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No More Clearance Letters Says Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs, Tuesday, announced that it will no longer issue clearance letters for workplaces and will instead issue a sick leave document to individuals who test positive for the COVID-19 virus.

“Persons who have had no symptoms throughout their isolation period are fit to return to work once the sick leave has ended and they are free of symptoms,” the Ministry noted in a statement.

According to the Ministry, individuals who have been experiencing symptoms and continue to be symptomatic after the sick leave has ended should remain home unless directed and/or assessed by a health care provider.

“The Ministry of Health solicits the understanding, cooperation and support of the Saint Lucian populace as we continue to manage this pandemic and strive to ensure the health and safety of everyone,” the statement read in part.

Sunday January 30, marked two years since the outbreak of COVID-19 was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization Director General. On March 11, 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. On that same day, Saint Lucia confirmed its first case of COVID-19. Since then, over twenty thousand cases have been diagnosed with over 300 deaths recorded, the Ministry noted.

“Public health officials have managed five waves; each wave with its own peculiarities and challenges requiring the institution of numerous and differing measures and policies to best manage the ever-increasing number of confirmed cases,” the Ministry stated.

It remains optimistic, nonetheless. According to the Ministry, the establishment of a contact tracing process, isolation/quarantine facilities, the establishment of the monitoring of isolated cases at home, the issuance of guidelines to workplaces and the private sector, the setting up of a respiratory hospital and respiratory clinics, and the commencement of a COVID-19 vaccination programme have all helped tremendously.

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