The spike in COVID-19 positive cases in Grand Bahama, as with Exuma and Eleuthera, will continue to be monitored by health officials, according to Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis Wednesday (November 18) morning.
However, in spite of the increase in local cases, the prime minister did not announce any new restrictions for the island of Grand Bahama.
“On Grand Bahama health officials report that the recent increase in cases on the island is due to the recent outbreak at an industrial company. The industrial site has been closed and a meeting is expected to be held this week, with the industrial group and their subcontractors to review the analysis of the outbreak at that site.
“All positive cases from that site remain in quarantine or in isolation,” said the PM.
He added that health officials continue to closely monitor Exuma, Eleuthera and Grand Bahama. The Ministry of Health will provide a further update at its press briefing.
“I wish to remind every family island and cay, especially those not under curfew, to continue to abide by health protocols including – wearing a mask, adhering to physical distancing and washing hands regularly.
“I also beg Mr. Speaker, the Bahamian populous, to avoid all large gatherings and social events. As we have seen on other islands and as domestic and international tourists begin to travel to more Family Islands, there is a greater likelihood of the spread of this deadly virus.
“To avoid restrictive measures, I ask every Bahamian, no matter which island, settlement or community that you live in, to please follow the well-known healthcare measures,” said the nation’s leader.
His announcement came after a social video post showed a business establishment in the capital island of New Providence being shut down on Tuesday, November 17, by police officers.
In video it appeared that at least 100-plus patrons were exiting the building, while officers stood at the entrance. A similar social gathering was also shut down in Bimini over the weekend on Radio Beach.
Minnis continued: “Wearing a mask is a life saving measure, just as are antibiotics and medicines for other health challenges and diseases. No responsible person would tell someone with high blood pressure, diabetes or an infection not to take their medicine and not to take it in a timely manner. Just like these medicines the public health measures help to prevent infections and save lives.”
He also clarified restrictions under the Emergency Powers Order as it relates to church functions.
“Church services in the sanctuary are permitted during the week on New Providence and Abaco, in accordance with the guidelines established by the Bahamas Christian Council.
“I think that is important for me to clarify that because I think there are some who believe that church services are limited to only Saturday and Sundays; that is not the case.
“Memorial services and services in funeral parlors are not permitted on New Providence of Abaco.”
As of Tuesday, November 17, according to the Ministry of Health’s daily COVID-19 Dashboard, there were an additional two confirmed cases reported on Grand Bahama.