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BIG COVID CLUSTER - 74 cases rock Missionaries of the Poor charity

Published:Monday | November 2, 2020 | 12:14 AM
Jamaica has recorded more than 9,100 coronavirus cases as at Saturday, October 31.
Jamaica has recorded more than 9,100 coronavirus cases as at Saturday, October 31.

Less than two weeks after a clutch of coronavirus cases emerged at an elder-care home in Kingston, another cluster of 74 infections has broken out at Faith Centre, the Catholic charity in the capital.

The outbreak among a population of 125 presents an alarming rash of cases, with a positivity rate of 59 per cent, more than four times the ratio at the Golden Age Home in Vineyard Town.

Five results are pending.

The health ministry has ordered that Faith Centre, which is operated by the Missionaries of the Poor, maintain its policy of no visits.

The Faith Centre cluster presents a setback as the country registered 37 new cases on Saturday - with five per cent positivity among the lowest in weeks - especially because Missionaries of the Poor cares for and houses many mainly elderly residents, whose underlying illnesses may put them at grave mortal risk.

Health officials will be hoping that like the Golden Age Home, most of the infected residents are asymptomatic.

One resident of the Golden Age Home died from COVID-19 last month. Eighty-seven of the 620 residents and staff showed no symptoms.

Jamaica is negotiating its second wave of the coronavirus since the first case was recorded on March 10. The second phase was linked to the Emancipendence holidays in August and an election campaign that climaxed on September 3.

As at Saturday, 9,131 infections have been tallied and 209 people have died.

A stay-at-home order remains in place for persons 65 years old.