COVID-19 Update and Press Conference – May, 9, 2021. (PMO)

Students and teachers at the Princess Margaret Secondary and St. George Primary Schools, who were primary contacts of two students from a COVID-19 family cluster, have all returned negative test results.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, made the announcement this evening during a joint press conference with Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw.

During another briefing late last week, the Health Minister told the nation that a student of the Princess Margaret Secondary School had tested positive for the virus, while a relative who attends the St. George Primary School had initially tested negative and was in quarantine, awaiting a second test.

Today, he revealed that the primary school student had tested negative for the virus on the exit or second test.

“That student is now negative, and therefore, cleared. And, as a result of that, there is no requirement from a public health perspective to do any contact tracing within that particular school because this particular student would have been in quarantine in a government quarantine hotel for the past five or six days, and when they were zero converted would’ve been at the hotel in quarantine and not at school, not in contact with any of these students at the St. George Primary School. So, from a public health perspective, that school is cleared,” the Health Minister stated.

As for the Princess Margaret Secondary School, he said all members of staff and students there were cleared and “free to return to school”.

“We will continue to provide any assistance to that school, as needed, and if there are any persons for whatever reason who are desirous of having a test, we will facilitate that request. But at this point in time, and as I have indicated at the last press conference, thankfully we do not have an outbreak in any of our schools. And these two situations with the schools from a public health perspective, they have now been closed, but we will continue, as I said, to provide any assistance as required,” Minister Bostic underscored.

He explained that of the 504 tests conducted on Saturday, May 8, there were nine new positive cases of COVID-19. He added that seven of the nine positive cases were attributed to two family clusters that health authorities had been monitoring for “the past several days”.

Giving a further breakdown of the cases, the Health Minister pointed out that one family accounted for three of the positive cases on Saturday, which brought the total number of positive cases in that cluster to 17. Four of the cases were attributed to the other family cluster, which had a total of eight positives between two households.

Minister Bostic said it was the latter cluster that impacted on the two schools. “So, those are the majority of the positive cases that we would have had today, and I am really happy that the outcome is as it is because obviously, this was a cause for concern. And we are very happy that the public health measures, the protocols that would have been used and followed within the schools have actually worked. And we are hoping that this will continue throughout the whole educational system and in the country, in general,” he emphasised.

melissa.rollock@barbados.gov.bb

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