Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, says several changes will be made to Jamaica’s COVID-19 protocols due to the anticipated increase in the number of persons arriving at the island’s airports in July.
“One of the changes that you will see is that you will not be tested at the airport. You will go home and you will go on the JamCOVID app and make an appointment for testing. This is for our returning Jamaicans,” Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie said.
She was speaking during the digital COVID Conversations press briefing, held at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, New Kingston, on July 2.
“If you are not able to use your phone, you can call the health department to set that appointment for testing. And we want you to try to do that testing within 24 to 48 hours after you return to Jamaica,” she added.
Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie noted that persons may not receive their test results within a short time, due to the volume of persons being dealt with, adding that it is important for persons to stay at home and adhere to all the protocols.
The Chief Medical Officer also informed that the Ministry is moving to use an app for home monitoring.
“Right now we are using the app for geofencing where they get the calls to ensure that they are in the right location. But now you will get calls from the health department to check on your temperature and if you are having any symptoms, persons from the health department will visit,” Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie said.
“But with hundreds and hundreds of persons that are coming… it’s not going to be so easy. There will be a new way to do this. You will be required to put in your temperature and your symptoms on the app and the health department will be able to monitor you from this,” she pointed out.
The CMO noted that work is well advanced and “we are hoping that by next week, the latest, we will have this ready, so that all these persons that are coming in will be able to use the app”.
Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie noted that for elderly persons who are returning to Jamaica may need assistance in using the new facility.
“If you have elderly persons that are coming, then you make sure that they stay in their room, but you also try to help them, guide them through the process of how they use the phone to report the symptoms,” she said.