Friday 4 December, 2020

Health Ministry outlines investigations into COVID-19 case

The Ministry of Health has commented on its investigations following receiving information concerning a positive case of COVID-19.

Loop News reported earlier that contact tracing efforts were conducted today at Go Answer, a call centre operating at the Johnsons Centre at Rodney Bay.

According to the release: "The individual in question is a Saint Lucian national who travelled to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and was screened and tested as per the island’s national protocols. On July 21, 2020 the sample was tested at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and results of the PCR test was confirmed for COVID-19.

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The Department of Health and Wellness has since deployed a team to conduct investigations both at the home and at the workplace of the individual. The team from the Department of Health is currently doing the necessary contact tracing and investigations in order to determine the source of infection as well as level of exposure of contacts in order to interrupt the chain of transmission. The team consists of officers from the Epidemiology Unit, the Infectious Diseases Unit, Community Nursing, Bureau of Health Education and Environmental Health."

The Health Ministry release continued: "We operate from a holistic approach ensuring that not just screening and contact tracing is done but also thorough inspection of the surroundings and adherence to protocols.

All staff members will be screened and tested as deemed necessary by the team. Staff will also receive guidance from the team on home quarantine and how to keep themselves and their families safe.

Discussions are ongoing with the management of the establishment and guidance has been issued to ensure that staff remains quarantined until completion of this mandatory quarantine period. Guidance on infection prevention and control will also be re-emphasized."

The Department of Health and Wellness also reminded persons of the need to adhere to the protocols for home quarantine having continued to receive reports of violations of home quarantine: "These protocols have been put in place to protect public, especially our most vulnerable. We appeal to persons to be more responsible and to comply with the guidelines and protocols that they have agreed to."

The Ministry of Health encourages persons to ensure the use of a face mask when in public, to maintain six feet  of physical distance, to cover the mouth and nose with disposable tissue when coughing and sneezing and to ensure regular handwashing with soap and water or to use an alcohol based hand sanitizer where soap and water is not available.

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