COVID concerns heightened as Princess Margaret Hospital staff member tests positive

COVID concerns heightened as Princess Margaret Hospital staff member tests positive

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

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Approximately 12 members of staff at Princess Margaret Hospital in St Thomas were sent home yesterday after a colleague tested positive for COVID-19, a source close to the hospital confirmed to the Jamaica Observer.

The development comes as the island's health authorities are expressing concern about an increase in COVID-19 cases in recent days.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health and Wellness said that 15 new samples have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours.

“This brings the total number of confirmed cases for the island to 920. At the same time, two patients have been numbered among those recovered and released from care,” the ministry said, pointing out that total recoveries from COVID-19 now stand at 745, a recovery rate of 81 per cent.

“The new cases consist of five females and 10 males with ages ranging from 23 to 59 years. Four of the cases have addresses in St Thomas with three classified as contacts of confirmed cases and one case that is currently under investigation,” the ministry said in its daily update.

“There are eight cases with addresses in Clarendon, including seven classified as imported and one which is a contact of a confirmed case. The remaining three cases are from Kingston and St Andrew (1) and St Catherine (2). These three cases are classified as contacts of confirmed cases,” the ministry said.

Yesterday, as well, Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton expressed concern that people who arrived in the island recently and were placed under home quarantine are flouting the protocol.

“A total of 23,000 people are on stay-at-home orders, meaning that they have to stay at home for the 14-day period, but the truth is that not many of them are observing the protocol,” Tufton said.

“We have concerns about some of the new numbers that are coming in,” he said, explaining that since June 15, the number of people who have turned up at hospitals or health centres and who are positive is now 26. Also, 35 people have been hospitalised.

He reiterated the importance of people abiding by the safety protocols, including the frequent washing of hands with soap and water; maintaining the prescribed six-feet physical distance from others; and wearing a mask when in public spaces.

He also said the health authorities will increase their involvement in communities to help stem the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the health ministry again reminded people coming into the country that they must comply with quarantine orders to help to protect their own health and the health of others.

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