ST. EUSTATIUS–A well-known Dutch journalist who arrived in St. Eustatius from Curaçao on Wednesday evening, August 4, has tested positive for COVID-19. He was in Statia to report on the low vaccination rate and the high chances of an outbreak of coronavirus on the island but has now been placed in isolation.
The man was fully vaccinated and had a pre-travel Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test done on August 2, of which the results were negative.
The reporter’s arrival on the island came on the heels of the third phase of the gradual reopening of the island, which was launched on August 2. In this phase fully vaccinated visitors are allowed to come to Statia, where they must follow certain conditions.
The journalist contacted the Public Health Department GGD on Thursday, August 5, informing them that he was showing symptoms of COVID-19 and that a close contact of him in Curaçao had tested positive.
The journalist in question is now in isolation and a colleague who joined him during his visit to Statia was placed in quarantine.
Government Commissioner Alida Francis said the journalist adhered to the monitoring protocol that is currently in place for fully vaccinated visitors and that he had been wearing a face mask.
Due to the nature of his profession, the reporter had meetings with several Statia residents. He has helped the GGD in identifying persons he came in close contact with, who were placed in quarantine.
Passengers who travelled on the same flight will be placed in quarantine as a precautionary measure. Contact tracing will continue for persons who have been in contact with the journalist.
Until contact tracing has completed everyone is being asked to be extra cautious, “not only because of the developing situation, but also as we customarily request our population given the times in which we are living. We reiterate the importance of persons wearing masks, social distancing when in public places, and also washing your hands”, Francis said.
Given the current situation pertaining to the virus, the Public Entity St. Eustatius has ordered establishments to cancel all dance events from today, Friday, August 6.
“This positive case teaches us that the threat of COVID-19 is real. As a small island we need to be prepared and remain vigilant,” the commissioner stated.
Francis said it is important for everyone to adhere to the rules that relate to persons under the monitoring protocol. “Our system has worked for us thus far because we are capable of reacting fast, identifying the contacts and taking the appropriate measures. We hope that the measures taken will lead to a full containment of this case.”
Francis said that an update will be given on the local radio station today, Friday, at 7:00pm.
Bron: Daily Herald