Mon | Nov 30, 2020

COVID forces closure of court in Hanover

Published:Saturday | October 24, 2020 | 12:16 AMBryan Miller/Hanover Correspondent

Western Bureau:

Hanover, which was the last parish to record a case of the coronavirus in Jamaica, took a direct hit yesterday as the family court in the parish had to be closed because of positive COVID-19 cases at the facility.

A press release from the Client Services, Communications, and Information of the Court Administration Division (CAD) in Kingston said that the court had to be closed to facilitate cleaning and contact tracing.

“The Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Hanover Health Department (HHD) have activated their protocols and contact tracing is currently taking place,” the statement read. “The CAD continues to reinforce the health protocols to staff in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

When contacted, Dr Kaushal Singh, the medical officer of health (MOH) for Hanover, confirmed to The Gleaner that one member of staff at the family court had tested positive for the virus.

“We are doing contact tracing for a COVID-19-positive case that is related to the court. We did not close the court. It is their (CAD) decision,” stated Singh.

He said that as far as the HHD was concerned, apart from identifying and quarantining all connected with any positive case, it would continue to emphasise the wearing of masks, regular handwashing, and social distancing.

Responding to recent reports that two new positive cases had been identified at the Hanover Infirmary, Singh said this was false, adding that the only two cases identified at the infirmary occurred months ago.

“We do not have any new cases. Those cases were case number 29 and 30 (in the parish). Today, we are at 119 cases. Those occurred more than two months ago,” said the MOH.

Singh said that the HHD’s public-education programme is targeting workplaces, the public-transport sector, and the staging of small parties within the parish.

“We are looking at those areas with a view to slowing down the spread of the disease within the parish,” said Singh.