COVID-19 is spreading in two main areas in Barbados – recreational spaces and workplaces.
Head of the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit, Ronald Chapman, while speaking during a press conference this evening, said the virus was increasing where people felt most comfortable, such as the back offices of businesses, lunchrooms, store rooms, homes and bars.
He made the comments after Barbados recorded 92 COVID-19 cases on Friday.
Mr. Chapman pointed out that where the protocols were being followed – handwashing/sanitising, physical distancing, mask wearing and temperature checks – persons were not becoming ill.
“So, what is happening, basically, is that as we feel comfortable with one another, as we feel as though we are becoming familiar, we tend to drop our guard. So, we are finding that COVID isn’t spreading in the front office of the stores and supermarkets and so on. What we’re seeing is in the back offices, in the store rooms, in areas where the staff congregate; have lunch and take off their masks….
“We have instances where staff decide at lunchtime, they’re going to go into the car with one another and eat lunch. These issues where people congregate close together are causing a significant concern. As you have heard, we’ve been having issues with churches. And this has to do with the same issue of close contact, confined spaces and crowds. And once you have those three ‘C’s’ come together, you increase your chances of getting COVID,” he emphasised.
Mr. Chapman urged Barbadians to remain vigilant by avoiding crowds, since the Delta variant was highly transmissible. He also implored persons to get vaccinated which would serve as an extra layer of protection against the virus when combined with the protocols.
He said being “situationally aware” was also important in curbing the spread of the virus.
“Be aware of those around you. And, if they don’t have on their mask, kindly ask them to put it on, if they don’t want to, then move away. If you come across any instances where there are large crowds, and so on, please report it to the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit. The hotline number is 536-4500. There are persons at the hotline who will be able to take your concerns and we at the Unit will respond,” Mr. Chapman stated.