#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Thursday 19 March, 2020): The Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital wishes to announce further changes to its operations in response to the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and provide information on a suspected COVID-19 inpatient case.
We wish to confirm the admission of a patient to the general ward of Cheshire Hall Medical Centre on the evening of 18th March 2020, who is now classified as a suspected case of COVID-19. The patient is being cared for in a designated isolation and negative pressure room with the relevant infection prevention and control measures.
The 89-year-old female is a Turks and Caicos Islander who departed the country to Jamaica in mid-February 2020 to receive overseas care and returned to the Turks and Caicos Islands on 2nd March 2020. She had no further travel history.
The patient has multiple co-morbidities and was transported to the department by emergency medical services with breathing difficulties on 18th March 2020. She developed symptoms including coughing and shortness of breath four days prior to hospital admission with no fever. The patient is currently on oxygen therapy and does not require ventilation at this time. She has no known contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. TCI Hospital is unable to comment further on the details of the patient’s care due to patient confidentiality.
The Minister of Health wishes to advise that the Turks and Caicos Islands Government Ministry of Health, Public Health Team is actively tracing all contacts of this individual in order to provide them with the relevant guidance and action that may be required. A sample has been collected and sent for testing. The Ministry of Health along with the TCI Hospital are following the necessary established protocols as it relates to COVID-19. All key personnel from the Ministry of Health are engaged with the TCI Hospital on this matter and the Ministry of Health remains committed by way of advising the general public of any new developments on this case in a timely manner.
TCI Hospital will continue to provide updates to the Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services through the Director of Health Services and Public Health Team. Hospital measures have been escalated after a continuous and comprehensive risk assessment and taking into consideration the safety of our patients, hospital staff and the wider community.
Complete visitor restriction from the inpatient wards was immediately initiated and remains in effect until further notice. Persons who need to items delivered to inpatients are required to present the items to the main reception desk and the hospital’s security team will deliver the items to the ward. Please ensure that items are properly labeled and no valuables such as money or jewelry are enclosed.
Members of the general public are asked to refrain from visiting the hospital except for an emergency complaint that requires access to the emergency department. Information related to the reduction of non-essential services at Cheshire Hall Medical Centre and Cockburn Town Medical Centre will be issued in a subsequent press release.
PRESS RELEASE from TCI Hospitals & Ministry of Health