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The Path to Recovery: Industry-specific guidance from Cleveland Clinic about transitioning to the workplace during COVID-19

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Beach Enclave Turks and Caicos staff ready to serve, File Photo

The coronavirus (or COVID-19) pandemic has significantly affected people all across the world, sending massive shock waves through the global economy and leaving a trail of death in its wake. There were many unforeseen challenges with millions advised to practice social distancing and wear masks daily.  As global cases edge closer to 15 million, there is still much uncertainty, but people have begun asking: how do we move forward and remain safe at the same time?

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The Bahamas, like many countries around the world, began focusing its efforts toward economic recovery and returning to everyday life beyond quarantine from mid-June 2020 with phased re-openings for certain groups, full opening of commercial travel from July 1, and now effective July 22, closing commercial travel again from certain destinations due to a huge spike in Covid-19 cases. However, one thing has remained constant – ensuring organizations and business houses alike establish the right measures and safety guidelines to prevent further contagion of the virus in the local community.   

As a part of the business reactivation plan, the Ministry of Health, along with other institutions, stepped up to offer guidelines and resources for organizations to implement. For example, last week, the Ministry of Health released “Workplace Guidelines During Covid-19 (V8), an updated version of the “Health and Safety at Work Act of 2002.  The document provides recommendations to employers regarding best practices for maintaining the physical and mental health of their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also requires employers to provide a hazard-free work zone, and substantially reduce risk of injury and death in the workplace setting.   The Atlantis, Paradise Island resort also collaborated with Cleveland Clinic, a world renowned healthcare provider, and launched the “Atlantis Clean and Safe Promise” initiative to help ensure the health, safety and well-being of guests, team members and the local community,  in preparation for re-opening after months of being shut down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. 

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As schools and hospitals begin to make preparations to re-open in September, here are a few industry-specific Covid-19 safety guidelines from Cleveland Clinic:

Education

  • Disinfect high-touch areas and objects (chairs, desks, computer equipment, doors, etc.) often and create disinfecting stations across campus
  • Establish clearly communicated guidelines to ensure social distancing measures are properly implemented, and reduce the number of students and faculty in one area at once.
  • Reconsider usage of shared classrooms and supplies and discourage students from sharing their equipment/materials.
  • Alter food & beverage service practices like only serving food that can be easily distributed.
  • Create a culture of responsibility by developing a pledge students, staff, and faculty can follow to keep each other safe.

Hospitality

  • Maintain physical distancing at entrances and exits, the front desk, concierge spaces, pools and beaches, fitness facilities, restaurants and back-of-house areas. Use floor markers or other signage to reinforce physical distancing
  • Reassign employees at high-risk for contagion (65+ and those with pre-existing conditions)
  • Increase frequency of cleaning in all areas and adjust policies for fitness & swimming areas
  • Consider suspension of valet services

Retail

  • Disinfect high-touch areas frequently, such as doorknobs, push bars and door handles, light switches, carts and baskets, touchscreens, keyboards and credit card machines
  • Require employees and guests to wear face masks inside the store
  • Determine maximum occupancy and use signage to reinforce distancing or prompt symptomatic customers to not come inside
  • Specify hours for at-risk populations and switch to contactless payments whenever possible
  • Decide whether to re-open fitting roomsand use appropriate sanitation measures if opening them. Encourage customers to use hand sanitizer/wipes before trying on items and to keep a protective mask on during fitting. Develop a procedure for disinfecting fitting room items (not just clothing, but also jewelry, eyewear, etc.)

For other tips and information for employers, visit clevelandlclinic.org/coronavirus and the ‘For Employers’ section for the full guides on returning to work.

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Bahamas News

Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

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Caribbean News

Hurricane Ian impact on Cayman Islands

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, October 1, 2022 – The Cayman Islands experienced fierce winds and high seas from Hurricane Ian on Monday, as the storm passed offshore, causing little lasting damage.

Some areas on the island experienced flooding as low-lying condo complexes and some residential back roads were inundated with water. Almost 4,000 homes were without power on Monday; however, most had electricity restored by the evening.

There were also no reports of any injuries, deaths, or serious structural damage.  The country started its restoration process on Monday afternoon, clearing debris from the roads, surveying the damage and providing support to residents where needed.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, Premier of the Cayman Islands Wayne Panton said he was pleased with how residents handled the situation.

“While we have been very fortunate to have been spared the worst of a potentially very serious storm, I’m extremely pleased to have seen the efforts made by the Caymanian public to prepare for ‘the worst, while praying for the best. In this situation, this is simply the safest, most strategic thing to do,” the Premier said

Despite the all-clear being issued on Monday evening, the Ministry of Education announced that government schools will remain closed to students until Wednesday, 28 September.

Meanwhile, in Cuba, authorities have declared emergencies in six areas, with forecasters warning of storm surges on the coast along with flash floods and mudslides.

Tens of thousands of people were told to leave their homes and seek shelter. Cuba could see up to 12 inches of rain from Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Ian dramatically intensified and is blamed for at least two dozen deaths in Florida; where the storm struck with near category five force winds and a near 20 foot storm surge.

Over 700 rescue operations were activated in Florida in the aftermath of the storm, which is still wreaking havoc in the U.S.

 

Cayman photo credit:  RC Cord

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Caribbean News

Soca Boss honoured as Trinidad & Tobago marks 50 Years

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Trinidad&Tobago, October 1, 2022 – Machel Montano, the Soca Boss, was on Saturday, September 24, awarded the Hummingbird Gold National Award as Trinidad and Tobago celebrated its 46th anniversary of becoming a republic.

The Hummingbird medal is awarded for loyal and devoted service beneficial to the state in any field or acts of conspicuous gallantry or other outstanding humane action.

Montano, who is celebrating 40 years in soca music, expressed his gratitude for the award in a statement on his social media pages.

The Soca Monarch expressed gratitude to his family, who he said have always supported him throughout his journey.

“I am humbled and wish to dedicate this honor to my family, my parents, Elizabeth and Winston Montano, who set me on this path and without whom I would not stand proud here in this moment. Their love, guidance and support throughout the years have absolutely been my foundation,” Montano said.

Adding that: “My brother Marcus for igniting my musical spark and always being there up to this day, someone I can call on anytime for any task. My wife, my children, in-laws, sister-in-law, nieces, aunts, cousins and loved ones who have all steered and cheered me on.”

He also expressed heartfelt gratitude to his musical family, friends and fans.

“Over my 40-year journey in music my family has grown into a Famalay…sprawling all over the globe, all my musical friends; writers, producers, musicians, managers, dancers, collaborators, creators, techs, teachers, assistants, dedicated staff, friends and FANS 🙌… everyone who has ever contributed to anything I’ve done, it’s always been fun and I thank you all,” he said.

Montano said he hopes his award will inspire other entertainers and encourage them to keep working hard and aspiring.

Congratulations to the Soca Monarch and Boss on this major milestone.

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