The Southeast Regional Health Authority (SERHA) this morning began community surveillance activity in West Kingston, following the recent confirmation of five cases of COVID-19. The persons are contacts of a confirmed case that recently returned to the island from the United States. Some 100 health staff, including nurses, public health inspectors, public health nurses, and community health aides will conduct house to house visits and assess the residents for respiratory symptoms.

Residents with symptoms and those who the health team deems are at high risk, will be tested for COVID-19 and quarantine orders served. Groundwork in the community started yesterday, as personnel from the Kingston & St. Andrew Health Department began its health education and community engagement programme. This also will continue today.

It is expected that community surveillance activity will be completed today. The Ministry of Health and Wellness reminds the public of the need for increased vigilance in the maintenance of the quarantine orders that have been issued to persons who recently returned to the island.

The Ministry also wishes to remind the public of the need to maintain the infection prevention and control practices such as the washing and sanitizing of hands frequently, the wearing of masks in public spaces and around persons who are in quarantine, the covering of coughs with a tissue and disposing of it in the nearest receptacle and the sanitizing of high-frequency areas in your homes.

Members of the public are also reminded that when persons return to the island and are in quarantine other members of the household are to maintain at least 6 feet distance and ensure that the person is kept apart from individuals at risk in the households such as the elderly and persons with comorbid illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and asthma.