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One day record 289 COVID tests; TCI Health Minister updates the House of Assembly



#GrandTurk, Turks and Caicos Islands – November 5, 2020 — The highest single day of COVID-19 testing in Turks and Caicos was the day before Halloween, October 30 and the results were far from scary; they were quite satisfying for the Ministry of Health. 

“On Friday past, October 30, we completed more than 289 tests on that day; 142 performed in the National Public Health Laboratory and 147 performed in the Private Laboratories. This is our highest single day of testing to date.  From this testing day, we identified 2 new cases of COVID-19,” said Minister Edwin Astwood during his ministerial statement in the House of Assembly on November 3.


Turks and Caicos has continued to experience declines in new cases of the coronavirus.  The decrease follows a string of restrictions including curfews, limited numbers on social gatherings at hang outs and restaurants and a TCI Police-enforced ticketing system.

The Minister of Health believes the low number of positives from community testing supports a low prevalence of COVID-19 within Turks and Caicos; and he believes behavioral changes of residents have been key to keeping new cases down.

“As I mentioned on Thursday Press Conference, Mr. Speaker, we are seeing a decline in the rate of growth in COVID-19 cases, which is a positive early sign. It is proof that collectively, by making simple changes to our everyday lives, we can reduce transmission, bend, and flatten the curve. It is another reminder of our collective power. But, unfortunately, this is not a cause for relaxation,” said the minister on Tuesday.

Restrictions have been eased and include a later curfew; now at 12 a.m. ending at 5 a.m.  Other relaxed restrictions were announced in a press conference last Thursday.  Minister Astwood repeated them during his House of Assembly presentation: “Restrictions on businesses: From yesterday, the 2nd November, 2020, to 5:00 a.m. on 16th November 2020; All businesses shall suspend operations to the general public at 11:00 p.m.; and funeral services and burial grounds from 2nd November 2020, to 5:00 a.m. on 16th November 2020, a maximum number of forty persons may be permitted to attend a funeral service, provided that such funeral services shall be held outdoors. Wedding Ceremonies: from 2nd November 2020, to 5:00 a.m. on 16th November 2020, a maximum number of forty persons may be permitted to attend a wedding ceremony, indoor or outdoor. Restrictions on domestic travel: From 2nd November 2020, to 5:00 am on the 16th November, 2020, there will be NO RESTRICTIONS on Domestic Travel.”

The opening of domestic travel on November 2 marked the first time since March residents and guests have been able to freely travel between the islands of the TCI.

The Minister reminded residents to continue practicing the healthy protocols which have worked to stem the spread of the virus, which has killed at least six Turks and Caicos residents.  It was made clear that personal behavior and the positive case rate will continue to govern whether or not restrictions continue to be rolled back or if they are tightened for the sake of public health.


“Mr. Speaker, I want to be clear: that the Government is very concerned about any addition to the COVID numbers, and would continue with the phased opening of the country. I want to reassure all that your Government is looking seriously at the spread, and determining, what our next steps should be. I know that – after more than half a year, we are all tired of COVID-19 and the restrictions. But, Mr. Speaker, COVID-19 is not tired of us, so we must remain vigilant Mr. Speaker.”

During a press conference today, November 5, the Ministry of Health confirmed there are currently seven active cases of COVID-19 in Turks and Caicos; six of which are in Providenciales and one new case in North Caicos which was identified through community testing. Ninety-eight percent of the 705 cases are listed as recovered.

There are no COVID-19 hospitalisations in Turks and Caicos.


Firearm and Drug Charges



Media Release


July 15th, 2024.


SHAIWANZO MISSICK of South Back Salina, Grand Turk, has been charged with six counts of firearm-related offences.

Missick, 30, was charged on July 13 after police officers consulted with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The offences against Missick are:

  • One Count – Discharging Firearm
  • One Count- Discharging Ammunition
  • One Count-Possession of Firearm with intent to commit a serious offence
  • Two Counts-Possession of Ammunition
  • One Count –Possession of Firearm
  • One Count-Possession of Controlled Drugs
  • One Count- Possession of Controlled Drugs with intent to supply.

The charges against Missick came following a report made on Saturday, 29 June 2024,  following a shooting incident in Breezy Brae.

Officers obtained a warrant and searched the accused’s residence based on the information received.

The RT&CIPF is asking the public to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477, and anonymously give any information on illegal activity.

Additionally, persons are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app from the Google Play Store or Apple Apps and share information anonymously.

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Five Cays Shooting Update



#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – Shortly after noon on July 12th, the Control Room of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force received reports of a shooting in Five Cays, Providenciales. A team of offices was dispatched to Granny Hill.

Upon arrival, several interviews were conducted, and evidential items were retrieved.  Thankfully, no one was injured.

Given the investigation’s sensitivity and lines of inquiry, the RT&CIPF cannot comment further.

We are aware of audio videos and photographs purporting to be the location of where the incident allegedly occurred and ask that persons circulating such be mindful of exposing victims.

The RT&CIPF is again reaching out to the public, emphasising their crucial role in this investigation.

We urge you to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231- 1842, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477, and anonymously provide any information on this shooting or any illegal activity.

Your cooperation is vital in ensuring justice is served. Additionally, persons are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app from the Google Play Store or Apple Apps and share information anonymously.

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Turks & Caicos’ E.J Saunders part of Election Observer team in UK on July 4



Danae Dennie



#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – Hon. E. J Saunders recently participated in the July 4 UK General Elections as part of the Commonwealth Observers and he will submit a report on his observations.

The mission of this initiative was to ensure that the information given in a report from the observers will inform future electoral development in the UK and jurisdictions of Commonwealth Observers. It is also hoped that the observers will have an increased understanding of the Electoral practices in the UK.

There were observers from England, France, Australia and the Seychelles.

When asked about his experience as an observer Hon. Saunders, who is an All Island elected member of the Turks and Caicos House of Assembly said, “I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunity to be part of this process and to have my recommendations added to the final report. To know that TCI’s feedback and recommendations will help to help strengthen the electoral process in the UK is significant. It’s usually the other way around.”

Hon. Saunders, a former deputy premier and former finance minister was able to be in the room when the results came in for what is now regarded as an historic political shift in the UK.

The Labour Party won the election, ending 14 years of Conservative rule. It was a landslide victory which made Kier Starmer the new Prime Minister; his party secured 412 of 650 seats in the House of Commons.

In comparison to the electoral process in the TCI, Hon. Saunders said “In some ways, I’m very impressed. In other ways I have a newfound appreciation for our electoral process at home.”

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