Essential worker tests positive for COVID-19 in St. Eustatius | THE DAILY HERALD

Government Commissioner Marnix van Rij (right) and Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis at Vincent A. Lopes Legislative Hall. (File photo)

ST. EUSTATIUS–Government Commissioner Marnix van Rij made it known Monday that one case of COVID-19 has been diagnosed in St. Eustatius. It concerns an essential worker who tested negative in his country of origin before arriving in Statia. However, he tested positive on Sunday, January 17, and was immediately put into isolation.

  COVID-19 measures allow essential workers to work during quarantine, but under strict protocols. The commissioner said the person in question has not been in contact with local workers at the project and that all contacts had tested negative. The other workers at the project, which was not identified, were immediately put into quarantine and will not be allowed to work.

  Van Rij said government has been in consultations with the project manager and is currently evaluating the advice given by the St. Eustatius Public Health Department. He said it is the intention to make further decisions about the situation by Wednesday.

  The local workers at the project were briefed about the situation on Monday morning and again later during the day. Van Rij said that “everyone” remained calm. “That is what we like. We take decisions based on facts and there is no interest for anyone on the island to add fuel to the fire.”

  There are currently 103 persons in quarantine, one person in isolation and the public entity St. Eustatius is waiting for the outcome of 17 pending tests.

  Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis said the Public Health Department is preparing implementation of the vaccination programme. A special freezer which will be used to store the COVID-19 vaccine arrived on Sunday. The freezer in all likelihood will be used to store the Moderna vaccine.

  Dr. Gerwin Schobbe of the Public Health Department said the choice of vaccines that will be used is determined by the ability to keep the vaccines adequately stored under the right climatic conditions. This will be formally decided by the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sport by the end of this week.

  Francis reminded persons who will take part in the voluntary vaccination programme to complete a form and return it to

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The form can also be collected at the Public Health Department, Golden Rock Pharmacy and Queen Beatrix Medical Centre (QBMC). At these locations, persons can also obtain a copy of the question-and-answer form, which includes the most frequently asked questions about the vaccine.

  The Government Information Service is working with the Public Health Department in preparing a second list of answers based on questions from the community. If someone has questions about the vaccine these can be submitted to


  Healthcare workers in the “white column” at St. Eustatius Auxiliary Home, the Public Health Department and QBMC are invited to a presentation on COVID-19 vaccination on Thursday, January 21. Questions can be asked during the session.

Source: The Daily Herald