Safe zones for quarantined individuals at shelters

Safe zones for quarantined individuals at shelters
Director of Social Services Lillian Quant-Forbes (file photo)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While the all-clear was given for Inagua and Turks and Caicos Islands yesterday, Hurricane Isaias continued to crawl across The Bahamas as officials moved to mobilize shelters in the capital.

The Department of Meteorology advised that while wind speeds for those all-clear islands were less than 39 mph, it does not mean they were not susceptible to other hazards like lighting storms.

Hurricane Isaias is forecasted to remain a hurricane for the next few days.

The center of the storm moved over Central Bahamas overnight and will mover over the northwestern Bahamas today with maximum sustained winds near 80 mph with higher gusts.

Social Services director Lillian Quant-Forbes said only 10 shelters have been activated in New Providence.

“We have not activated the entire shelter listing for New Providence, however, we activated 10 because we looked at the areas that will believe will be really hit by the level of water that saturates when it rains,” she said.

Quant-Forbes cautioned residents who live in low-lying areas that flood to make arrangements to stay with family members or go to a shelter during the duration of the storm.

She further acknowledged that there may be individuals who were self-isolating or in quarantine that may have to present themselves at the shelter during the storm

“We have indicated that at each shelter we will try our best to identify safe zones for those people, if we can squadron off a space in the place or identify rooms specifically for persons to be, then that’s what we will do,” she added.

The activated shelters include: Berea Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Baillou Hill Road South; Canon Neil E. Roach Hall at Holy Cross Anglican Church, Highbury Park; Hillview Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Tonique Williams Darling Highway; New Bethlehem Baptist Church, Independence Drive; New Providence Community Centre, Blake Road; Pilgrim Baptist Temple, St James Road; Remnant Tabernacle of Praise, Carmichael Road; Rev. Dr. O. A. Pratt Educational Building at St. John’s Native Baptist Church, August and Meeting Streets; and The Salvation Army, Mackey Street.

Epworth Hall at the Ebenezer Methodist Church on Shirley Street has been designated for the homeless and people with physical disabilities, according to the statement.

Quant-Forbes encouraged residents to bring only the essentials to the shelters, including masks and sanitizers to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

She confirmed that shelters on multiple Family Islands were also activated.

About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.