MINISTRY OF SOCIAL PROTECTION STATEMENT ON OUTBREAK OF COVID-19 AT THE PALMS ELDERLY CARE FACILITY

The Ministry of Social Protection has been working diligently in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health in implementing protocols issued by the Ministry of Public Health to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus within the Palms Elderly Care Facility.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts of the Ministry, between May 1, 2020 and May 14, 2020, five (5) residents (four (4) males and one (1) female) and one (1) Patient Care Assistant have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus at the Palms Elderly Care Facility. Regrettably, one male resident has died. The Ministry hereby extends condolences to his relatives and friends.

The actions taken to manage and mitigate the possible threat of an outbreak at the Palms include the following:

    • All visitors have been barred from entering the facility.
    • All staff at the institution have been equipped with protective equipment to perform their duties. Those residents who have tested positive for the virus have been separated from other residents and are being cared for in a separate area of the Home.
    • The ward which housed the positive cases and associated areas are sanitized twice daily.
    • Contact between residents on a ward has been limited as much as possible through the restriction of movement on the ward and increasing bed spacing as much as possible.
    • All residents on affected wards are tested.
    • A list of primary and secondary contacts of positive cases has been compiled, and is under constant review. The primary contacts were placed in home quarantine and samples were taken for testing. These persons will be followed up by the surveillance team who will assist in contact tracing.
    • Ward cleaning practices have been optimized, and use of facemasks at all times by staff as well as residents as applicable made mandatory.
    • A stringent screening routine for staff upon entering the facility has been implemented. This includes checking body temperature and interview regards to respiratory symptoms. Hand hygiene upon entering facility is mandatory and staff have been encouraged to stay at home and contact the hotline and the Ministry if they experience COVID-19 symptoms.
    • The remaining renovation of a ward will be accelerated and this area will be used as an isolation facility.

The Ministry of Social Protection assures the general public that the Ministry continues to be guided by the protocols established by the Ministry of Public Health and will continue to take steps necessary for the protection of residents, care personnel and staff at the Palms Elderly Care Facility.

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COVID-19 Alert!

Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.