By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Guam’s Joint Information Center reported 22 new COVID-19 cases confirmed by the Department of Defense (DoD) Saturday. Twenty were identified through contact tracing among service members in a unit deployed to Andersen Air Force Base (AFB) and two cases were identified through screening at Andersen AFB and were healthcare workers who reported contact to cases of COVID-19.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

This brings the total cases associated with this unit to 35 in less than 2 weeks. On June 11, a service member began to show symptoms of COVID-19 and was immediately tested by U.S. Naval Hospital Guam staff, which later produced a positive result on June 12. Six additional service members that had close contact with the first individual have also been confirmed positive.

All service members assigned to the unit were rapidly placed in isolation and have since been relocated to Andersen AFB where they are under medical observation in accordance with
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols. All positive cases were placed under mandatory isolation, and all other military members associated to this unit were placed under mandatory enforced quarantine on Andersen AFB.

Andersen AFB, working with the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS), continues to conduct thorough and complete contact tracing. Andersen AFB is complying with all DoD travel restrictions and clearance processes and are committed to ensuring the health and safety of all service members, civilians, families and the community.

Stars and Stripes reports Brig. Gen. Gentry Boswell, commander of Andersen’s 36th Wing said the Air Force is investigating whether any of the 35 airmen who tested positive for coronavirus violated mandatory protection measures.

“All military members are subject to the established public health emergency protocols,” Boswell said. “If the ensuing investigation determines that members did not follow these directives in a disciplined manner, they will be held accountable for their actions under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”

To date, there have been a total of 222 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 5 deaths, 173 released from isolation, and 44 active cases. Of those cases 180 are classified as civilians, and 42 are military service members, inclusive of 22 cases confirmed by the Department of Defense (DoD) this weekend.