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COVID-19 UPDATE: TEST RESULTS NEGATIVE AND PHASED REOPENING

Image of Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Sharon Belmar-George

PRESS RELEASE — As of May 18, 2020 Saint Lucia has recorded a total of 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19. All eighteen cases are fully recovered. On Monday, May 18, 2020 results for 41 samples were received and they were all negative. These samples are due to increased community testing.

This brings a total of 827 tests conducted to date. Although we have maintained a low transmission level of COVID-19 in country, we remind the public that we are still at risk and must remain vigilant as the threat remains. As we continue with the phased re-opening we must ensure that all protocols are adhered to.

The Ministry of Commerce has advised that businesses are permitted to recommence full operations from May 18, 2020. Although approval for opening is not required at this time, business places are required to review the relevant protocols to ensure they comply with physical distancing, infection prevention and occupational health and safety measures. The protocols document can be accessed via the websites www.covid19response.lc or www.govt.lc and the Facebook pages of the Ministry of Health & Wellness and the Bureau of Health Education.

We encourage the population to continue adopting the recommended infection prevention and control measures and physical distancing measures when going out into the public. We would like to see these measures adopted at the community level as well.

We continue to request that every individual practices the standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infection. These include regular hand washing with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer where soap and water is not available, cover mouth and nose with disposable tissues or clothing when coughing and sneezing, avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing, wear your home made or cloth mask whenever venturing out from home, maintain a 6 foot distance when in public even while wearing a mask, seek medical attention if you have symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel, refrain from touching items unless you intend to buy them when grocery shopping and otherwise.

As of May 18, 2020 the World Health Organization reported a total of 4, 525,497 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally with 307,395 deaths. There are now 1, 966, 932 confirmed cases in the region of the Americas. The affected countries within the region include Dominican Republic (12,110), Haiti (310), Barbados (85), Jamaica (511), Cuba (1,862), Dominica (16), Grenada (22), Trinidad and Tobago (116), Guyana (116), Antigua and Barbuda (25), Saint Vincent and Grenadines (17), and Martinique (192).

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