In just 10 days the number of persons in home isolation across the country has nearly quadrupled.
Those numbers have caught the attention of health authorities who have conceded that if the spike in positive COVID-19 cases continues the programme will be overwhelmed.
Dr Adanna Grandison, Consultant Manager of Home Quarantine and member of the Isolation and Home Quarantine Committee, today revealed that 2532 persons were currently in home isolation across the island.
On October 3, four days after the initiative was first launched, Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic revealed that 680 persons were in home isolation.
Dr Grandison said today that talks were already underway to determine the next step if the numbers got out of hand.
“That is something that we have been in discussion about. This conversation actually happened up to this morning because we are aware that there will come a point in time, especially given the projections that we are seeing and if we continue to not do the basics like physical distancing, wearing your mask and handwashing.
“But we have had that discussion in terms of what happens when we get to X amount of persons in the community where again the physical human resource is now being overwhelmed in terms of being able to meet the expectations of persons…And if the projections are right, we know that we are going to have a lot more persons in home isolation and potentially a lot more persons getting ill so we want to be able to plan early,” Dr Grandison said.
She said that a cut-off number had not yet been determined by authorities.
Dr Grandison said of the 2532 people in home isolation, 1084 persons were safe and an additional 534 persons were safe and being actively reassessed.
However, she said 35 persons were waiting to be transported to isolation facilities urgently, while another 247 persons would need to be transported within a 24-hour period.
She said since the start of the initiative on September 30, 559 persons had been transported to isolation facilities.
Dr Grandison acknowledged that while persons had passed away from COVID-19 at home, none of them was part of the home isolation programme.
“We have not had any reported deaths of persons who have entered the programme. So there are persons who would have died at home who did not even know their status…There are persons who are walking around that don’t know their status but they cannot be added to the total number of persons in the community who are positive but they are out there.
“So we have had some persons who had not been tested in what we call the ante-mortem phase, or prior to death, and they did not know their status and upon death, they were tested and were known to be positive. These persons would have been living at home like normal so they’re not part of the home isolation programme but they are persons who died at home,” Dr Grandison explained.