J’can Health Ministry employee test positive for COVID-19, operations suspended at head office

Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) says it has been advised that one of its employees assigned to the head office in New Kingston has tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result, the ministry said that in keeping with its own established protocol for infection prevention and control, it has decided to suspend operations at the head office buildings on Friday (April 17).

“This suspension of operation will allow for a sanitisation exercise in all the buildings. Counselling for staff members has begun and will continue as necessary. Contact tracing at the head office has commenced as the health department seeks to interview, sample and test staff members, who would have had close contact with the employee in the last 14 days,” the ministry disclosed in a news release on Thursday night.

The release stated that as a result of contact tracing some members of staff, including Permanent Secretary Dunstan Bryan, have been home-quarantined.

The ministry also said its National Health Emergency Operation Centre, which has been managing the national response to COVID-19, will continue to operate and functionaries will work remotely and/or work from the centre as required.

The ministry said its head offices are scheduled to re-open for normal operation on Monday, April 20, 2020.