26 of 38 new Grand Bahama COVID cases 'from employee interactions in the workplace'

Minister of Health Renward Wells.

Minister of Health Renward Wells.


Tribune Staff Reporter


AFTER more than 30 COVID-19 cases were recorded for Grand Bahama on Wednesday, Health Minister Renward Wells revealed that investigations showed that the majority of those newly confirmed cases had originated from employee interactions in the workplace.

“Grand Bahama recorded 38 new confirmed cases in one day,” he said during a Ministry of Health press conference on Friday. “On further investigation, it was noted that 26 of these cases originated from employee interactions in the workplace.

“These employees work in the industrial sector as an electrical team . . . Positive cases have been removed from the workplace and are isolated. The surveillance until continues to monitor the situation and analysis of the data over the weekend to further asses any notable trends.”

His comments come as the island continues to see an uptick of cases, with its tally now standing at 874 as of Thursday.

On Friday, Dr Frank Bartlett, chairman of the GB COVID-19 task force, said preliminary data for Grand Bahama shows that COVID-19 cases are a “mixture” of clusters and community spread.

However, he noted that more data is still needed to exactly determine what type of transmission is happening on the island.

He said: “What we are on the process of doing now is trying to gather the data and the gaps that we have on those cases that we have not contacted. We are looking at our whole case profile from the beginning of our response to the COVID-19.

“We are looking to see if we could determine any kind of linkages. With the volumes in the numbers we had, it was much easier in the first wave because they were more manageable.

“We had more clear-cut linkages and we could clearly state if it was sporadic in nature but with the ones that we have now, with the lack of clear cut linkages, we cannot say. We know that they are sporadic in the sense that they cannot be localised to one specific area within the Grand Bahama region and it cannot be localised to one workplace.

“The fact that we don’t and we see a decrease in number suggest that there may not be community spread but we still need more data.”

Grand Bahama had previously been under a lockdown for nearly five weeks after rising cases on that island.

While the island is no longer under a full lockdown, several restriction measures remain in place inclusive of a 9pm to 5am weekly curfew.

Asked Friday if health officials recommend tighter restrictive measures for Grand Bahama, Dr Bartlett replied: “The whole process now as it relates to Grand Bahama and when you look at the clusters that we have on the island, the other cases that we have, no explanation appears to be more sporadic and it relates to community spread.

“The areas that we have identified that there are an increased number of cases, we recommend targeted restrictions instead of having compete lockdowns because once we could identify those, hopefully we will be able to curtail the increase we are seeing with that as opposed to putting our community in much more not- so-nice conditions with the lockdowns.”

During Friday’s press conference, health officials also gave an update on the COVID-19 situation on several Family Islands.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Pearl McMillan said officials have observed that positive cases on Andros now extend from Nicholl’s Town in the north to Kemp’s Bay in the south.

She said officials are closely monitoring what’s happening on the ground there.

Meanwhile, in Bimini, Dr McMillan said over 15 suspected cases are linked to a social gathering that recently occurred on the island.

“Contact tracing efforts discovered there was a large church convention on the island last week Sunday,” she noted. “To date, over 15 suspected COVID cases are linked to that event. We are awaiting the results of their swab tests. Symptoms of one of these individuals were severe, enough to warrant being airlifted to New Providence for further medical management.”

As it relates to Eleuthera, the chief medical officer said the mitigation efforts recently implemented for the island are “showing promise of containment of the COVID-19 spread on that island.”

On Abaco, she said there has been an average of one case per day for the last 30 days – a trend she said officials continue to monitor.

“The national weekly average of new cases stands at 31. This is an over 70 point reduction based on just before the tightening restrictive measures on the ninth of October,” she said.


TalRussell 3 years ago

Wonder how em's come to his 26 of 38 conclusions when the Colony has no visible to eyes organized, functioning virus-positive tracing system in place?
Wonder if engineer turned Colony's health minister Comrade Renward has been told that family members and loved ones are in hospital being treated for the killer virus but they're there all alone, afraid of what tomorrow brungs, left to be alone get better or die with no loved ones, family members, friends, acquaintances permitted to visit them in hospital. Does em know what that feels like? The morgues are X6 their capacity, including with victims of a hurricane that come and left over a year ago.
What song will the engineer goin' sung should the number of family members, loved ones, friends, co-workers do jumps up to 1,000 that succumbed to COVID-19? Shakehead once for Yeah was Mr. Minnis's exclusive call appoint em's Renward as Colony's health minister, Twice for Not?


IAmOne 3 years ago

TalRussel you are too deep. Can’t figure out what you’re trying to say. Layman’s terms man. The rest of the colony is lost.


Clamshell 3 years ago

Thank, you, IAmOne ... I’ve been trying forever to convince our friend Tal to speak in rational, grammatical English, but to no avail. A shame, as he’s actually kinda bright ... but he’s convinced that being too-clever-for-words will get his point across. It’s so, so sad, that level of narcissism.


trueBahamian 3 years ago

Did the Ministry of Health increase testing and contact tracing? That's the first question. So, if Grand Bahama was under a lockdown and th is controlled the numbers, why is there a sudden outbreak? If you reduced the numbers to a manageable level that means your testing should have caught up and the number of new cases should be very small. So, this suggests testing is not where it should be and contact tracing isn't where it should be either. So, the government is just waiting our time with lockdowns as they have not done their.job with testing and contact tracing.


TalRussell 3 years ago

Ma Comrade TrueBah, shouldn't take much effort for the opposition to obtain sworn affidavits direct from horse mouths family members, loved ones, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances who have or knows of individuals who despite having come in contact individuals tested positive for the virus - still go uncontacted by the health minister Renward's case tracers.


John 3 years ago

The US contemplates a full lockdown as Corona cases in that country surge unrelentingly. Florida, Texas and New York are among states that see cases double. Bars, spas and restaurants are being closed nationwide and families are urged to cancel or scale back thanksgiving gatherings. A cruise ship initiating a voyage out of the US had to return to port due to a corona outbreak on the ship. How safe is this country’s travel policy for persons entering this country from the US and the UK and other highly infected countries? What about Bahamians who visit hotspots like Florida, Texas and Zeneca York and even Canada and return home? Can The Bahamas afford another wave of Corona? What about the herd effect?


SP 3 years ago

The US just declared the virus exponential growth as uncontrollable. Not to worry, it's there constitutional right of freedoms to get sick!

Meanwhile, the government has allowed Atlantis to drop the recommended subsequent 5 day test.

Get ready for the Bahamas to join the US with exponential uncontrolled virus growth just before the Xmas holidays, sending us back into lockdowns and travel bans just in time to miss the holiday travel rush!


SP 3 years ago

As Mr. Lloyd stupidly announces returning schools to in-person class's, school systems around the U.S. and abroad are taking tough action to close schools due to spread of the virus.

Boston, Detroit, Indianapolis and Philadelphia are among those that are closing classrooms or abandoning plans to offer in-person classes later in the school year, and New York City may be next.

Meanwhile in the Bahamas, ass-backwards as usual, Lloyd is defying common sense rushing down the road to failure!

Stupid does as stupid is!


ohdrap4 3 years ago

He was finally convinced the IT infrastructure cannot support online learning.

Two things can happen for teachers: either they work 60 hour weeks for which they are not compensated or they slack off. ( Example: teach the same lesson at all grade levels).

Plus they allowed the rich kids back in the classroom, but thectribune will not print it.


SP 3 years ago

If they found out the IT infrastructure cannot support online learning as is, then the common sense thing to do is address that issue as best humanly possible and do what they can with what they have as it improves, expanding when possible.


ohdrap4 3 years ago

Ok. Let us try that when 70% of the campus computers are still running windows 7.

Educologists live in a state of perpetual denial. I have witnessed IT people be fired for asking for upgrades and updates that cost money.

I lmaorof when the administrator told the IT guy that "he had the wifi at home with a $69 router". So likewise, the $69 router can support the whole school campus.


DDK 3 years ago

Isn't it all lies and obfuscation?


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