- 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.
All tests will be categorised according to priority and these categories for testing and the expected timelines are as follows:
- CATEGORY 1 (for which results are expected within 24 hours)
Primary Contacts; Royal Barbados Police Force personnel; HMP Dodds Prison Wardens; Barbados Defence Force personnel; Barbados Fire service personnel; All Medical Personnel; Border Security – Immigration Officers; Customs Officers; Barbados Port Inc. Officers; Grantley Adams International Airport Inc. officers (inclusive of security); Patients awaiting tests for medical treatment; Patients in Elder Care Facilities; Inmates of HMP Dodds.
- CATEGORY 2 (for which results are expected within 24-48 hours)
Inbound and outbound visitors
- CATEGORY 3 (for which results are expected in 48 hours)
Secondary and Tertiary Contacts
- CATEGORY 4 (for which results are expected in 72 hours)
- Designated centres for testing
For testing for all persons in Category 1, the Ministry of Health and Wellness will designate: the Best-dos Santos Testing Facility and the 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.