Systematic Two-tiered COVID-19 Testing in St. Kitts-Nevis Ensures Reliable Results

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Hazel Laws.
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Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Hazel Laws announced Tuesday that COVID-19 testing in St. Kitts and Nevis is performed via a two-tiered systematic process that meets international standards while responding to a question at a press conference to unveil the government’s Stimulus Plan to Protect and Support the People of St Kitts and Nevis.

“I want to add that testing is done systematically. We have a National Laboratory Testing Protocol and individuals who exhibit or manifest symptoms they are evaluated and we utilize the World Health Organization case definitions to guide us in terms of testing,” said Dr. Laws. “However, all individuals who require testing have been tested to date.”

The CMO pointed to the number of persons who have both been quarantined and tested in the Federation.

“At present, we have a total of 292 in quarantine; four are located at a government-designated facility and we have 288 under self-quarantine in their home facility — 207 in St. Kitts and 81 in Nevis. These individuals are monitored on a daily basis. They can be visited, or they utilize the telephone in terms of monitoring them,” she said.

“At present, a total of 39 persons have had samples sent off for testing — 29 from St. Kitts and ten (10) from Nevis. We have received 19 results so far, all negative and results for 20 individuals pending. Results came from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and the Next Generation Laboratory in St. Kitts,” she added.

In terms of whether or not persons quarantined are being policed, Dr. Laws reminded all of Section 15 of the Public Health Quarantine Regulations which was published on February 21, 2020: ‘Pursuant to section 10(2) of the Public Health Act, a person who contravenes the provisions of these Regulations shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding eight thousand dollars.’

“And so, the police is working in collaboration with the public health practitioners in terms of monitoring those who are in quarantine,” she said.

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