Saba’s Government Administration Building
SABA--Saba authorities decided over the weekend to eliminate the strict home quarantine for persons who have been in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19.
The measure, which goes into effect today, Tuesday, March 29, will be replaced by a close-contact monitoring system.
“To allow our society to function effectively, we have decided to remove strict home quarantine and replace it with a close-contact monitoring system. The Public Health Department will assist positive cases in identifying close contacts,” stated Island Governor Jonathan Johnson in an audio message on Sunday.
Saba has a very high vaccination rate, which reduces the risk of severe disease from COVID-19 and the overburdening of the healthcare system. Also, the current dominant Omicron strain, although highly transmissible, causes less severe illness and reduced hospitalisations than previous COVID-19 variants.
“At this moment, the most significant impact of COVID-19 on our community is not an overwhelmed healthcare system, but the hindered functioning of our society due to large numbers of close contacts having to do home quarantine,” stated Johnson.
Saba registered 114 quarantined persons on Sunday, 50 active cases in isolation and 14 new cases. Last week, there was an outbreak at Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) and at Laura Linzey Daycare.
Even though persons who have been in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19 no longer have to quarantine as of Tuesday, they will have to wear a mask in public, avoid contact with vulnerable persons, monitor for symptoms and self-test or call Saba Cares if symptoms develop. Also, they have to test at the testing centre on day five. Persons who test positive for COVID-19 still need to go into isolation.
“In the last week, COVID-19 active cases went up, so it may seem strange to continue relaxing measures, but we are confident in our high vaccination rate. Safety of the public and the continuation of services remain our number one goal in our COVID-19 mitigation process,” stated Johnson.
“The reality is that COVID-19 is here to stay. We will have moments of spikes in cases or outbreaks, but what’s important is that we all keep doing our part to protect each other. Please use your discretion when it comes to your safety and your family’s safety. Continue practising good hand hygiene, wear a mask or social distance if you deem it necessary, and call Saba Cares when you are not feeling well.”