The Yap government announced one male died Wednesday of pneumonia, which is associated with most COVID-19 deaths, and a specimen was sent to Guam for testing.
A release from the Yap State Government Public Information Service stated the male was one of three individuals identified as under investigation for COVID-19 on Yap’s main island between April 10 and April 14.
Two of the individuals arrived from Guam on March 18, and were quarantined at the Yap Sports Complex for 14 days before being sent home and required to remain in self-quarantine for an additional 14 days, the release stated.
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Both were found to be non-compliant with the requirement to remain at home and were seen moving throughout the community during that time, the release stated.
They are now in isolation at Yap State Hospital.
The third individual had no off-island travel history but was sent to isolation upon arrival at Yap State Hospital on April 14 with severe respiratory distress, the release stated.
He died at 1 a.m. the following morning from pneumonia, which is associated with most COVID-19 deaths. He, too, had moved freely in the community until he fell ill, the release stated.
Gov. Henry Falan announced restrictions on movement for all residents of Yap between 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. seven days a week in response, the release stated.
“We have been very fortunate to have no confirmed cases in Yap so far. But we have been forced to issue this order because our prior requests for people to stay home and practice social distancing and avoid mass gatherings have not been effective,” he said.
The Yap government’s Health Care Task Force and the Department of Health Services have recommended this measure, Falan said.
“Even if these individuals receive negative test results, they may be false negatives since the test is only 70% accurate. The virus may also have been brought onto our island through an asymptomatic, silent carrier,” he said.
Specimens were collected from all three patients and were sent to Guam for testing on Thursday night’s weekly flight.
Results are expected within 24 to 48 hours after arrival at the lab.
Contact tracing was implemented for all three individuals, the release stated.
The decree, which was added to the state’s March 25 Emergency Declaration, was also signed by members of the Council of Pilung, the traditional council that oversees issues of culture and tradition.
“We are very grateful for the support and collaboration of our senators and congressmen, as well as, the traditional leaders who are assisting in educating and monitoring the municipalities under their jurisdiction,” Falan said.
All residents are required to remain indoors at their places of residence during the curfew hours, and to exercise the recommended measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
During the day, they may leave their homes to perform needed activities such as food shopping. But all residents are required to limit their movement by not lingering, to practice social distancing, observe preventative hygiene measures, and not gather in groups, the release stated.