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Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, has advised that more than 300 home visits have been conducted in St. Thomas and 700 samples collected.

He was speaking at a digital press conference at Jamaica House on Monday (August 17).

With a rise in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in St. Thomas, the Government, on August 6, imposed quarantine measures for the communities of Church Corner, Bamboo River and Lower Summit, initially for 14 days, and on Monday announced an extension of the quarantine to September 2.

“Based on test results received, we can now report that approximately 89 persons have been identified as positive for COVID-19; 45 of that number are within the quarantine area. The surveillance activities have also identified more symptomatic persons, who have been tested and are awaiting results,” Dr. Tufton said.

“The evidence points to continued transmission… of the disease within these communities and, therefore, in order to manage the risks associated with the spread or the potential spread, we have agreed for an extension [of the quarantine] for an additional 14 days from the 20th of August to the 2nd of September,” he noted.

Dr. Tufton said that there are also additional communities of concern and “in the next few days, with better particulars on these communities being made available, the Cabinet will consider and take the appropriate decisions, which will be announced in the form of an Order”.

The Government has also imposed a 14-day curfew for St. Thomas from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. daily, starting August 18.

In addition, there will be no funeral services, civic services, weddings or entertainment activities in the parish for the next 14 days.

Burials will be allowed to take place with a maximum of 15 persons, including the pastoral delegation and burial attendants.

As it relates to Sandy Bay in Clarendon, which is also under quarantine, Dr. Tufton said that surveillance activities have covered more than 900 householders, with over 2,000 individuals interviewed.

With some 22 persons identified as COVID-19 positive, the Government has also made the decision to extend the quarantine period in the area for 14 days, up to September 2.

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