Press Release:- Sunday January 30, 2022 marked two years since the outbreak of COVID-19 was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization Director General.
On March 11, 2020 the outbreak of COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. On that same day, Saint Lucia confirmed its first case of COVID-19. Since then over twenty thousand cases have been diagnosed with over 300 deaths recorded.
Public health officials have managed 5 waves; each wave with its own peculiarities and challenges requiring the institution of numerous and differing measures and policies to best manage the ever increasing number of confirmed cases.
The establishment of a contact tracing process, the isolation/quarantine facilities, the
establishment of the monitoring of isolated cases at home, the issuance of guidelines to
workplaces and the private sector, the setting up of a respiratory hospital and respiratory clinics, the commencement of a COVID-19 vaccination program, are some of the measures instituted to help manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we enter another phase in the management of this pandemic, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs today announces changes to the discharge process for individuals diagnosed with COVID-19.
The letter of discharge from isolation or clearance letter as it is commonly referred to will no longer be issued by an official from the Ministry of Health for the workplaces.
All persons tested either because they were symptomatic or were identified through the contact tracing process are issued a sick leave document.
The sick leave is a legal document which indicates the number of days of isolation from work and the day that individual is fit to return to work.
For persons who have had no symptoms throughout their isolation period they are fit to return to work once the sick leave has ended and they are free of symptoms.
For persons who have been experiencing symptoms and continue to be symptomatic after the sick leave has ended they should remain at home and not return to work unless directed and/or assessed by a health care provider.
The Ministry of Health solicits the understanding, cooperation and support of the Saint Lucian populace as we continue to manage this pandemic and strive to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
(Statement by Medical Surveillance Officer – Dr. Dana DaCosta Gomez)
Headline photo: Internet stock image