COVID-19 outbreak at Exuma High School prompts Government response

The content originally appeared on: Eye Witness News

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Senior health officials travelled to Exuma yesterday following a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak at a local high school on the island, with 12 active cases having been confirmed.

According to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, 22 persons have been placed in quarantine. Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) president Belinda Wilson said that the union will be “keeping a close eye” on the situation, stating that students from the 9th, 10th and 11th grades at the L N Coakley High School had tested positive for COVID-19.

A statement from the Ministry said that senior representatives from the ministry travelled to Exuma yesterday to assess the status and add another layer of support. 

“Meetings were held between the health team from New Providence and the local health team and the local administrator’s office,” it read. “The Ministry wishes to advise that concurrent with protocols that have already been effected via a local health team on the ground, the matter is being managed with guidance and support from senior health officials and the National Communicable Disease Surveillance  Unit (NSU), MOH&W.

“There are a total of 12 active cases and 22 persons have been quarantined as direct contacts. It is not the recommendation of the MOH&W to mandate testing for entire groupings in schools (classes) or the workplace without proper contact tracing and risk assessment,” the Ministry of Health and Wellness revealed.

The Ministry further noted that although there has been a decline in COVID-19 cases within The Bahamas, it continues to be vigilant in its efforts to protect its citizenry from all illnesses of public health concern and is guided by protocols and guidelines stated under the Health Services Act.