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Woman says officials shouldn’t attack those who traveled to US

Nine days after the country’s borders were opened, Kaylyn Rolle, 33, traveled to a known hotspot area – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

“Yes, Ft. Lauderdale cases are high, but when I traveled I was cautious. I did not go shopping, I did not go anywhere outside of my purpose for traveling and I wore my mask and sanitized.”

She said, “I traveled to sit my CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam and this is my last exam and one of the credits I currently hold was about to expire at the end of August.

“I did not want to lose my credits because I would have to take the exam again.”

Since the country opened its borders on July 1, there’s been an explosion of new cases.

Health officials have linked a number of cases with Bahamians traveling abroad.

On Friday, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pearl McMillan noted that 4,246 Bahamians traveled internationally between July 1 and July 24.

She said a “majority” of those destinations were COVID-19 hotspots.

“Recall the image shown earlier about how one person can potentially infect many,” she said.

“Our behaviors can put us at risk for getting infected and infecting others with COVID-19. We cannot continue to engage in or condone the same social practices and be alarmed at such rapid increases in cases.”

But Rolle disagreed.

“I think before they say the people who traveled to the hotspots are the reason, they consider the circumstances,” she said.

“I traveled to Florida, but I don’t think they should make that generalization because they don’t know what these people were doing, why they went away and what they did. There could have been those who were reckless, but I don’t know.”

After Rolle’s 28-hour travel experience, she arrived at Lynden Pindling Airport, but was taken aback by the relaxed health protocols that were in place at the time.

“There was this table with three persons sitting there and one person came out of the back of the room and she did not have on a mask and I was just really concerned because you’re interacting with all these people who came on a flight from Ft. Lauderdale, a hotspot area,” she said.

She had to give her cellphone to health workers who had to install an app to monitor her movement during self-quarantine.

After the app was installed on her phone, Rolle was allowed to leave with brief instructions. She was advised that she would need to keep her phone charged and location on at all times during her period of isolation and that she would be monitored by nurses who would periodically give her a call.

She claimed that never happened.

“There were times during my quarantine, I turned off my location just to see if they would call me [and] nobody called me,” she said.

Rolle noted that after she completed her 14-day quarantine, she tested negative for COVID-19.

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Italia Clarke

Italia Clarke joined the Nassau Guardian in August 2020. Clarke covers national, human interest and social issues. Education: University of The Bahamas, BA in Media Journalism

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