COVID-19 Impacting Dominica Police Force

Acting Police Commissioner, Lincoln Corbette

At least 20 police officers are to be placed in quarantine after they came into contact with a person who tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), Acting Police Commissioner, Lincoln Corbette said on Friday.

“It would be remiss of me not to thank the rank and file of the Dominica Police Force for their devotion to duty and continued cooperation. At this time it is very taxing on the Force and we know we were not spared from COVID and one of our officers contracted COVID,” Corbette told a news conference.

He said, as a result, more than 30 officers had to be placed in quarantine and on Thursday “we got news that some of our officers may have come into contact with somebody who has COVID and again we have to quarantine in excess of 20 officers.”

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“So we are not immune to COVID,” he said, noting that of the 36 individuals who were recently arrested for entering the island illegally, two had tested positive.

“These individuals were all quarantined at the government facility. Of note, two of these individuals tested positive for COVID-19,” Corbette said, adding that 12 vessels had been intercepted at sea and in excess of Euro $34,000 was seized.

Meanwhile, the Director of Tourism, Colin Piper, said that St. Lucia has now been placed in the high-risk category and as a result, St. Lucians would have to show a negative test prior to arriving here.

He said the government had made the change based on the recommendations of the Ministry of Health after undertaking an analysis “given the new and different information on the COVID situation in these countries.

“This new classification has now put St. Lucia in the high-risk category. This means that travellers from St. Lucia must fill out the online health screening, which requires that you upload a negative PCR test where the swabs were taken within 24 to 72 hours before arrival in Dominica”.

He said on arrival, the St. Lucians would have to undergo seven days of quarantine and a PCR test would be administered on the fifth day.

“It is hoped that the results would be received within a 24 to 48-hour window (and) if negative would be medically cleared at the discretion of the medical staff,” Piper said.

St. Lucia continues to register an increasing number of COVID-19 cases with the Ministry of Health confirming 20 new cases over the last 24 hours, bringing the total number in the country to date to 203.

The ministry said that 10 of the new cases are non-nationals.