23 on Sandilands ward test positive for COVID-19

Twenty-three individuals in the Male Ward at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC) have tested positive for COVID-19, the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) confirmed yesterday.

The PHA said the patients tested positive after a staff member, who worked across three wards at SRC, tested positive for the virus.

“Of the patients testing positive, six presented as symptomatic and the other 17, asymptomatic,” the PHA said in a statement.

“All affected patients are now being cared for on isolated wards. Aggressive sanitization of wards at the institution continues as scheduled.

“As part of the PHA’s approach to minimizing the spread of COVID-19 across its hospitals, visitor restrictions were employed at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre as a proactive measure to limit the exposure of clients to the virus.

“This allowed the hospital to quickly identify patients and staff at risk, mitigating further spread.”

The statement confirming the SRC cases came hours after Bahamas Nurses Union (BNU) President Amancha Williams made the revelation to the media.

Williams described the incident as “a major crisis” for SRC.

“You know these patients are in-house so they can’t move [any]where,” she told The Nassau Guardian.

“That is really not good for SRC. What they are doing is they’re trying to isolate.

“They’re doing isolation and they’re trying to resolve the issue so it would not spread to any other wards.”

The Guardian recently reported that roughly 50 patients were potentially exposed to COVID-19 across three wards at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).

On July 31, the PHA announced a reconfiguration of its wards at PMH, SRC and Rand Memorial Hospital on Grand Bahama.

“The move comes as the authority has recorded an increase in the number of persons presenting to hospital and staff testing positive for COVID-19, which has put a significant strain on resources, including bed capacity,” it said.

The authority added, “The current exposure of employees and patients across our hospitals is being managed subject to international infection prevention control guidelines for infectious outbreaks of this kind and the policies of PHA.

“The normal process follows that contacts (patients and employees) are screened, tested, quarantined or isolated subject to the presentation of symptoms. Every effort is being made to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our institutions.”

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Jasper Ward

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

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