Sunday 29 November, 2020

COVID-19 outbreak at Mustard Seed facility; 36 cases detected

File photo of health minister Dr Christopher Tufton addressing the weekly virtual COVID-19 breifing.

File photo of health minister Dr Christopher Tufton addressing the weekly virtual COVID-19 breifing.

Health authorities have moved to contain the spread of COVID-19 at a Mustard Seed Communities facility in St Catherine after tests conducted there in the past week returned positives for 16 staff members and 20 residents.

The disclosure was made by Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton during the weekly COVID-19 virtual press briefing Thursday evening. 

According to Tufton, 111 staff members and 148 residents at the facility were tested after a staff member returned a positive COVID-19 result.

He said that the positive staff members have been placed on home quarantine, while the positive residents are being isolated at the same Mustard Seed facility with three staff members assigned to their care.

Three areas at the facility have been selected for specific isolation quarantine. One area is for isolation of asymptomatic positives, another for quarantining of symptomatic negatives and the third is for isolation of symptomatic positives.

Tufton said that the necessary Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) is being provided by the health department and one medical officer will monitor the facility with daily updates from management.

“So this has been happening over the past week at the Mustard Seed Communities, which is a very important institution that looks after the disabled, who have no means to look after themselves,” Tufton said.

“It represents a vulnerable community, by virtue of the residents who are there and we, therefore, acted out of an abundance of caution and it was the right thing to do, based on the surveillance and the one individual that had an issue.

“Up to this point, I don’t think anyone is critically ill, so that’s positive and it’s just to provide additional support and at the same time assess the protocols of engagement at the facility to strengthen those protocols,” he added.

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