Guam sees another COVID-19 death

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Posted on Sep 11 2020

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Guam saw its 21st COVID-19-related fatality for the fifth day in a row yesterday, after a 74-year-old woman succumbed at the Guam Memorial Hospital.

According to a Joint Information Center statement, the woman was admitted to the Guam Memorial Hospital last Aug. 25, and that she had underlying health conditions that were enhanced by COVID-19. She was pronounced dead at approximately 12:07am.

Guam has had one fatality from COVID-19 complications since Sept. 5.

“It seems we will not get rest from our days of sadness. This morning we lost another soul to COVID-19,” said Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. “No words can heal the pain from such a loss, but [first gentleman] Jeff [Cook], Lt. Gov. Josh [Tenorio], 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.”

Since the beginning of September, Guam has seen multiple COVID-19 casualties, beginning with triple COVID-19 related fatalities, which was their 11th, 12th, and 13th deaths—a 73-year-old, a 36-year-old, and a 74-year-old, followed by a grim streak in the first weekend of the month.

Most of the deaths had underlying health conditions that were enhanced by COVID-19.

Last Sept. 7, Guam saw its 17th and 18th fatalities that were known COVID-19 cases. The 17th case was a 31-year-old female that was pronounced dead on arrival at the Guam Regional Medical City at approximately 8:46am, making her the island’s youngest COVID-19-related death.

Asan-Maina Mayor Frankie Salas later affirmed in a Facebook video that Guam’s youngest COVID-19-related death was his daughter, Jasmine Melinda Erickson Salas.

He said he was diagnosed with COVID-19 last Aug. 28 and should be out of quarantine soon. According to Salas, he was caught in the rain and had a fever, dry throat, and loss of appetite, which led him to get checked for COVID-19, after which his results turned out positive.

Salas said that most of his staff tested negative, his daughter and common-law girlfriend tested negative, as well as his daughter Jasmine’s husband and children. He said his daughter, Jasmine, had COVID-19, but he was hopeful that she would make a full recovery. Salas, however, became worried because, just before she died, she was experiencing shortness of breath. She was later brought to GMH and Salas thought that she would be quarantined or examined for having shortness of breath. However, GMH released her.

Salas said he checked remotely on his daughter every day, asking her how she felt, how her children were, and making sure that she continues to take care of herself. He added that she had diabetes and high blood pressure, along with other health issues. What grieves him now is that he is still in quarantine and is unable to view his daughter’s body.

Justine Nauta
Justine Nauta is Saipan Tribune's community and health reporter and has covered a wide range of news beats, including the Northern Marianas College and Commonwealth Health Care Corp. She's currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services at NMC.

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