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ZNS newscast will be broadcast from Freeport after NP employee tests positive for COVID-19

The Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas (BCB) announced on Monday that its news updates and nightly newscast will be broadcast from its Freeport office.

In a statement, BCB said executive management learned on Saturday that a staff member, who worked at BCB’s headquarters, tested positive for COVID-19.

The BCB immediately contacted the Ministry of Health and the Department of Environmental Health and contact tracing, as well as a deep cleaning of the building, were done, the statement said.

“Over the weekend, executive management was in communication with the Ministry of Health and the presidents of the unions on the developments regarding contact tracing, which began on Saturday, August 15, 2020,” the BCB said.

“Management continues to be guided by the Ministry of Health officials on the way forward.

“Television programming, however, over the next few days, will be altered slightly in the interim as radio programming continues.

“The news updates and the evening news will be provided by the Northern Service newsroom of the corporation until further notice.

“The board of directors and executive management of the BCB extends well wishes to the infected employee for a speedy recovery and will continue to ensure all staff are safe and the protocols followed as we continue to work together as an essential service provider to get through this pandemic.”

Despite contact tracing efforts, Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) President Dino Rolle told The Nassau Guardian that staff, who were exposed to the COVID-19 positive employee, were not allowed to quarantine.

“They [were] telling them Sunday morning,” he said.

“They’re cleaning and sanitizing the office on Saturday and on Sunday morning they could have resumed business. Something is wrong with that.”

Rolle described the move as “kind of heartless”.

He said negotiations between BCB and the BCPOU took place over the weekend.

“I think management is now saying that they’re prepared for those persons who would have been exposed to isolate themselves,” Rolle said.

BCB General Manager Kayleaser Deveaux Isaacs directed questions about whether staff will be allowed to quarantine to Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Delon Brennen. 

Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe, parliamentary secretary for information and communications in the Office of the Prime Minister, said health officials are “currently engaged in determine best measures”.

She said Brennen is able to “shed more light” on the situation.

Brennen said identified contacts will be quarantined.

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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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