J’can community under surveillance after several residents contract COVID-19

Seven positive coronavirus (COVID-19) tests in the Paradise Norwood have triggered a surveillance of the St James community by health authorities.

The Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) is carrying out the surveillance which follows the confirmation of the COVID-19 cases. The index case, who is said to have returned from the United States recently, is now isolated in a government facility. Thirteen close contacts of the index case were tested, resulting in the seven positives, two negatives and the pending results of four others.

The Health Ministry said nurses, health inspectors and community health aides have been mobilised to carry out extensive surveillance of the community, including house-to-house visits and assessment of residents with respiratory symptoms.

Those found to have symptoms of the virus, and those deemed as high risk, will be tested and quarantined.  

WRHA Regional Director, Errol Green, said “We wish to remind the public of the need for increased vigilance in the maintenance of the quarantine orders that have been issued to persons who recently returned to the island.

“There is also the need to maintain the infection prevention and control practices such as washing and sanitising of hands frequently, the wearing of masks in public spaces and around persons who are in quarantine, the covering of coughs with a tissue and disposing of it in the nearest receptacle and the sanitising of high frequency areas in your house.”