COVID Public Advisor David Ellis hosts Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anton Best & Head of Isolation Facilities and Infection Control Specialist, Dr. The Most Honourable Corey Forde. (PMO)

Head of Isolation Facilities and Infection Control Specialist, Dr. The Most Honourable Corey Forde, has advised the public to utilise the two COVID-19 assessment centres.

Speaking during a COVID-19 update and press conference, hosted by COVID-19 Public Advisor, David Ellis, this morning, Dr. Forde urged the public, especially those caregivers of the elderly to use the assessment centres.

“You might not want to bring them to Harrison’s Point, so we created an avenue for you. So, these assessment centres, where you are not sure if granny may have diarrhoea or she may have vomiting, you bring them in for assessment…,” Dr. Forde advised.

The two assessment centres are located at the Sparman Clinic in Belleville, St. Michael, and the Barbados Workers’ Union Labour College, in Mangrove, St. Philip.

He explained that the centres are not walk-in centres. Persons have to call the general operation centre or the home isolation team to be guided accordingly.

Of the two facilities, the one at the Barbados Workers’ Union Labour College, in Mangrove, St. Philip, has the larger capacity for conducting assessments. 

“We have a full hospital system set up there. We have a 12-assessment bed unit, we have a six-bed high dependency unit set up just in case someone turns up very ill, and we have another 32, close to 40 beds available for individuals, where we can give IV fluids and treat nausea and diarrhoea and severe vomiting, which in this particular part of the pandemic we’ve seen associated with your kidneys not working too well, as a result of the loss of volume in the body,” the Head of Isolation Facilities disclosed.

He also stated that at the assessment centres the rollover period for assessment is around 72 hours.

The Health official emphasised that care must be taken by every single individual, and if they were feeling ill and not sure if it was COVID-19 related, they should “just go to the assessment centres, but do that in a structured fashion by calling in; letting them know, and we will see you; figure out what’s going on; fix you at that point and keep you for a couple of days”. 

Speaking on the status of isolation facilities as at 7:00 a.m., the Head of Isolation Facilities reported that they were 126 PCR positive persons across the three facilities and eight negative individuals within the facilities who were dependents. 

In primary and secondary isolation, three individuals were between ages 17 and 40, and about 31 individuals in the ICU, between primary isolation A, B and secondary were on oxygen therapy. 

He also noted that the facilities were only admitting “extremely ill” persons. Dr. Forde also took the opportunity to extend his “greatest thanks” to the staff at the Harrison’s Point Isolation Facility, especially the young doctors, who he said have “toiled” for almost two years.

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