COVID-19 test backlog being cleared

COVID-19 test backlog being cleared

Saturday, July 11, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Health and Wellness says it is working speedily to clear the backlog of COVID-19 test results that have been piling up over the last three weeks.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie explained that over the last two to three weeks they have tested thousands of people, and that has “created a little bit of challenge in terms of returning the test results in a timely fashion”.

Speaking on Thursday during the weekly virtual COVID Conversation press briefing, she said that the ministry is working assiduously to clear the backlog, as it is cognisant that people are anxiously waiting on the results.

“What we want to emphasise to these persons that are waiting, we ask them to be patient in waiting for the results, but we also ask that they remain at home for the 14 days' quarantine period, and if they do develop symptoms, that they get in touch with the health authorities as quickly as possible,” the CMO added.

Dr Bisasor-McKenzie stressed that when people who are coming in test negative for the virus, it is still important that they remain in quarantine for the 14-day period.

“There's a false sense of security that because you've tested negative you are now free to move around. However, anytime within that first 14 days after exposure, someone can become infected. So, therefore, the 14 days of observation is really what is key,” she emphasised.

“People need to stay inside. Family members and community members must become aware and be alert if they see people outside who they know have just returned from countries where they would have had exposure to COVID-19,” the CMO added.

She further emphasised that it is everyone's responsibility to be vigilant in ensuring that people who are on quarantine and stay-at-home orders remain indoors.

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