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‘Appropriate’ protections in Rand’s ER although doctor tested positive for COVID-19

Rand Memorial Hospital. FILE

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Delon Brennen said yesterday the emergency room (ER) at Rand Memorial Hospital on Grand Bahama will not close after a doctor tested positive for COVID-19 there.

He was unable to say when the incident took place.

Brennen said COVID-positive patients are “constantly” evaluated and treated in the ER.

“It’s what happens in ERs,” he told The Nassau Guardian.

“People present for evaluation and treatment of their symptoms. In this situation, that includes those with symptoms of COVID-19. Some of them will later be diagnosed via testing as COVID-19-positive.”

Asked whether patients will still be allowed to enter the ER, Brennen said, “Appropriate precautions are being taken.”

When pressed on those precautions, he replied, “PHA (Public Hospitals Authority) would have to say.”

Brennen said patients are “appropriately protected” in the ER.

Bahamas Nurses Union (BNU) President Amancha Williams said six nurses have already tested positive for the virus on Grand Bahama.

She said at least 16 more are currently quarantined.

On Wednesday, The Guardian reported that roughly 50 patients were potentially exposed to COVID-19 across three wards at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) in the last week.

The incident led to the closure of the wards, according to a hospital source.

Consultant Physicians Staff Association (CPSA) President Dr. Sabriquet Pinder-Butler said on Wednesday that doctors are concerned about the public healthcare system’s capacity to handle a surge in hospitalized COVID-19 cases.

She said given the state of Rand Memorial, where there is a surge in cases, as well as Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), a shortage of beds and space to accommodate more COVID-19 cases has become worrisome.

“What we’re seeing with increases in the numbers, and we know that we already have challenges within the institution with bed space and potential exposures to staff, as well as patients, it is a concern for us,” Pinder-Butler said.

“It’s a very real concern that we won’t be able to have the capacity to properly care for patients, to house them, those types of things, and to provide the care that is needed.”

Five hundred and eight COVID-19 cases have been reported in The Bahamas since March 15.

Four hundred and one cases are active. There have been 14 deaths, with three reported yesterday.

Grand Bahama, which has been declared a hotspot, has 247 cases.

It has reported 239 new cases this month alone.

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice
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