All 255 staff members of the National Assistance Board (NAB) are being tested for COVID-19 this weekend after five employees tested positive for the virus over the last 12 days.
She disclosed that the staff at the NAB Country Road headquarters had been ordered into quarantine and arrangements were being put in place for that quarantine to take place in a number of hotels, at Government’s expense.
She further revealed that Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw was organising a series of meetings, beginning on Monday, to interact directly with the staff “to assure them of the Government’s full understanding and support and also its commitment to assisting them in any way possible in the days and weeks ahead.”
Meanwhile, Minister Forde said that aggressive contact tracing had commenced to locate everyone who may have encountered the five persons who had tested positive.
She stated that all five were members of the administrative staff, three working directly in the office at Country Road, St. Michael, and the other two, senior home help officers.
The Minister with responsibility for Elder Affairs made it clear that there was no evidence to date that any of the administrative staff who had tested positive had come into contact with the home helpers who cared for the elderly and other vulnerable persons on a daily basis.
The Minister explained that during the incubation period for the relative, the NAB employee was completely asymptomatic and continued to work as usual.
However, as soon as the relative showed symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19, officers at the Ministry of Health and Wellness placed the staff member into quarantine and tested her for the virus, at which time it was discovered that she was positive.
“Our focus now is on the health and wellness of our staff. They are frontline workers in their own right. They have done and continue to do a marvelous job for seniors and the less fortunate families and individuals in our country. I want us all to lift them up in our prayers,” the Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs urged.
She shared that none of the five staff members diagnosed was in serious condition and the prognosis for each at this time was “encouraging”.