UPDATE: McKenzie saddened by passing of golden ager, hopes for recovery for over 100 more residents, staff

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UPDATE: McKenzie saddened by passing of golden ager, hopes for recovery for over 100 more residents, staff

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie has expressed regret at the passing of a resident of The Golden Age Home in Vineyard Town due to COVID-19.

At the same time, the minister is optimistic that the other 81 residents and 22 staff who tested positive for the virus will recover completely.

“I am very saddened that this has occurred,” McKenzie said of the death, which the Ministry of Health and Wellness confirmed.

“Through the creation and implementation of a range of protocols, we were able to keep the pandemic from reaching the residents in our infirmaries and golden age homes for almost eight months – since COVID-19 arrived in Jamaica in March. [But] the unwelcome and invisible hand of this disease has now claimed the life of one of our residents, the first to have been diagnosed, and I use this opportunity to extend my condolences to her family,” he said.

The local government minister added that his teams will continue to implement all the health protocols and enhanced measures, and to work closely with the Ministry of Health and Wellness to protect the lives of the residents in care facilities.

“It is an especially challenging task to secure our elderly population, and I ask the staff members who provide these special services at the infirmaries and related places of care to remain steadfast,” he urged.

McKenzie said the COVID-19 testing of all 637 staff and residents at the Golden Age Home have been completed, and that the vast majority – 533 – have tested negative.

“The remaining 22 staff and 82 residents who tested positive are being carefully managed, and I am optimistic that they will experience full recovery,” the minister said.

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