Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kenneth George. (FP)

Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Kenneth George, has advised residents to remain calm in the wake of a COVID-19 cluster which includes two students at The Ellerslie School. The cluster is so far confined to members of one family.

Dr. George expressed concern today about what he described as “unilateral decisions” being made by some institutions in response to this development, which were not based on public health advice.

Noting that the Ministry of Health and Wellness had put additional resources in place to ensure a thorough contact tracing process in respect of The Ellerslie School, he stated: “The science of contact tracing is being used to guide the process and this process is well advanced.”

The Chief Medical Officer assured the public that every person and institution that the Ministry perceives is at increased risk based on its investigations will be contacted on an individual basis and tested for COVID-19.

“Please be assured that this is a situation that we take very seriously and our public health professionals are highly trained and capable of investigating and treating to this challenge.

“As of now, the only educational institution we have advised that should be closed is The Ellerslie School. We have seen nothing so far that would warrant any other teaching institution taking action that keeps students away from classes at this time. As CMO, I commit to immediately update the public if that situation changes.”

The cluster within the affected family emanated from a family member who works as a housekeeper and was infected after coming into contact with her employer, who recently returned from the United Kingdom.

The employer tested positive for COVID-19 after the mandatory second test, five days after her initial negative test result.

joy.springer@barbados.gov.bb

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