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14 TCHTA MEMBERS APPROVED AS COVID-19 TESTING CENTRES

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14 TCHTA MEMBERS APPROVED AS COVID-19 TESTING CENTRES

PRESS RELEASE: With the recent Center for Disease Control announcement of new testing requirements for travellers entering the United States, our tourism-dependent destination was faced with an immediate need for an increase in testing capacity to provide visitors convenient access to COVID-19 testing.

The Ministry of Health welcomed the Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association to complement the make-up of a Task Force assembled to develop a strategy that would significantly bolster the country’s capacity for testing.  TCHTA members, led by President Todd Foss, quickly rallied and offered assistance for a timely solution.

While Turks and Caicos is fortunate to be one of the first destinations in the region to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine program, the need for visitors to test prior to their return home could easily threaten the vitality of the hospitality sector, already fragile due to the effects of the global pandemic. 

The Ministry of Health thoughtfully and swiftly rolled out a certification programme with strict requirements enabling the certification of resorts and businesses as testing sites. An inspection and training programme was dispatched soon after, and MOH personnel ensured designated staff members at all properties were guided in the administration of the Lateral Flow Antigen tests accepted by the US. 

Through this remarkable partnership, the country’s testing capacity saw exponential growth in a matter of days. Fourteen (14) TCHTA members are now approved testing sites with more applications currently being processed. Those members are: Amanyara Resort, Associated Medical Practices, Beaches Resort, Club Med Turkoise, COMO Parrot Cay, Flamingo Pharmacy, Grace Bay Club, Grace Bay Medical Centre, InterHealth Canada, Omnicare Medical Center, Sailrock Resort, Seven Stars Resort & Spa, The Palms, and The Shore Club.

To facilitate the needs of guests on-island departing within the first few weeks of the new requirement, TCHTA member Seven Stars Resort graciously provided a portion of their on-island kits to other approved testing sites, ensuring guests convenient and timely access to testing.

President Todd Foss stated, “It was inspiring to see the public and private sectors working so well together in order to solve yet another serious threat to the economy of the island”.

The association is also working to educate members and their teams on the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine and TCI’s vaccination programme. Ms. Alrisa Gardiner, Primary Health Care Manager of the Ministry of Health, was invited to lead a session for the association’s 200-member group.  

Attendees learned about the properties of the vaccine, who should and should not take the vaccine, the importance of herd immunity and more.  To date thousands of residents have received their first doses of the vaccine in Turks and Caicos in just a few weeks.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a recipient of the Safe Travels Stamp issued by the World Travel Council. With the country’s vaccine roll-out and the increased testing capabilities, TCI proudly maintains its designation as one of the safest and most convenient places to travel to.

With a firm commitment to the sustainability and longevity of this country’s leading sector, the TCHTA is proud to partner with Government and the Ministry of Health in these efforts to ensure the protection and continued strengthening of the industry and brand TCI.  

Caribbean News

Educational Aids Strengthen Learning Experience for Provo Students

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PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands: Scores of students in Providenciales will benefit from back-to-school supplies donated by Sandals Foundation Ambassadors at Beaches Turks and Caicos resort, strengthening the instructional process in four schools at the start of the new school term.

More than 2,000 students from Ianthe Pratt, Enid Capron, Oseta Jolly and the Thelma Lightbourne Primary Schools were presented with a generous supply of educational materials including notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers, sharpeners, knapsacks, reading material, sports gear and musical instruments from members of the philanthropic arm of the family all-inclusive resort. While sharing the gratitude for the gifts received, the leaders at the various institutions lauded the efforts of the more than 20 volunteers on hand.

Neekimo King, Principal of the Ianthe Pratt Primary School shared, “Beaches Turks and Caicos and the Sandals Foundation over the years have adopted our institution as their own. These reading books will go a far way in increasing our library stock and improving literacy among the students while the physical education and the guidance counseling units have received lots of materials to bolster the learning experience for our students.”

Sophia Garland, Principal of the Enid Capron Primary School was equally elated as she expressed how beneficial resources will be for the teaching and learning process.

“These supplies, including the books, will definitely aid in increasing literacy amongst the students and the many teaching aids that we have been received will create an environment that is conducive for teaching and learning.”

In sharing with the schools, James McAnally, General Manager at Beaches resort noted, “Sandals Foundation and the resort remain committed to the development of the education of our children, the environment and the communities in which we operate. These four government operated primary schools were identified for these supplies to help in fostering their academic and extra-curricular growth.”

McAnally continued, “A big thank you to the Sandals Foundation Ambassadors who came out and helped with making these distributions possible.”

Vice principal of the Oseta Jolly Primary School, Diana Dean, also expressed gratitude noting, “With these tools, I am sure the students will be excited about learning and the teachers will be better equipped to deliver the lessons.”

The Sandals Foundation and Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort have long been supporters of education and community development in Turks and Caicos, donating to a number of schools and youth sports programmes. Since 2011, the organisations have been assisting students at Ianthe Pratt, Enid Capron Primary Schools and other schools across the islands in their holistic development by providing educational supplies and the opportunity for Sandals and Beaches resorts guests to meaningfully engage with the students through a weekly literacy enhancement programme, hosted in partnership with Island Routes Tours – Reading Road Trip.

 

Captions: 

Header: Staff and students from the Enid Capron Primary School share a moment for the cameras with members of the Sandals Foundation team as the school received educational items from the Beaches Turks and Caicos and the Sandals Foundation.

Insert: James McAnally, General Manager, Beaches Turks and Caicos (front left) makes a presentation to members of the Ianthe Pratt Primary School recently with sporting gear and educational items looking on are members of the Sandals Foundation team, Sesame Street Character

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Crime

PRESS STATEMENT: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

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#TurksandCaicos, January 27, 2023 – The Ministry responsible for Education confirms that a recent report of alleged sexual abuse was brought to the attention of authorities at a particular school. For the protection of the child, we will not divulge details of this matter. We do acknowledge that there were issues experienced which resulted in less than appropriate response to the incident.

 The Ministry is continuing its investigation of the incident, in its totality and has since requested a comprehensive report on the response from all involved. Several meetings, visits and discussions were held. The key is to ensure that the minor involved is afforded additional counselling and care and that other students within the institution are also afforded the relevant support needed. The Student Support Services has been active in coordinating this response which is currently in operation.

 As an immediate further action, the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) entities will convene and existing protocols will be reviewed and investigations conducted to determine the consistency of the response, exactly where the established protocols were not followed and the subsequent actions to be taken.

 The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Social Services considers its responsibility for the Safeguarding of children of utmost importance. In so doing, the Ministry of Education has instituted a number of measures over the years to ensure that allegations of abuse to children in schools are treated with urgency. The creation of the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) was created to ensure that teachers, leaders, Social Workers, and Police can respond to allegations with the child’s safety and protection as the core consideration. Child safeguarding remains the Ministry’s primary concern.

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Crime

Murder Victim Identified

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#TurksandCaicos, January 27, 2023 – The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force have identified Ervin Glinton of Sand Bar Street, Five Cays, as the male who was shot dead on January 24th .

Based on preliminary reports, at around 3pm, the Police Control Room  received a call from a resident stating that gunshots were being heard in Five Cays.

RTCIPF officers responded to the given location at Reece Street and found Glinton’s lifeless body lying face down on the ground, with what appeared to be gunshot wounds.

The public is being advised to notify the closest police station or to contact Crime Stoppers and give any information regarding this murder or  any illegal activity anonymously.

Please note, that Crime Stoppers calls are answered in Miami and in Houston by Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers which is a non-profit and not a police agency.

The calls are anonymous and cannot be traced in the United States or the TCI.

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