Coronavirus
JM | Oct 20, 2020

COVID-19 cluster discovered in senior citizens’ home

/ Our Today

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The Ministry of Health & Wellness has revealed the discovery of a cluster of COVID-19 cases at the Golden Age Home in Vineyard Town in Kingston..

In a statement, the health and wellness ministry said that, with the support of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, it was conducting expedited testing for COVID-19 at the facility.

“The cluster was uncovered as part of the health ministry’s ongoing islandwide surveillance of senior citizens’ homes and infirmaries,” the statement, issued Tuesday night, read.

Forty-three of 72 samples taken from residents and staff at the facility have so far returned a positive result. The testing of all 428 residents and 162 staff members is expected to be completed in the next two to three days.

“The Ministry of Health and Wellness will also be providing support to review and strengthen the infection prevention and control measures at the home and to review the protocols to increase the surveillance and monitoring of all such facilities to reduce transmission among the vulnerable population.”

Minister of Health & Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton

In the meantime, the health ministry said emergency management protocols have been triggered at the facility, with those having tested positive being put in isolation while others are put into quarantine pending the outcome of their results.

In addition, all residents and staff are to be monitored closely, even as the section of the facility from where the initial positive tests came is managed with enhanced infection prevention and control procedures.

“The Ministry of Health and Wellness will also be providing support to review and strengthen the infection prevention and control measures at the home and to review the protocols to increase the surveillance and monitoring of all such facilities to reduce transmission among the vulnerable population,” noted Minister of Health & Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton.

The elderly have been identified worldwide as among the most at-risk for serious illness or death as a result of COVID-19, with the majority of fatalities in Jamaica and the majority of other countries being recorded in that segment of the population.

Both ministries have also reportedly identified a team of caregivers to provide the necessary care for the residents at the home.

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