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The Ministry of Health and Wellness has moved in to contain coronavirus (COVID-19) cases at the Mustard Seed Community facility in St. Catherine after 36 employees and residents tested positive for the virus.

“All staff has been placed on home quarantine and the necessary contact tracing is being done,” said Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.

“The residents have isolated on-site and three staff members are assigned to care for them. Three areas have been identified on-site to care for them,” he noted further.

Minister Tufton, who was addressing a virtual press conference on Thursday (October 22) explained that the cases were detected after a staff member tested positive, and a decision was made to take samples from the other employees and residents out of an abundance of caution.

Following the tests, which have now been completed by the St. Catherine Health Department, he said that 16 of the 111 staff members were positive while 20 of the 148 residents were positive.

In the meantime, Dr. Tufton said that the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) has been provided to the facility by the health authority and a medical doctor has been assigned to monitor the home with daily updates from management.

“Up to this point, I don’t think anyone is critically ill… so that is positive. So it’s just to provide additional support and, at the same time, assess the protocol of engagement at the facility to strengthen those [measures],” he noted.

The Mustard Seed facility, named Jerusalem, caters to more than 150 children and adults with disabilities. It provides a safe and nurturing environment for mentally and physically challenged individuals.

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