Sun | Jul 12, 2020

Health team tests for COVID-19 in Tivoli

Published:Friday | June 26, 2020 | 12:32 AMDanae Hyman/Staff Reporter
From left: Dr Christopher Tufton, minister of health and wellness, chats with Maureen Golding, regional director of SERHA; Dr Kimberley Myers, medical officer of SERHA; and Sandra Chambers-Cause, regional technical director of SERHA during a COVID-19 surve
From left: Dr Christopher Tufton, minister of health and wellness, chats with Maureen Golding, regional director of SERHA; Dr Kimberley Myers, medical officer of SERHA; and Sandra Chambers-Cause, regional technical director of SERHA during a COVID-19 surveillance of residents in Tivoli Gardens yesterday.

More than 100 public health professionals were deployed yesterday to Tivoli Gardens in west Kingston to conduct community surveillance following the positive testing of five residents for COVID-19.

Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, who visited the community, said that his main concern was that the family might be stigmatised by other residents.

The minister said that he visited the area so that residents could have an appreciation of the work being conducted and limit stigmatisation.

“We have a situation where we are assessing a particular COVID-related risk where some positive cases were discovered linking to a particular household, linked to an imported case. The team has assessed and concluded that they needed to do some more surveillance and more testing,” he noted.

“As you know, this is a densely populated community, and part of the challenge with communities that have these characteristics ... is that people move around and interact with each other more and by extension (there could be) community spread,” Tufton said.

CANVASs NECESSARY

Dr Kimberly Myers, medical officer from the Kingston and St Andrew Health Department who headed the surveillance operation in the community, disclosed that the original case of COVID-19 was imported from the United States and the other positive results were from those who had come in close contact.

She said that although – based on preliminary interviews – it was highlighted that the individual had adhered to quarantine restrictions, it was still deemed necessary to do a canvass of the area. The health team also tested 70 volunteers.

“We will be here for at least another two days. We have a defined area that we will cover, so we start off with a 100-metre radius, and we will expand, depending on the information that we have,” she said.

She further noted that most residents were cooperating.

danae.hyman@gleanerjm.com