Covid-19 Phased Reopening Continues

As of June 14, 2020, the World Health Organization reported a total of 7, 690,708 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, with 427,630 deaths. Within the region of the Americas there was a total of 3, 711,768 cases.

As of June 15, 2020 Saint Lucia has recorded a total of 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 18 of those cases have fully recovered. The last case was a repatriated cruise national and was recorded on June 4, 2020. Testing results received on the weekend indicated 44 negative test results.

A total of 1,356 tests have been carried out, to date. Effective June 15, 2020 the curfew is imposed from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. daily. Also some social activities including parties, picnics and receptions are allowed with the established physical distancing and public health protocols. The Ministry of Health and Wellness alerts the public that as we open up the sectors the risk of transmission increases. We can reduce this risk by ensuring the public health and social measures are maintained. We also anticipate new cases, however if we all comply by the guidelines and maintain them, the possibility for transmission is minimized.

One of the recommendations included the use of face mask or scarf when going to public places such as the supermarkets. The face mask or scarf may be used for source control by reducing potential exposure risk from infected persons during the “pre-symptomatic” period. The mask is needed for use when someone is less than 6 feet from others, as in the supermarket and stores and other such situations. The prolonged use of masks does not cause carbon dioxide intoxication nor oxygen deficiency.

Face masks should not be used in the following situations:

– Driving a car, especially if you are alone or with immediate family

– Riding a bicycle or motorcycle

– Walking on street when alone with no one near

– During exercise or gym or running

– With family or group of friends when seated at restaurant

Also, students who are seated 6 feet apart can remove the mask during class time. Also wearing a face mask is complementary, it does not replace the recommended preventative measures. So we ask that everyone continues to sanitize their hands by either hand washing or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, wearing their masks while undertaking daily activities out of the home and maintain the required 6 foot distance. Also, be sure to cover mouth and nose with disposable tissues or clothing when coughing and sneezing. These simple and inexpensive actions will make a meaningful

difference in preventing the spread of infection.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness will continue providing regular updates on COVID-19.

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