- Updated to reflect the change in the Category One testing facility.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, has announced a number of new categories which will guide testing for COVID-19 and the timelines for receiving results.
Speaking at the most recent update this evening, the Health Minister, who apologised for the delays in disseminating results, said the high volume of tests being conducted at the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory was responsible for the lag.
Lt. Col. Bostic pointed out that on Wednesday, the lab conducted its highest amount of tests so far, with over 2,000 tests being conducted.
Giving an update on the most recent COVID-19 figures, he said, that as of mid-day today, the lab completed 1,431 tests, with five new positive cases and eight persons discharged from isolation.
The four new categories, Minister Bostic explained, are intended to alleviate some of the challenges the Ministry has been facing, and should facilitate the faster return of results.
Persons in Category One will receive their results within 24 hours. These include medical officers, primary contacts of positive cases, policemen, inmates of Her Majesty’s Prisons Dodds, soldiers, all medical personnel, border security, immigration officers, customs officers, Barbados Port Inc. officers, patients awaiting tests for medical treatment and patients in elder care facilities.
Those in Category Two, inbound and outbound visitors, can also expect results within 24 hours. Meanwhile, Category Three persons, secondary and tertiary contacts, will receive results in 36 to 48 hours.
The last classification, Category Four, is for those persons who health officials consider to have a general curiosity and who decide they just want to have a COVID-19 test. These individuals will get back their test results in 48 to 72 hours.
- The Health Minister added that the testing centres for Category One, only, will be the Best-dos Santos Testing Facility and Branford Taitt Polyclinic.
“In this way, we will be able to manage this process far better than we are doing now. We accept that we have been overpowered by this because the surge in the number of persons requiring tests really bowled us over. And so, we knew from about two days ago that we had to find a solution, a mechanism to deal with this problem. And, we believe with these new categories and the timelines given that we will be able to bring this to some sort of closure,” Lt. Col. Bostic stated.