PHILIPSBURG--Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Richard Panneflek has confirmed that there are now additional active COVID-19 cases in St. Maarten.
The minister announced during Wednesday’s live virtual Council of Ministers press briefing that there are now three active cases.
However, The Daily Herald understands that that number was updated in the course of yesterday, Wednesday, and that there are now six active cases in St. Maarten, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 84.
One of the cases was reported last week and two more were added on Tuesday. One of those two is reportedly a casino employee and the other an unrelated case.
Of the three new cases confirmed later on Wednesday, one is reportedly a colleague of the above-mentioned casino worker and the other a friend. The third case is a separate infection.
Authorities had announced on Sunday that one person tested positive and another tested inconclusive on their return to the island on a repatriation flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Saturday. However, because these are French citizens residing on the Dutch side of the island they are not counted in the total figures.
Panneflek said during the press conference Wednesday morning that the cases are being actively monitored by CPS and are isolating at their residences.
CPS has started contact-tracing for all persons with whom these new cases may have been in contact. Those contacted have been placed in quarantine and received information from CPS on COVID-19. CPS will monitor these persons over the course of the quarantine period.
Panneflek said CPS would also follow up with the persons’ workplaces as part of the contact-tracing process. He noted that CPS will maintain the patients’ confidentiality during the course of contact-tracing and no personal information will be disclosed to their employers or their contacts.
“If an employer contacts CPS they will provide general information on COVID-19 and prevention measures,” Panneflek added.
CPS is busy with source-tracing and gathering information on how the individuals may have contracted the infection. Panneflek confirmed that these persons have not recently travelled on an international flight. However, one person did confirm recent travels to another Caribbean island. Furthermore, these persons indicated that they did not have contact with a confirmed case.
Panneflek concluded by reminding the public to play their part in the prevention of COVID-19 by washing their hands frequently with soap and water, practising social distancing and wearing face masks in public settings.
Persons experiencing flu-like symptoms are advised to remain at home and contact their general practitioner. For additional questions or concerns call CPS at 914.