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A total of 236 residential facilities have been inspected by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, to assess their adherence to measures aimed at mitigating the risk of an outbreak of COVID-19.

The total amount includes 203 nursing homes, 13 infirmaries, 14 children’s homes and six rehabilitation institutions.

“Of that number, 99 nursing homes (48.8 per cent), were found to be compliant with the COVID-19 protocols, the same obtained for seven of the infirmaries, four children’s homes and two of the rehabilitation institutions,” Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said.

He was delivering a statement in the House of Representatives on November 3, at the Jamaica Conference Centre.

Dr. Tufton said for breaches under the Nuisance Regulations, two privately run nursing homes, in Manchester and Clarendon, had to be ordered closed.

In the case of prisons and lock-ups, 43 of the 106 in country have been inspected so far, with 12 meeting the COVID-19 standard, while the other 31 have been given a timeline within which to become compliant.

The Minster further informed that the Ministry has developed, specifically, a protocol for environmental considerations for Nursing Homes and Residential Facilities, a Checklist for Nursing Homes and Healthcare Institutions and a Self- Assessment Tool for public facilities and workplaces.

“These documents have been made available to owners and operators of residential facilities, and the local health teams have conducted training sessions. Therefore, I am serving notice to all owners and operators of residential healthcare facilities, that they must become compliant with all the regulations and protocols related to COVID-19 by November 30, 2020,” Dr. Tufton said.

“Failure to comply to same, will see prosecutions under the Public Health Act or the Disaster Risk Management Orders, which may result in fines of up to $1 million,” he added.

Dr. Tufton further said that it is the intention of the Ministry of Health & Wellness to continue to work with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Ministry of National Security and other ministries, agencies and departments and private partners to ensure that all Jamaicans are protected, with special emphasis on the most vulnerable in the society.

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