Saturday 24 October, 2020

Fifty people placed in quarantine in relation to latest COVID case

Chief Medical Officer Dr Sharon Belmar-George has provided an update on the latest COVID case in Saint Lucia which was determined to be high-risk for community spread.

"The last confirmed case of COVID-19 recorded on Saturday, October 10, 2020, is a 48-year-old minibus driver. He is presently at the Respiratory Hospital in care. His COVID-19 tests has been repeated and validated and is confirmed positive.

A total of about 500 persons have been reviewed in relation to this new case. This includes close contacts, minibus drivers, commuters from the bus route, and residents from the community.

283 tests have been done and the results received so far are negative. About 50 people have been placed in quarantine to date. The community and contacts of the case will be monitored for a period of 14 days to assess the impact of this case.

This past weekend in response to this case, investigations and contact tracing commenced in communities and amongst key populations of concern and these activities are still ongoing. In addition, Respiratory Clinics were extended over this weekend to support contact tracing related to this case. The Constituency Council Office in La Resource was set up as a community outpost to aid in accelerating assessment and testing. As part of advanced planning for the possibility of a community outbreak, the present quarantine capacity and testing capacity has been reviewed and the capacity for increased cases which may require are at the Respiratory Hospital.

Interventions in the more affected communities included health education and the distribution of face masks at key locations, and the strengthening of preventative and control measures with the support of community leaders and gate keepers. The scheduled social activities for affected communities are being reviewed to determine their adherence to protocols or the requirement for cancellation.

This new confirmed case presents a high level of risk at the community level. We continue to appeal to the public to cooperate and share relevant information with the health team. We also remind the public that the Ministry of Health remains the official source of accurate information and should seek clarification at that level.

The five community respiratory clinics remain open for persons who present signs and symptoms. The 311 information hotline is available to help address COVID-19 related questions and concerns. The treatment and care for COVID-19 related conditions remain free of charge to the public.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness will continue providing regular updates on 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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