Government Commissioner Marnix van Rij
ST. EUSTATIUS--The 13th Emergency Ordinance, which went into effect on September 25, has extended the current 7:00pm to 6:00am curfew in St. Eustatius. The current ordinance will expire on Friday, October 2.
There are currently nine registered cases of COVID-19 on the island, 65 persons in quarantine, and one test pending.
Government Commissioner Marnix van Rij said government has had to make the difficult decision to keep the current measures from the 12th Emergency Ordinance in place because the ninth case was from a source different from the other eight positive cases.
Van Rij said that before the ninth case was discovered, government had been prepared to ease the conditions.
The extension of the curfew and other measures will give the Public Health Department GGD the needed time to do contact-tracing and -sourcing for the ninth case.
In the coming days, government is expected to get news about the COVID-19 situation from GGD.
The extension is being put in place with the hope that it will provide the government with more clarity during the upcoming week so that the government can take appropriate decisions.
Van Rij said he knows this has affected everyone on the island, but he wanted to convey the government’s appreciation to the majority of persons who have adhered to emergency ordinance measures.
The closure of schools was also extended. Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis had a meeting last week Thursday with school representatives, who fully supported the decision to have schools remain closed.
Gwendoline van Putten School will work with Crisis Manager Pieter Glerum to put in place a special protocol to facilitate education for students who are following the practical stream. Schools have different online programmes to facilitate learning, Van Rij said.
Day-care centres and afterschool programmes will also remain closed. Mega D Youth Foundation and the Daughters of the King afterschool programmes will continue to deliver lunch to pupils during the closure.
Van Rij reminded the public to strictly follow social-distancing guidelines, practise proper hygiene and wear face-masks even when visiting loved ones.
Currently all non-essential businesses such as restaurants (except for delivery and curb-side pickup), casinos, etc. are closed. Van Rij stressed that no group gatherings are possible.
The Statia government plans to keep the strict measures in place as long as necessary.