Medical Officer of Health for Westmoreland, Dr. Marcia Graham, said that while the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the pandemic over on May 5, the virus is still an issue on the island and persons should continue to protect themselves.
“COVID is still here. Please do not throw away your masks, please do not forget proper hand hygiene, cough etiquette and physical distancing where it is appropriate when you are around persons who are ill,” she cautioned.
She was addressing the monthly meeting of the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation on Thursday (May 11).
She said that COVID-19 “is now considered [an] endemic, meaning we have to live with it, and so we still have to practise the prevention measures [which] will help us with other respiratory illnesses,” noting that these include influenza and the adenovirus.
Dr. Graham informed that the average weekly COVID-19 positivity rate was 9.1 per cent from May 2 to 8, adding that Westmoreland was leading in the positivity rate for that week with some 19 new cases of the virus and in second place was St. Ann with 11 new cases.
She urges citizens to get the COVID-19 vaccine, highlighting that most of the hospitalised patients are unvaccinated older persons with comorbidities.
“COVID-19 is still with us; we need to remain alert. We also have persons in hospital with COVID-19, and over the past week we have had persons who tested positive for COVID-19 who have died,” she said, point out that these were persons with comorbidities.
“We have the Johnson and Johnson [COVID-19 vaccine]. One dose will give you good protection. It is available to you, and so we ask that you maintain your vigilance,” she said.
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