Another person in St. Vincent and the Grenadines with no recent travel history has tested positive for COVID-19, the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) said on Sunday.

NEMO said that the case was detected during increased testing for COVID-19, but did not say if the new case is linked to the local cluster of six cases detected last week.

“Contact tracing, linking and testing related to this new case has commenced,” NEMO said.

The agency further stated that retesting of the Dec. 28, 2020 cluster and their contacts will continue, even as the wider screening of the Vincentian population for COVID-19 cases intensifies.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines has now recorded 124 cases of COVID-19, of which 100 have recovered and 24 remain active.

All positive cases will continue to be isolated until cleared by two negative tests.

“Everyone is urged to use facial coverings when out in public,” NEMO said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education announced on Saturday that school will not reopen on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, as scheduled.

Classes have been suspended for one week in the first instance.

“The Ministry of Education will make every effort to ensure that students are not

adversely affected by the extended period of school closure,” said Myccle Burke, the ministry’s permanent secretary.

“Let us continue to work harmoniously to rise above the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our people is of paramount

importance. Let us strive collectively to adhere to existing protocols,” Burke said.

NEMO said that the postponement of the opening of school for the January term will allow for a thorough search aimed at further containing the local spread of COVID-19 in SVG.

Masks required in gov’t offices

Additionally, all government employees are now required to wear masks or other appropriate facial coverings while at work.

Further, effective Monday, persons visiting government offices must also wear masks or facial coverings.

“The mask must cover the individual’s nose and mouth and must remain in place for the entire duration of the person’s visit,” a bulletin said.

The advisory strongly advises public officers to wear masks while in public, including on public transportation and in situations where social/safe distancing is not possible.

Public Officers who are experiencing flu-like symptoms are strongly advised to remain at home and members of the public are advised not to visit government offices if they are experiencing these symptoms.

The advisory also reminded the public of the need for strict adherence to proper handwashing/sanitising of hands; physical/safe distancing of thee to six feet where possible and, among others, avoiding unnecessary physical contact.

Officials have also announced a revision of the protocol for the entry of travellers to SVG.

Barbados now ‘high-risk’

Further, effective Monday, travellers from Barbados, now categorised as a high-risk country, must quarantine in an approved hotel for 10 days.

Also, according to the revised protocol, travellers from countries categorized as medium risk, will now have to spend five days in an approved hotel.

Persons who suspect that they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 are asked to contact the COVID-19 Hotline 784-534-4325 (HEAL) for guidance and to refrain from visiting any medical facility unless directed by the health authorities.

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