Fri | Oct 23, 2020

Mandeville police call for more testing

Published:Wednesday | September 9, 2020 | 12:10 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

A COVID-positive case at the Mandeville Police Station has caused workers to intensify calls for increased and rapid testing by the health officials.

According to a policeman, who spoke to The Gleaner anonymously, the status of the worker whose test results returned on Friday is reason enough for those who would have come in contact with the worker to be tested.

“We have about 14 persons who work in the department and though the area has been sanitised, you cannot sanitise people, and so the workers need to be tested,” the person said.

The lawman said there is a serious concern about the length of time it takes between the time of testing and the return of the result, as persons who come in contact with a positive patient can easily contract the virus before both parties are even aware that they have it.

“We are hearing a lot of different things, we are hearing that everything is OK, but people are really concerned.”


However, Superintendent of Police Gary Francis told The Gleaner that all the necessary measures have been put in place for the safety of the staff, and constant dialogue is being had with health officials on the way forward.

“All the police officers in the department have been spoken to and advised on the way forward, which is that all of them will be tested as soon as the medical persons are ready for them,” Francis said.

Francis said he acknowledges that there may be issues with the availability of testing kits, but added that the health officials are doing their jobs the best way they can.

“It is an individual responsibility and collective responsibility .... and given that we are at the (stage of) community spread, where we are told by the medical experts that it will be difficult if not impossible to trace (contacts), we just have to follow the protocols.”

Francis said he relies on the health officials, based on the investigative profile, to advice them on quarantine and self-isolation orders when a positive case arises.