He said there is a “growing trend” of residents being dismissive against persons rumoured to be associated with positive cases.
Addressing the issue via a public statement on Friday, the minister said the practice could have devastating effects for residents.
“This type of behaviour will cause persons to fear coming forward and the end result is not favourable to you, your family, or your friends,” the minister argued.
In recent times, the British Virgin Islands has seen a drastic increase in COVID-19 cases. According to the most recent statement from the Ministry of Health, the total number of positive cases is now more than 40.
In the meantime, Malone is urging persons to come forward for testing if they’ve visited select local bars and nightclubs between August 15 to August 22.
These establishments are Ramon’s in Huntums Ghut, The Vault and The Edge in Long Bush, The Avenue in Mill Mall and all bars and nightclubs in Fat Hogs Bay and Paraquita Bay.
“Patrons who visited these establishments … are urged to contact the medical hotline at 852-7650 to schedule an appointment,” the Malone stated.
He said it is to assist the contact tracing team and help ensure the well-being of all citizens.
Testing is also available for residents of Virgin Gorda who are experiencing symptoms or who had any recent exposure to the virus.
“The testing services will be provided at St Mary’s Anglican Church Hall [on] Monday, August 31, from 10 am to 2 pm. No appointment is necessary, and testing is free of cost,” the Malone’s press statement read.
Some of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include coughing, headache, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, muscle aches, and difficulty breathing.