DH | 82 tested at ‘swab and go’ COVID-19 testing over weekend in St. Eustatius

Medical staff carrying COVID-19 tests at the drive-through testing site.

ST. EUSTATIUS–A total of 82 persons in St. Eustatius took the opportunity to check their COVID-19 status at a drive-through testing held at the Governor’s Mansion on Van Tonningenweg on Saturday, October 17, and Sunday, October 18.

Medical staff having a discussion during a lull at the testing site.

“The Daily Herald” correspondent Althea Merkman being tested.

The event was organised by the St. Eustatius Public Health Department GGD under the title “Swab and Go”.

GGD Director Carol Jack-Roosberg said the aim of the initiative was to get a better understanding of the virus on the island. It will also enable the department to adapt its approach towards the containment of COVID-19 on the island.

To prevent congestion at the location of the testing, residents were required to call ahead and schedule an appointment. Those who wanted to be tested had to provide a copy of their identification card or passport, after which they were given a timeslot in which to arrive at the location on either day. This method allowed laboratory staff to carry out administrative work prior to arrival at the site.

Testing was available for anyone 12 years of age and older who wanted to know their current COVID-19 status. Persons under the age of 18 had to get parental consent before they could be tested.

A group of registered nurses, members of the GGD staff, personnel from the Hospitainer and three doctors were seen carrying out testing. Residents who went to be tested wore their face masks.

Persons without vehicles walked to the location. A large tent was set up to provide shelter for those present.

Some persons who were tested said they had expected the experience to be scarier than it actually was. The swabbing took a few seconds. Persons who were not registered to be tested and dropped by were still tested.

Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis and Roosberg-Jack were amongst those present at the testing site to ensure that the initiative went without a glitch. Roosberg-Jack said the department hoped to get better epidemiological action on what is happening in the Statia community.

She encouraged persons to continue using good hygiene practices, wear a mask and to social distance when in public.

There was one active COVID-19 case on the island as of Sunday, October 18. The positive case is in isolation. A total of 84 COVID-19 tests are pending and there are 58 persons in self-quarantine.
Bron: Daily Herald

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