Golden Age Home outbreak occurred in spite of COVID-19 protocols — TuftonWednesday, October 21, 2020
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton says there were several protocols in place at the Golden Age Home where a cluster outbreak has seen 43 residents and three staff members testing positive for COVID-19.
Dr Tufton said some of these protocols included temperature checks, sanitisation practices, staff members being required to change to not bring any possible contamination on their clothing, the separation of blocks so individuals weren’t comingling, among others.
The minister was speaking at a press briefing today to update the country on the plans by his ministry and that of Local Government and Rural Development to contain the outbreak.
“To my mind, there was a fairly good set up in terms of the infrastructure. Bear in mind that this is an important requirement, but not the only requirement to reduce or eliminate the possibility of the virus coming in.
“A lot now depends on how the infrastructure is used and therefore I am not there every day, neither is Minister McKenzie to determine whether a worker who is supposed to change breaches that periodically, I don’t know, I’m not saying that is the case, or whether the sanitisation that should be an automatic thing happens or the wearing of masks. The truth is that, a lot now depends on the management of the institution to ensure that the infrastructure is utilised and the protocol in terms of the behaviour both for residents and for employees is adhered to in the strictest form.
“Even when you adhere to all the protocols, there is always still the possibility. That’s just the reality; that the virus can take hold because it only takes an improper wearing of the mask and touching it with your hand and then touching a surface for the virus to take hold so it’s still a very difficult call but we did have a fair bit of the protocols in place,” Dr Tufton said.
For his part, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie is convinced there have been breaches.
“The fact is and we can’t deny that there has to be some breach why the virus has infected so many persons and based on the testing that has been done and the tracing and the limited information that we know, it is clear that it is out of those breaches that the residents were infected,” he said.
McKenzie said that the investigations to determine the 'how' and 'who' are now underway.
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