By TRIBUNE STAFF REPORTER
SEVERAL customs officers in Abaco have been placed under quarantine after a worker was exposed to a COVID-19 positive patient on the island, prompting officials there to close the Customs Department at the Leonard M Thompson International Airport on Thursday.
Customs Comptroller Dr Geanine Moss confirmed to The Tribune that about three customs officers were placed on a two-week quarantine on the island after being in close contact with a co-worker, who recently had been displaying some COVID-19 symptoms.
The worker, she said, is the roommate of a positive COVID-19 patient.
According to sources, the patient tested positive for the virus earlier this week and had to be flown out to the capital after experiencing severe symptoms.
The patient is currently being hospitalised, The Tribune was also told by sources on the island. According to the latest COVID-19 dashboard, there are only 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Abacos, with the majority located on Guana Cay.
Officials have not reported a new case on the island since August 2, which was reported on Moore’s Island. However, sources close to The Tribune have already said the COVID-19 patient and customs officer lives in the Marsh Harbour area.
The reason for the discrepancy is unclear.
Yesterday, Dr Moss maintained that none of the other officers have displayed symptoms thus far.
“I have not gotten any reports that anybody else is positive,” Dr Moss said when contacted by The Tribune.
“As far as I’m concerned, the only person who is displaying any kind of symptoms is the roommate to the person who tested positive. None of the officers are displaying symptoms. However, because they were in close contact, they have been advised to stay at home and the surveillance unit has been in contact with them speaking to them about the protocols they should follow.
“It’s not many of them, it may only be three…This place (the airport) is being deep cleaned this morning.”
Sources close to The Tribune say officials are still awaiting the test result of the custom officer to decide whether or not to close the local airport, which is currently undergoing deep cleaning.
The Tribune also understands that officers there are concerned about a possible outbreak on the island, which is still experiencing challenges as a result of Hurricane Dorian last September.
“They said she was sick from last week,” one local, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the Tribune. “She was working at (Marsh Harbour) dock and was transferred to the airport on Tuesday. She (allegedly) called in sick (Wednesday) because she wasn’t feeling well. The results of (her roommate) were supposed to come out Friday, but I heard they came out Tuesday and she had to get flown out.”
Attempts to reach health officials on the issue have not yet been successful.
This is a developing story.