Thu | Nov 26, 2020

No COVID-19 cases at StJMC, says MoBay mayor

Published:Tuesday | September 29, 2020 | 12:11 AMAdrian Frater/News Editor
Mayor of Montego Bay Leeroy Williams.
Mayor of Montego Bay Leeroy Williams.

Western Bureau:

Montego Bay Mayor Leeroy Williams has denied reports that four councillors and a municipal police officer employed to the St James Municipal Corporation (StJMC) had been afflicted by COVID-19 as he sought to calm fears amid panic at its Union Street headquarters in Montego Bay.

Williams, who also chairs the StJMC, said the reports may have sparked the decision of the councillors in question, out of an abundance of caution, in choosing to self-quarantine and then get tested in the wake of their heightened public activities in the recent general election campaign.

“In my view, that was quite a responsible thing for the councillors to have done. Following their tests, they have also decided to stay out of the public,” Williams said.

The Gleaner understands that all four councillors have returned negative test results. The municipal police officer, who recently showed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 had also been promptly pulled from work and ordered to self-isolate, has also reportedly been tested twice, returning negative results.

No reason to panic

Williams said that staff of the StJMC have no reason to panic.

“We have been observing these [health protocols] from the onset of this pandemic. We have drastically reduced the number of persons visiting the offices on a daily basis, hand sanitiser dispensers have been installed on all floors, temperature checks are being done on entry, and the wearing of masks has been made mandatory for both staff members and members of the public who work and/or conduct business at the StJMC,” the mayor said. “In addition, deep cleaning and regular cleaning continues every day and on weekends.”

Cognisant of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in St James, Williams said that the StJMC’s vigilance is not limited to its headquarters but to all the other bodies that fall under its ambit.

“COVID-19 protocols have been implemented at all the operation points of the StJMC to include the St James Infirmary, the Charles Gordon Market, the Old Hospital Park, and among members of our verge-cutting team. Our vehicles are deep cleaned and sanitised on a regular basis and where necessary, personal protective equipment s being worn by employees,” noted Williams.

Despite the mayor’s remarks, some residents admit that they are fearful of returning to the Charles Gordon Market based on their recent observations and the rampant disregard for mask-wearing and social distancing.

“The situation at the market is a disgrace. Only the older folks are wearing masks, and social distancing is non-existent,” an elderly woman told The Gleaner yesterday. “Every time I go to the market, I am in fear because I know that if I get COVID-19 at my age, I might not survive it.”

adrian.frater@gleanerjm.com