from U.S. CDC that the 2019-nCoV test kits will be shipped to Guam and arriving within two weeks.
In preparation for the coronavirus testing, the calibration of laboratory equipment at the Guam Public Health Laboratory at Ran-Care Building in Tamuning was completed. Currently, all testing for 2019-nCoV is being done at the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia until the new test kits arrive on island.
“Once DPHSS receives the novel coronavirus test kits, the GPHL can conduct the testing locally in lieu of sending the specimen off-island for testing,” said DPHSS director Linda Unpingco DeNorcey. (PR)