The Ministry of Health is again advising people of Vineyard Town and surrounding communities that they are at no health risk if, as has been announced, the St. Joseph’s Hospital is used as a quarantine centre.
People from the Vineyard Town community where the Hospital is located, in St Andrew, as well as neighbouring settlements of Franklin Town and Rollington town have expressed strong displeasure at the facility being used as a quarantine centre. Some of them even staged a protest Monday, expressing fears of contracting the Coronavirus from people who may be quarantined there.
Officials and medical staff from the Ministry of Health and Wellness provided details as to why there were no threats to health by the hospital being used for quarantine purposes. They also pointed out that should someone have symptoms of the virus s/he would not be placed there.
Then on Tuesday, February 11, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton was in the community at a Town Hall meeting seeking to give even more assurance to people.
He explained that the plan was for the hospital only to house persons who display “elevated temperature” for 14 days. Should the condition of those persons worsen they would be taken to other health facilities for treatment. He pointed out that the quarantine centre was not for sick people. “So it is putting people there who look very healthy, but we just want to make sure that they stay healthy for 14 days,” the Minister pointed out.
According to a JIS report, the Minister also told the residents that none of the services that the St. Joseph’s Hospital offers will be removed, and he has asked personnel at his Ministry to relocate the clinic from the hospital to a building in the community “until we sort things out”.