Sandy Bay, Clarendon placed under community quarantine

Sandy Bay in Clarendon, Jamaica has been placed under community quarantine for 14 days following recent positive coronavirus cases (COVID-19) coming from the area.

The area will be quarantined beginning today at 6:00 am to Thursday, August 20 at 6:00 am, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, in collaboration with the Clarendon Health Department and the Southern Regional Health Authority.

Two positive cases are admitted to the May Pen Hospital, and contact tracing carried out yielded six positive contacts of these two people, including an imported case, the health ministry said.

It added that community surveillance was carried out in Sandy Bay and neighbouring communities, which led to significant cause for concern because of a lack of adherence to infection prevention and control measures.

“Crowd gathering was observed without use of face masks in one church where several people with respiratory illnesses were noted. Members of the church were found to be positive,” the ministry noted.

Another 13 people have been found with symptoms and have been sampled, and there are an additional two confirmed cases and a suspected case from Rosewell, a community neighbouring Sandy Bay, and from which several people attend the same church.

“Due to the number of positive cases and the number of people with symptoms in the community, the health authorities have concluded that there is considerable risk for further transmission and infection in this community,” the ministry said.

It said exposed people in the community may develop infection and spread it to other community members, resulting in a rapid increase in the number of positive cases.

“This is due to the high movement of persons within the affected households within the community, the high population density in the area identified, and the high vulnerability of persons in the community to severe illness due to age, co-morbidities and other socio-economic factors,” the ministry said.

The quarantine is to restrict further movement and to slow and prevent exposure.