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COVID:19: ‘Sick staff should not come to work’- Dr Georges

COVID:19: ‘Sick staff should not come to work’- Dr Georges

Businesses in the Virgin Islands (VI) are being urged to desist from allowing staff infected with COVID-19 from turning up to work, as the government continues to recommend best practices and measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.

“I think all businesses should, at this stage, understand that sick staff should not come to work,” Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Ronald E. Georges said during a virtual COVID-19 update on January 7, 2022.

Dr Ronald E. Georges said a 10-day isolation period is being recommended in accordance with UK guidelines.

Immediately send sick staff home - Dr. Georges

“So, if someone is sick and have upper respiratory symptoms or fever or is feeling unwell, they should immediately be sent off their job and ask either to isolate and have a test,” he added.

Now at 1,272 active COVID-19 cases as of January 10, 2022, key Government officials including Health Minister, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) have indicated that business continuity is a major challenge as the territory navigates the pandemic, including the latest infection spike brought on by the Omicron variant.

Shadowing the Minister’s concerns, Dr Georges emphasised that business continuity as cases surge is as big a concern as the number of infections and the impacts of those infections on the healthcare system.

With private businesses and Government departments impacted, he said companies must now examine their plans for continuity in the context of large numbers of staff bang infected and having to be isolated for long periods of time should the Omicron spread continue.

“As we move forward through this outbreak, we can expect pretty severe impacts in terms of numbers and impacting business continuity. So is important for businesses to take these things on board,” he added.

Businesses should prepare - Acting CMO

The acting CEO advised that local businesses look at their critical business functions and how they can be supported online or without critical staff.

Additionally, Dr Georges said more concerns related to businesses are on procedures to return to work, where staff diagnosed with COVID-19 are being asked to re-test to return; however, he reminded that there is a recovery process.

He said following UK Guidelines, the Health Ministry is recommending a 10-day isolation period for persons infected with COVID-19, with considerations in the works for persons who may test out at day-7 with a rapid antigen test.


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