As of Thursday, May 21, there were no active COVID-19 cases reported on Grand Bahama, so said Dr. Frank Bartlett, who heads the island’s COVID-19 Task Force.
He made the revelation during the Ministry of Health’s national weekly press conference.
“There are no active cases in Grand Bahama. Our last case would have tested positive on April 30, and she remains asymptomatic and recovered. We are now 15-day post discharge from quarantine,” said Dr. Bartlett.
He noted that as repatriation exercises continue, the Task Forces’ focus has moved towards ensuring that proper evaluations are met as Grand Bahamian residents continue to return home from The United States.
“Our major exercise, for this week, will be the repatriation of passengers coming in from the Florida area. We are anticipating that we would have some 59 persons coming in. We began our evaluation of those persons via telephone Wednesday (May 20), to have an idea of who may need to be quarantined at the government facility or home quarantined.
“Our procedure is similar to what they have in Nassau. We have a two-part evaluation process,” he said.
“Our preliminary evaluation is done at the airport, where the passengers are disembarked, maintaining social distancing. They are evaluated first by the health services, where preliminary information is taken or already pre-recorded on a form that they would have filled out in flight. Their temperatures are taken and they are asked about symptomatology. They are next, taken to the Immigration station and after that they are mounted on a bus that would have had pre-arranged seating.
“We have a secondary evaluation station at the hotel that is secured. We ask all family members that are involved with picking those passengers up, to wait at a designated area. At the secondary site, their evaluation includes more extensive probing as to what they would have been doing, the contact history, any type of health issues that they may have had. We also ask a little bit more about their home environment, to ensure that those persons that we have identified for home quarantine, meet the requirements if they have not, at the time, had a home evaluation done,” Dr. Bartlett explained.
He added that once it has been decided that that person meets the quarantine for home, they are given a specific card that states that they are cleared for home. They then give that card to the security officer and the security officer calls to the secured gate and they have their persons allowed to come in.
“The process is very straightforward from when they get off the plane, to them leaving the secondary site. Those who have been identified for quarantine at the government site, are the ones that are taken directly there by the Grand Bahama Health Services. The persons that arrived on May 8 and who would have been in government quarantine, were to be discharged (May 22), probably before noon.
“To date, we have had no major issues. We have been keeping in contact and monitoring the health status of the persons that have been in quarantine, and we have had no type of reports of any illnesses or any other challenges with persons both in home quarantine and the persons at the government facility.”
As for the application that has been identified to monitor the movement of quarantined persons, Hubb Cap, Dr. Bartlett revealed that it is hoped to have the software online and running as early as the week of May 24..
“Training for Hubb Cap is ongoing. We are looking to implement the programme as of Monday (May 24). Once it is implanted we will use that to assist us with patients that are being quarantined.”
Since the first COVID-19 case was reported back in March, Grand Bahama has reported eight cases. Two of those persons passed away as a result of the disease.