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72 healthcare workers have COVID-19

Seventy-two healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19 since July, health officials advised yesterday.

As of August 19, according to data provided by the Ministry of Health, 28 healthcare workers at Grand Bahama Health Services tested positive for COVID-19; 18 at Princess Margaret Hospital; 18 at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre; seven at the Department of Public Health (DPH) on New Providence and one at DPH on the Family Islands.

Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis, health consultant in the Office of the Prime Minister, was unable to indicate how many healthcare workers were exposed to the virus thus far in the second wave.

“They’re from different institutions as you would have imagined,” she said. 

“We apply a risk tool to evaluate the extent of exposure. So, we have affected — those who are COVID-positive — and those who have been exposed.” 

A chart provided by the Ministry of Health noted that 60 contacts were exposed to the virus in hospitals and healthcare facilities.

On August 7, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pearl McMillan said at least 30 healthcare workers tested positive for the virus.

Up to early August, more than 400 healthcare workers were potentially exposed to COVID-19.

Nurse Bernadette Rolle, who worked on the Male Ward at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC), died on Friday from COVID-19.

Bahamas Nurses Union President Amancha Williams said Rolle was “exposed on the job and left to care for herself”. 

“We say to this government: enough is totally enough,” Williams said.

“As of today, if things ain’t right, you can be assured that every nurse in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas will be sitting underneath the tree effective today.

“Prime minister, we’re tired. Minister of health, we’re tired.”

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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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