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Three more positives on COVID-19; quarantines drop to 61

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#TurksandCaicosIslands — April 6, 2020 — The Ministry of Health would like to advise the public that as at 12 a.m. on 6th April, 2020:

NO NEW DEATHS HAVE BEEN RECORDED OVER THE PAST 24hrs.

THE TCI RECEIVED ADDITIONAL TEST RESULTS, THREE OF WHICH WERE POSITIVE, BRINGING THE TOTAL POSITIVE CASES TO EIGHT (8).

The number of suspected cases of COVID-19 in the TCI has DECREASED to THREE (3). The three suspected cases are persons experiencing relevant symptoms but no relevant travel history or pertinent contact. Two suspected cases are now under hospital care.

All three persons had met the WHO case definition for a suspected case of COVID-19. Samples have been collected and sent for testing, and we are currently awaiting results.

The decrease in suspected cases over the past 24hrs is as a result of test results received, which confirmed that individuals were negative for COVID-19.

Persons under quarantine/observation (63)—The active confirmed cases (7), contacts of a confirmed case (17), possible contacts of a confirmed case (10), the suspected cases (3), relatives/contacts of suspected cases (12), persons travelling from highly affected countries (2), TCI residents (12). Persons under observation/quarantine are either not displaying symptoms or have not meet the case definition for COVID-19.

The decrease in quarantine/observation numbers is as a result of the expiration of the quarantine period for a considerable number of individuals (mainly TCI residents who returned from overseas); and new test results received confirming suspected cases and person/s under investigation are negative for COVID-19. All individuals and their contacts have been removed from quarantine status.

On 1st April, 2020 the case definition for COVID-19 was amended for TCI; a travel history is no longer needed to fit the criteria. Given the closure of the TCI borders it is likely that new case would be as a result of local transmission.

THIRTEEN (13) NEW TEST RSULTS WERE RECEIVED – THREE (3) CONFIRMED POSITIVE AND TEN (10) NEGATIVE. To date, a total of sixty-one (61) test results have been received, with fifty-three (53) confirmed negative and eight (8) positive confirmations. Persons confirmed not to have COVID-19, and their contacts, were moved from quarantined status and asked to continue following proper guidelines from the Ministry of Health. Those cases confirmed positive are in isolation with contact tracing aggressively continuing.

The Ministry of Health takes this opportunity to remind the public of offenses committed under section 18 of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations 2020 in regard to false Statements/information. You do not have to be the originator of the statement/information in order to be charged under the law.

Please note the following definitions:

• A suspected person is someone who meets the case definition as outlined by WHO and CARPHA – and is experiencing symptoms.

• A person in quarantine is an individual on island who has come from infected country(ies) or may have come in proximity to suspected or confirmed cases – and have not exhibited symptoms.

Let’s continue to reduce the risk by:
1. Washing our hands for 20secs or more
2. Practicing social distancing
3. Prepare your home, office and other surroundings by following the advice of the Ministry of Health and other credible health agencies.

For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health website, www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus; email: COVID19@gov.tc; or call our hotline numbers, (649) 232-9444 and (649) 333-0911, if you or someone you know has symptoms or signs of COVID-19.

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STATEMENT FROM THE HONOURABLE C. WASHINGTON MISICK, PREMIER TURKS AND CAICOS GOVERNMENT

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#TurksandCaicos, May 22, 2024 – As Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, I assure our American friends that the Turks and Caicos Islands prioritizes hospitality, cultural exchange, and mutual respect.  You will find our doors open and our hearts eager to share the warmth and beauty of our homeland.  We value the trust and confidence travelers from around the world place in us when they choose the Turks and Caicos Islands as their destination.  Transparency and accountability are paramount in our operations, ensuring that our decisions are made lawfully and in the best interests of all residents and visitors.

The Turks & Caicos Islands welcome over one million visitors each year, more than half of whom are American.

Respect for the rule of law and an independent judiciary are key tenants of our justice system, and all persons are equal in the eyes of the law.  Judges are permitted to use their discretion in sentencing individuals who have been convicted of violating our Firearms law. In fact, in cases that occurred prior to the five cases that have generated media coverage, the mandatory 12-year minimum sentence has never been imposed by the Court because judges determined in each case that exceptional circumstances warranted shorter sentences.

Our justice system is designed to uphold the rights and freedoms of all individuals, regardless of their place of origin, while maintaining the security and integrity of our Islands.  Our judicial and law enforcement institutions are dedicated to impartiality and consistency in enforcing our laws.

Recent events have underscored the importance of adhering to the principles of justice and accountability.  Let me be clear: In the Turks and Caicos Islands, the law stands firm and applies to everyone equally, without exception.  Our commitment to the rule of law is unwavering and remains a cornerstone of our democratic values.

We are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all citizens, residents and visitors.

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TURKS & CAICOS GOVERNOR’S RESPONSE TO ABC NEWS INTERVIEW

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The Turks and Caicos Islands values its warm relationship with the United States and
welcomes over 1 million visitors each year. Our countries have close ties and work in
strong partnership to tackle shared threats in the region.
In the spirit of respect for this relationship, the Hon. Premier and I received a US
Congressional Delegation to listen to their concerns about five US Nationals charged and
on bail for the possession of ammunition offences. US Congressman Guy
Reschenthaler’s commentary on ABC news following the meeting is highly regrettable.
His characterisation of our meeting is not one we recognise. Our discussions were
professional and respectful with a focus on clarifying the legal position and the well-being
of the individuals.

A mandatory minimum sentence of 12-years and a fine for possession of firearms and/or
ammunition is in place to serve and protect all who reside and visit the Turks and Caicos
Islands. The law provides discretion in exceptional circumstances for the judge to impose
a reduced custodial sentence less than the 12-years and a fine that is fair and just for
each case. To date, no US National has received the mandatory minimum sentence of
12-years.

We do not target US Nationals and any statements to the contrary are without merit. Our
independent justice system upholds the rights and freedoms of all individuals, regardless
of nationality, whilst maintaining the security and integrity of our Islands. All five US
Nationals are on bail with reporting conditions and are receiving US consular support.
Three have pled guilty and two will enter their pleas within the next two weeks.
Like the United States, we have a constitutional separation of the executive and judicial
branches. There is no remit for the Turks and Caicos Islands Executive nor the UK
Government to intervene or comment on ongoing legal cases before the courts.

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Law enforcement agencies apply professional standard operating procedures for
processing matters through the legal system and will investigate any concerns where it is
felt standards were not met. There have been no United Nations sanctions against His
Majesty’s Prison Grand Turk. A February 2024 Turks and Caicos Islands Human Rights
Commission report was positive with no findings against prisoner conditions.
I appreciate the Congressman is concerned for his constituent, but the situation calls for
respectful dialogue that guards against misrepresentation. It is important there is respect
for due process and for public servants to perform their duties without fear or compromise.
The rule of law is paramount and all are equal before the law.
The Turks and Caicos Islands continues to welcome all visitors to enjoy our Beautiful by
Nature Islands.

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New Date for Bryan Hagerich Sentencing, American charged with 20 bullets

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By Wilkie Arthur
Freelance Court Correspondent

The sentencing date for Bryan Hagerich has been rescheduled to Friday, May 24, 2024, from the previously set date of May 29, 2024.

Hagerich, 39, of Pennsylvania, appeared before Supreme Court Judge Tanya Lobban Jackson on May 3, 2024, for sentencing submissions. However, the judge reserved her decision, initially setting the sentencing for May 29. The new date was confirmed by Magnetic Media.

Hagerich will be the first to be sentenced following a Court of Appeal ruling in February of this year. Further updates on the judge’s decision will be provided.

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