Tuesday 31 March, 2020

CMO thanks police and community for returning quarantine escapees

Chief Medical Officer Sharon Belmar-George provided an update on Day 2 of nationals in quarantine at the Rodney Bay Public Health Facility.

"Over the past two days, the Rodney Bay Public Health Facility has been challenged by persons in quarantine attempting to abscond. Persons who went back into communities were successfully returned through the help of the police and the community.

The Department of Health expresses thanks to the communities for their commitment to protecting the health of their neighbors and collaborating with communities for the prompt return of these individuals. By communities working with us in our response to COVID-19, we are better strengthened in reducing the possible spread of the virus. If you have information on anyone coming in from an area of restriction in the last 14 days, please notify the public health officials or the police.

Belmar-George noted, "As of March 22, 2020, Saint Lucia has a total of 2 confirmed cases.

On Friday, March 20, 2020, the Rodney Bay Public Health Facility opened to facilitate increasing numbers of passengers requiring quarantine and isolation. Today, Sunday, March 22, 2020, we have over 100 people in quarantine and three people in isolation.

Special provision is put in place for the elderly, pregnant women and those with small children. Quarantine conditions include single room boarding except in the case of families and couples.

Quarantine is necessary for persons who are well and may have been exposed to a communicable disease. It applies to people who may or may not become sick. It restricts the movement of healthy people who may develop a disease after possible exposure to an infectious agent. It requires people to stay in a designated location for a specific period of time. Active monitoring including temperature checks and checking for respiratory symptoms is done.

Quarantine centers have been set up using various hotels to facilitate the large numbers of returning nationals and any non-nationals that may arrive of concern."

"The public is reminded to focus on the maintenance of standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infection. These include:

  • regular handwashing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer where soap and water is not available.
  • cover mouth and nose with disposable tissues or clothing when coughing and sneezing.
  • avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
  • seek medical attention and share your travel history with your health care provider if you have symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel.

We continue to advise on social distancing as an effective strategy to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

For more information please contact the Office of the Chief Medical Officer or the Epidemiology Unit, at 468-5309/468-5317 respectively"

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