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BVIHSA reduces visitation, testing all patients/staff amid COVID climb

BVIHSA reduces visitation, testing all patients/staff amid COVID climb

In light of the significantly rising cases of COVID-19 in the territory, the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) has heightened its safety protocols to reduce the risk of an internal outbreak.

The BVIHSA said it is taking a two-pronged approach this response — the first of which is a decision to test all BVIHSA staff and patients for the virus.

“In the event an employee tests positive for COVID-19, even if they have no symptoms, their supervisor will be notified and the employee will be asked to stay home and follow the Ministry of Health’s COVID protocols. Affected employees will also be provided with guidelines on when to report back to work,” BVIHSA said in a press statement issued in the last 24 hours.

In tandem with the tests, the BVIHSA will also implement various safeguarding and social distance protocols to minimise COVID 19 exposure within the organisation.

Reduced visitations

The second layer of the Authority’s response to the current COVID uptick is the implementation of changes to its visitation policy.

Visitation at its health facilities has been reduced to a ’10 am to 2 pm’ schedule. The BVIHSA said only one visitor is allowed at a time for a maximum of 30 minutes.

It said “special considerations” will be given for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Intensive Care Unit, Pediatrics, and patients with special circumstances.

Hospital pharmacy and outpatient services

The Authority also decided that elective surgeries be scheduled with special guidelines and Outpatient Clinics be opened from 8:30 am to 3 pm pm for “priority and high-risk cases that are by appointment only”.

As for the pharmacy, the BVIHSA said it will be open for drop off and pickups from 8:30 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon. As such, persons are encouraged to WhatsApp prescriptions to (284) 440 – 1726 or call-in prescriptions at (284) 852 – 7556 or 7659 between 8 am and 3 pm on weekdays only.

It further said outpatient imaging and laboratory services are available to the public from 8:30 am to 3 pm. In the same breath, the BVIHSA underscored that Sister Island clinics will remain open to provide emergency care 24-7.

“We are committed to the health and wellness of our patients, hardworking and dedicated workforce; as well as the community we serve and we are taking the necessary precautions in this bold, proactive step; to ensure their protection and safety,” said the BVIHSA’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Cedorene Malone-Smith.

“We will ensure every single employee is tested so they can know their status and take the necessary precautions to continue to stay safe,” she added.


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