A high number of COVID-19 cases are being seen within the county of Caroni.
Caroni’s County Medical Officer of Health, Dr Jeanine St Bernard, speaking at today’s Ministry of Health media briefing, said that as of March 2, Caroni had 26 active cases of the virus, which represented the second highest number for the country and of which only one was a new case.
St Bernard added that while the current number of cases declined from the February figure of 44, it was still relatively high compared to other communities.
She said “Our contact tracing persons when speaking to individuals, the persons were happy and very willing to share that because they work with the same person every day and they are very comfortable working with them, the practice has been in some, not all organisations, that when they get to work they take of their mask and they work together, and then before they head out they would put the mask back on before leaving the office.
“I would want to state that this is a dangerous practice. And this is something that’s been happening not just in the public sector, it happens in the private sector as well. There are different business places that have had this as a practice because we get comfortable with each other and we start to treat our colleagues as household members perhaps.
“So that is something we need to be careful with,” St Bernard said.
She added “The other issue that has come to the fore in investigating why we have so many cases, we have issues with the gatherings…the parties and the functions. What happens at those events is the usual eating, drinking, close proximity and the not wearing of a mask. So that represents two of the Ws…not Wearing the mask, and not Watching the distance.
St Bernard said “Masks protect you from COVID-19, that’s the message. And in County Caroni, having worked with our team for the past twelve months, we’ve had swabbing teams going out to people’s homes, swabbing teams facilitating drive-by swabbing, and not one member of my swabbing team has contracted COVID-19 because they wore their personal protective equipment.
“Personal protective equipment will protect you from COVID-19. For a person who’s on the street, regular persons who are not healthcare workers, your mask will protect you, that’s all you need.”