CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) — St Lucia government today announced stricter protocols aimed at addressing the recent upsurge in community spread of COVID-19.

The Allen Chastanet government said that given the current status of active COVID-19 cases and projections, Castries is with immediate effect implementing protocols in order to curb the spread of the virus for the next 30 days. St Lucia has recorded 76 cases of the virus to date.

A government statement said that on the recommendations by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Sharon Belmar-George,  it has been agreed that all agencies and businesses should implement a “Blended Service/ Operations Approach” where possible for employees.

“The approach should allow for the functioning of all services and operations utilising online platforms and standard health protocol where feasible. This will reduce the physical numbers in the workplace and curb possible transmission.”

In addition, mass crowd events are reduced from 50 to 25 people per venue and religious Institutions are to be guided by the square footage of their respective spaces with each religious institution being aware of how many people can access the building.

The authorities said that all business operations and commercial activities must cease by 9:00 pm (local time) and that all public and private educational institutions should extend the closure of compounds and ensure continued learning via alternate and telecommunication mediums.

There will only be “grab and go businesses at bars” which will assist in limiting high-risk social gatherings and curb the possibility of community spread.

“The hosting of any contact-sports, high-risk sporting activities and events will be discouraged. Non-contact sports will be listed. This will assist in limiting high-risk social gatherings and curb the possibility of community spread.”

The government said that it is voluntarily limiting movement between 9:00 pm and 5:00 am and is encouraging staying at home between these hours “in order to discourage the physical spread of people during typical hours of high-risk social activity islandwide”.

Source: Jamacia Observer

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