Seventy-five percent of exposed healthcare workers test negative for COVID-19

Seventy-five percent of exposed healthcare workers test negative for COVID-19
A CDC COVID-19 testing kit (FILE PHOTO)

Remaining results should come back Thursday

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Seventy-five percent of the more than 200 healthcare workers tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19) have returned negative results, according to Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Delon Brennen.

He said the remaining results were expected to come in Thursday.

“We have probably less than 50 of them that have yet to come back in,” he told Eyewitness News.

 The majority of those workers completed a 14-day quarantine and were expected to be assessed.

Their potential exposure stemmed from eight confirmed cases in the Medical Surgical Ward II at Princess Margaret Hospital, with one case linked to the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre.

According to health officials, a patient was transferred from Sandilands to PMH for medical treatment on April 5.

The patient was discharged on April 15.

A few days later however, the ward at PMH was declared compromised and closed to new admissions.

The initial Sandilands patient returned to PMH for testing and tested positive for the virus.

Among the exposed were 46 workers at Sandilands.

As of this afternoon, there were 80 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas — 64 in New Providence, eight in Bimini, seven in Grand Bahama and one in Cat Cay.

Of those cases, 15 patients are healthcare workers.

A leading doctor treating COVID-19 patients at PMH who was awaiting results of her COVID-19 test on Saturday told Eyewitness News while the task can be challenging and overwhelming, “it is our calling”.

She and many other healthcare workers interview have encouraged the public to follow all official guidelines in the fight against the virus, which has already killed 11 people in The Bahamas.

Expanded testing is ongoing for exposed healthcare workers.

It is hoped additional testing will capture more asymptomatic “super spreaders”, as pointed out by health authorities, who hope to flatten the curve of new cases in a matter of weeks.

Between April 19 and April 24, there were an average of over two cases per day — a trend health experts said was evidence of community spread.

Seventy-five of the confirmed COVID-19 cases has been the result of community spread, with only one imported case and four import-related cases.