Police rubbish fake news that officers tested positive for COVID
Press Officer at the RSLPF, Corporal Ann Joseph
The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) has rubbished allegations that some members of the force as well as prisoners had tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in the closure of at least one police station.
The rumors stem from a voice note circulating over social media where a female voice is heard explaining that an individual in police custody and officers attached to the Anse La Raye and Canaries Police Stations have contracted the virus.
According to the RSLPF, on October 23, 2020, a male prisoner was taken into custody at the Anse La Raye Police Station.
The inmate, during his time in custody fell ill and out of an abundance of caution, he was escorted to one of our respiratory clinics where a COVID-19 test was conducted.
“Since then his results have been relayed to us, and he is COVID-19 negative,” Press Officer at the RSLPF, Corporal Ann Joseph explained to Loop News Tuesday.
Other tests were conducted on the prisoner and he has received a clean bill of health.
All officers attached to the Anse La Raye Police Station who were on duty at the time and persons who interacted with the prisoner were taken either into quarantine, or isolation depending on the individual circumstances.
Despite the negative test result, erring on the side of caution, some of these officers are asked to remain in isolation as COVID-19 negative test results may not necessarily mean that one may not test positive later on.
Officers were asked to remain either at their residence or another location where they will be isolated.
“During that time, the Anse La Raye Police Station was still operational,” Joseph noted.
“Other officers who did not have cause to interact with those officers were isolated, other officers were brought in to ensure the smooth operation of the station, ensuring that reports could have been handled from the Anse La Raye Police Station,” she continued.
Joseph says before that was done, sanitization works were conducted.
“So the station had to be temporarily closed, operations from the police stations, not the operation of the police in that district, we still had persons responding to reports, however not from the station, while the sanitization works were being conducted,” she said.
Corporal Joseph applauded the protocols of the RSLPF in dealing with COVID situations, having been one of the first organizations that were impacted by a positive COVID-19 result earlier on in the pandemic:
“It showed that if you adhere to the protocols, we can mitigate the spread of the virus. An officer tested positive, and other officers assigned to his department did not test positive, although he had been there, exposure was minimal because he adhered to the protocols.
We'd like to let the public know that we are following the protocols as an organization that have been established by public health officials.
One of the protocols, well the policy arising from the protocols, is that any time it is suspected that either an officer or family member, somebody that they may have interactions with a prisoner is deemed to be possibly COVID-19 positive, the station is locked down, all the officers and necessary contacts are placed immediately into some sort of isolation.
The entire station then undergoes sanitization works, that is one of the mandatory steps as it relates to our response internally to COVID-19.
We've not had a situation where operations of any police station have to be reduced to a point where no reports can be responded to.
There are protocols in place that if somebody is sick, we can have other individuals take over the responsibilities of these officers, and it is very malicious that this individual in the voice note is saying that an inspector attached to the police station tested positive. That is a fallacy we'd like to make it very clear that no one attached to the Anse La Raye Police Station thus far has tested positive for COVID-19."