(PRESS RELEASE) – On Sunday, May 03, 2020, the Ministry of Health and Wellness recorded its eighteenth case of COVID-19.
In response to this and as part of the Ministry’s protocol, teams were dispatched to conduct contact tracing both in the community and the workplace where the case resides and works respectively.
Contact tracing is a standard public health strategy used to break the transmission chain and to contain the spread of infectious diseases. It involves ‘tracing’ or actively searching for all contacts who may have been exposed to an infected individual. It does not necessarily mean this person has the infection or is a case.
These persons are then contacted and interviewed and based on the ‘level of exposure’ and clinical status, a decision is made on whether contacts should be isolated, quarantined or made to self-monitor. In the latter two, the period of monitoring for the development of signs and symptoms for COVID-19 is 14 days from the last day of contact with the infected individual; this is the maximum incubation period of the disease.
Based on the level of exposure as well as the results of an assessment of the individual’s home conditions, a decision is made on whether home isolation or facility-based isolation is required.
A decision to place an individual into facility-based quarantine does not indicate that a person has COVID-19. An individual can only be diagnosed with COVID-19 after testing for the virus is done.
The Department of Health and Wellness assures the public that for every confirmed case, contact tracing is undertaken.
We requests that the privacy of these individuals and their contacts be respected during this process.
Persons who have been placed in quarantine are also asked to adhere to the quarantine measures as explained by their healthcare workers in order to reduce the possibility of risks for transmission of COVID-19.
The Department of Health and Wellness asks the public to continue practicing the standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infection.
– regular hand washing with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer where soap and water is not available.
– cover mouth and nose with disposable tissues or clothing when coughing and sneezing.
– avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
– seek medical attention and share your travel/contact history with your health care provider if you have symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness.