Monday, January 25, 2021

Jamaica: Bellevue Hospital Cluster – COVID-19 Cases Discovered Among Patients, Staff

A COVID-19 cluster of cases has been discovered at the Bellevue Hospital at Windward Road, Kingston.

In a release, the Ministry of Health & Wellness said that up to the weekend, 21 of 29 patients tested and two of 23 staff members tested had returned positive results for COVID-19.

The public health team has since gone into the institution where a range of infection prevention and control measures are now in place.

They include:

– the separation of patients who have tested positive from those who have tested negative;
– testing on wards that share a common area with the ward on which the cluster of cases was detected;
– symptomatic surveillance of all other wards, with the testing of all symptomatic persons; and
– the restriction of interaction among staff and patients from different wards.

The health ministry says staff members are also being trained in infection prevention and control, including cleaning and sanitisation, while doctors are to be trained to swab persons to support the testing efforts.

“As we near the holidays, we are, as forecast, seeing an increase in our COVID-19 numbers. I cannot overemphasise the need for members of the public, in and outside our various institutions, to be vigilant in the practise of infection prevention and control measures,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie.

She added: “COVID-19 is a threat to all of us, but there is much that we can do to protect ourselves. We can all wear our masks, keep our physical distance from others, frequently wash our hands, and clean and sanitise our common areas. Those measures will help to keep us safe.”

The ward to which the cases are now confined will accept no new admissions.

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