Since the pandemic hit the island in March, Jamaica has successfully managed to keep the virus away from nursing homes. But the good fortune changed yesterday when a COVID-19 cluster was discovered at one such home in Kingston.
The island’s Ministry of Health & Wellness yesterday confirmed a cluster at the Golden Age Home in Vineyard Town, Kingston.
The cluster was uncovered as part of the health ministry’s ongoing islandwide surveillance of senior citizens’ homes and infirmaries.
Forty-three of 72 samples taken from residents and staff at the facility have so far returned a positive result. The testing of all 428 residents and 162 staff members is expected to be completed in the next two to three days.
In the meantime, emergency management protocols have been triggered at the facility, with those having tested positive being put in isolation while others are put into quarantine pending the outcome of their results.
Further, all residents and staff are to be monitored closely even as the section of the facility from where the initial positive tests have come is managed with enhanced infection prevention and control procedures, the ministry said.
“The Ministry of Health and Wellness will also be providing support to review and strengthen the infection prevention and control measures at the home and to review the protocols to increase the surveillance and monitoring of all such facilities to reduce transmission among the vulnerable population,” noted Minister of Health & Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton.
Both ministries have also identified a team of caregivers to provide the necessary care for the residents at the home.