Loyse Vincent

Tobago’s COVID- 19 status now stands at three after the island broke its 30 day COVID-19 free spell on Saturday.

The re-emergence stemmed from an infant who tested positive after a mandatory COVID-19 test was done as a prerequisite for clearance ahead of surgery.

County Medical Officer of Health of the TRH Dr Tiffany Hoyte spoke about the cases at the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development press briefing yesterday.

“The first case after the 30 days hiatus which was reported on Saturday was someone who was screened for surgery and had no symptoms the other two cases also had no symptoms they were tested because they were primary contacts of the first case,” she said.

She said investigations are currently underway to determine the initial source of infection.

Guardian Media has been informed that the patient is an infant from the Golden Lane community and other two cases are a male student of the Mason Hall High School and another adult from the same household.

All three persons have since been transferred to state care facilities and contact tracing is currently ongoing.

Hoyte urged persons to remain vigilant as all three persons do not have any viral symptoms and the number of persons presenting to the island’s healthcare facilities with viral symptoms for testing are on the decline.

She said, “Between February 7 to 13 there were 27 persons calling the hotline or presenting with symptoms to our health care facilities. From February 14 to 20 there were 12 persons and from February 21 to 27, there were 11 persons. However all of these persons tested negative.”

Hoyte urged persons to maintain all COVID-19 safety protocols as some persons may have mild or no symptoms and are still able to pass on the virus.

Meanwhile, School’s Supervisor III of the Division of Education Innovation and Energy Sherryl-Ann Rollocks- Hackett said school officials are satisfied that the protocols put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the Mason Hall Secondary School were sufficient.

“Students at all of our schools have been conforming and ensuring that they practice all protocols which includes the wearing of masks and washing of hands while on the compound,” Rollocks- Hackett said

Following the announcement on Sunday the Mason Hall Secondary School was closed. Rollocks- Hackett said the facility will remain “closed for sanitization until further notice” and will be reopened after consultation with the Tobago Regional Health Authority.

Rollocks- Hackett said the principal of the school has since provided health officials with names and contact information of the students and teachers who were primary contacts of the male student and these persons are currently being swabbed.

Although the Mason Hall Secondary School has been closed until further notice, the Division of Education will continue with its preparations to reopen other schools.

To date 2963 samples have been submitted for testing for COVID-19 in Tobago. Of that amount 158 were tested positive and there were two fatalities


Diego school continues uninterrupted

Anna-Lisa Paul

Even though a teacher at the Diego Martin North Secondary School was sent home after displaying signs of the COVID-19 virus on Monday, the school’s operations continued uninterrupted yesterday.

Officials said the teacher was at home awaiting test results to confirm her status.

However, students attended classes as normal and continued to observe public health regulations including wearing masks, sanitizing, and social distancing.

On Monday, Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly assured all safety protocols had been employed at the school, and that both the teacher and her students had been observing such.