After several days of aggressive contact tracing related to a positive COVID-19 case diagnosed on September 24, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has discovered a cluster of COVID-19 cases within one family.
Six members of the family were diagnosed with COVID-19 between September 30 and yesterday. The cluster has been traced to a Barbadian woman who returned from the United Kingdom on September 19 and tested positive for COVID-19 after a second test on September 24.
The first two family members to test positive were a housekeeper, who worked in the woman’s home, and her nephew, who were both diagnosed on September 30.
Last Friday, the housekeeper’s 30-year-old niece tested positive and yesterday the niece’s four-month-old daughter and her husband, 34, both were confirmed with the viral illness.
Another niece, a 15-year-old student of Ellerslie Secondary School, also tested positive yesterday. All seven people are in isolation, some of them asymptomatic and others with mild symptoms.
The Ministry will continue its contact tracing efforts this week to identify everyone with whom these individuals came into contact. Everyone will undergo a COVID-19 test and the results will be shared with the public in the daily COVID-19 update.
This is the third time a cluster has been identified since the start of the outbreak in Barbados, and as in the other two instances, the public health officers are carrying out their investigations diligently so as to stem the spread.
The fact that we have been able to identify these cases so quickly means that we are able to isolate the patients and limit their contact with other members of the community.
I assure residents that there is still no evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in Barbados since as long as we are able to trace the source of the infection, as we have in this case, we are able to bring the situation under control. Community spread, as many of you already know, occurs when the source of the infection is unknown.
As Minister of Health and Wellness, I commit to keep you updated on this latest development and I urge you to continue to follow the public health protocols in place to keep you safe. Wear your masks in public spaces, socially distance at least three feet and practice good hand hygiene.
Finally, I ask that as the contact tracers broaden their net over the next several days, that you, the members of the public, give them your full cooperation and assist us in continuing to keep all residents of Barbados safe.