Consultant Manager of Home Quarantine and member of the isolation and Home Quarantine Committee, Dr. Adanna Grandison, sought to explain the process of home isolation in the community, during a press conference held earlier today.
While saluting those working in the field, in triaging and within the Health Ministry, for their long hours and service to Barbadians, she explained their work against the backdrop of what could be expected of the Home Isolation Programme.
Dr. Grandison, who noted the process started with swabbing, said that persons with negative results would be free to move around unless in quarantine, and asked, on a case-to-case basis, to be reassessed at a later date. However, those who tested positive would be seen by the Home Isolation team.
Stating that ‘seen’ meant such contact would initially be done electronically, she added: “Then if the need be, in terms of what your symptomatology is, we will then reach out to you physically or essentially transfer you to a facility where you can be physically seen.”
The First Vice President of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners also stated that following this, the first contact would be made by Ministry of Health officials – the persons that work within the polyclinic system and the medical officers of health.
Stressing that this was done because they were the persons who know the individual and are in direct contact with them, having spoken to them at some point in time, about their illnesses, she added: “You are a lot more comfortable with a lot of these persons and so those are the persons who are now going to be making that first direct contact with you and be informing you.”
The doctor stressed these persons “actually do a robust job”, and ask additional questions of patients with respect to their comorbidities, vaccination status and the situation in their own household.
Of the latter, Dr. Grandison said: “We know there are some persons in Barbados who certainly are finding this time quite challenging whether psychologically challenging or financially challenging and we want to be able to identify those persons to get them the requisite care that they need. So that’s the first step.”
She also noted that the medical personnel would then triage persons along with the Home Isolation Home Quarantine team and then move on to reassessment. She said reassessment would be done on several occasions during the patient’s isolation period to collect different pieces of information.
“You may get a call from a reassessment team; you may get a call from a transport team telling you they are coming to collect you – all of these various calls that you are going to get, so it is a lot of interaction that you will get with the team,” she said, while noting that reassessment aimed to allow persons to know they were safe in the community.
Acknowledging that there were over1,000 persons considered ‘safe’ within the community, she further underscored the importance of reassessment, saying: “We want to give everybody a bit of equity in terms of reaching the healthcare system and so realistically speaking we will try to reassess you and reach back out to you within 72 hours. And, so with those persons we just want to check to see if it is that your symptoms have changed.”
The medical practitioner also cautioned persons that If their symptoms changed before the team had the opportunity to re-contact them, they should call 526-1800, the dedicated call centre for COVID-19 positive persons, where their queries would be answered, ensuring the requisite care was received.
For those whose isolation period was determined to be “soon coming to an end”, Dr. Grandison shared that they would get a different type of call.
Acknowledging it would come from the team responsible for discharging persons, which is led by Dr. Brian Charles, she said: “That team will do an assessment to ensure you are safe and able to reintegrate back into the community.”