Oranjestad, St. Eustatius- Effective September 8 a large amount of measures will come into effect to curb the outbreak of Covid-19 on the island.
The new measures, communicated by Government this evening, include the the closure of all schools, the limitation of shoppers in supermarkets and some limitations as to visits to the harbor and the airport.
“The government advises everyone to wear face masks, to adhere to social distancing of 1.5 meters and follow proper hygiene measures. The maximum number of persons allowed at social gatherings is 15. This measure applies to all types of gatherings and events. This includes gatherings within families, churches etc. which take place both outdoors and indoors”, according to the release sent out on Monday evening.
Government has come under fire and public scrutiny after a so-called essential worker tested positive for the Covid-19 virus and a second local person also turned out to be infected.
Many on the island are in disagreement with the exceptions put in place for people from abroad to go in central quarantine. So far, an exception was made for the government called ‘critical functions’. While some disagree with any exceptions, others disagree with what can be considered critical or not.
The decision has now been taking by Van Rij and Francis to limit the entrance of people into the island. “The government is reducing the number of persons arriving in Statia, who must go into quarantine, to a maximum of 30 people (previously 60). In addition, the government will postpone the scheduled entrance of 12 essential workers and 5 returning Statians, that were planned for this week,” according to the press release.
Contact tracing and contact sourcing
The Public Health Department started extensive contact tracing and contact sourcing yesterday and will continue doing so the upcoming two weeks. The day-to-day operations are put aside. Contact tracing and contact sourcing involves extensive interviews with an infected person. During the interviews, the Public Health Department determines with who the infected person was in contact over a 14 day period. This allows for an early detection of individuals who may have been exposed.