Measures in place at hurricane shelters

Provisions have been put in place to deal with anyone who presents at a hurricane shelter and has symptoms that suggest that they may have COVID-19.

Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams, revealed this while explaining such persons will be placed within quarantine within the shelter itself. He spoke on the sidelines last Friday while at Murphy’s Pasture in the city where officials were conducting assessments of the flood-prone area ahead of the passage of Tropical Storm Gonzalo.

“In this COVID environment, we have to be aware that it is entirely likely that somebody coming to the shelter will display a temperature or other symptoms that may suggest positivity for COVID or worst yet, somebody could be in the shelter and develop those symptoms. So each of the shelters is going to have a facility for isolating them in a section of the shelter.”

He added, “If it is impossible at that point in time to transfer them to a facility better equipped to deal with it obviously, the transferring to the facility will be the first choice. So if somebody comes to the shelter and there is a sufficient window to get them transferred where they can be properly dealt with and tested and cared for, then we will do that.”

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anton Best, who was on the phone at the time of Abraham’s remarks, also shared other guidelines to be followed at the hurricane shelters.

“We recommended that hygienic practices be enforced within the shelters to reduce the likelihood that if there is COVID, spread is reduced. So for instance, the use of hand sanitizer, washing hands frequently and the use of facial masks in the shelters. Those are some of the other parameters that have been incorporated into the shelter management protocol for 2020.” (MG)

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