Statia’s Public Health Dept. up-scales COVID operations   | THE DAILY HERALD

Public Health Department Director Carol Jack-Roosberg.

ST. EUSTATIUS–St. Eustatius Public Health Department GGD Director Carol Jack-Roosberg said the department is carrying out source- and contact-tracing to identify the source of a COVID-19 infection that was recently discovered in St. Eustatius. There are currently three registered positive cases of COVID-19 on the island and a total of nineteen pending tests. All COVID-19-infected persons are in isolation.

Based on the recent developments with the virus, the GGD has up-scaled its activities, meaning that day-to-day operations have been put aside since Sunday evening. The focus at this time will be contact-tracing, contact-sourcing and the prevention of further spread of the virus, Roosberg said.

All persons who have had contact with an infected person will be placed in a category of contacts and will be placed in quarantine, if necessary. The direct family members of the COVID-infected person have been identified. They have been tested and were placed in quarantine until the test results are known.

The GGD has determined that the recent COVID-19 infections may have more than one source. All passengers on a flight from Curaçao that arrived in Statia on Thursday morning, September 3, were contacted on Sunday and informed to remain at home. After the suspected passenger’s test results returned as negative, all passengers who were on that flight were released from quarantine.

The GGD is requesting that all persons who have travelled to Curaçao recently self-monitor and check their temperature daily in the event that they develop a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of taste or smell, and chills. Should someone develop any of these symptoms they are advised to contact their house doctor for further information.

“The process of tracing and sourcing can be very taxing. For this reason, the Public Health Department is requesting the cooperation of the entire community of Statia. If you were directly or indirectly in contact with the infected person, we are asking persons to make contact with the Public Health Department,” Jack-Roosberg said.

“As a community we are all concerned and some of us are fearful, which is understandable. Nevertheless, I impress upon all of us to be mindful while maintaining good hygiene standards such as hand-washing, keeping 1.5 to two metres apart from each other.”  “At this stage of uncertainty” she also advised persons to wear a mask when leaving their home when social distancing cannot be maintained.

Due to issues with the emergency number 912, which is temporarily not functioning, persons are requested to call 318-4601 at any time to reach a GGD staff member.

“Let us remember that we have a collective duty. Let us try to protect the people in the community who are most vulnerable. Therefore, again I say, if you develop any type of symptoms, call your house doctor,” Jack-Roosberg said.

The GGD is in daily contact with its counterparts in the Netherlands and has sought the advice of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM in the Netherlands before taking any steps.

The GGD’s strength and capacity was increased recently with the introduction of testing capacity in Statia and by the addition to the Health Department of an extra nurse.

Source: The Daily Herald