While restaurants and some businesses are required to keep a log of workers and customers, one of the restaurants in the south of the island, visited by two people who tested positive for COVID-19, failed to keep any log.
Now that the positive results are known, contact tracing is now considerably more difficult in the absence of written records.
Some months ago Grenada established protocols for the safety of its people against the COVID-19 pandemic which was brought on by the introduction of a new coronavirus late last year.
However, it seems quite a challenge to get compliance. The lawmen and the Ministry of Health are constantly looking for ways to get people to understand the seriousness of the moment.
Thirty-eight persons are now in quarantine following aggressive contact tracing efforts by the Ministry of Health, as a result of the medical doctor and his wife breaching Grenada’s COVID-19 protocols.
They arrived here on November 01 and received the results of their PCR tests that were conducted on November 05.
Records of the names of staff and patrons were provided to health officials by three of the four facilities they visited, but one was non-compliant.
Health Minister, Hon Nickolas Steele warned that the non-compliant facility could face possible fines. “In keeping with the Public Health Regulations, there is the possibility of fines. As Minister, I have no intention of seeing any non-compliant establishment reopen. As we announced previously, we have stepped up monitoring establishments as we approach the Christmas season, and those that are non-compliant; from accommodation establishments to entertainment establishments will be closed until they have gone through again, the necessary training, and have convinced the Ministry of Health and the contact tracing team that they are compliant.”
The 38 individuals quarantined due to the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 positive cases, are awaiting their first round of tests, which will be conducted on Friday. Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shawn Charles is appealing to establishments to follow the protocols, which he says will reduce the burden of anxiety that can be placed on the public.
“It further drives home the importance of businesses following the protocols and guidelines that are issued by the Ministry of Health.”
While all other protocols were followed, a GPS device was not placed on the individuals who breached the protocols, unknowing to the Ministry of Health, which sees placement of the device as mandatory. Minister Steele said “It was not from any waiver or instruction from the Ministry of Health, neither did the Ministry know that these individuals did not receive a GPS device.”
Installation and monitoring of the GPS devices are undertaken by a third party service provider.
Minister Steele says Government will review that arrangement to either determine how the provider can strengthen its capacity, or to find alternative means that meets the criteria outlined by the Health Ministry.