A resident of the Palms Geriatric Home has died from the coronavirus. The man who is believed to have been in his 80’s, was admitted to the Georgetown Hospital last week after becoming ill at the Brickdam institute.
Based on his symptoms, a coronavirus test was conducted and the result came back positive. He passed away earlier this week.
Once the Geriatric Home was informed of the positive result, a number of staff members and other persons who may have been in contact with the man were tested and quarantined.
Director of Social Services at the Ministry of Social Protection, Wentworth Tanner, told News Source that the Palms has further strengthened its sanitization and other guidelines to further protect the other residents and staff members.
He said it is unclear how the bedridden man contracted the virus. Mr. Tanner said the worrying thing about the virus is that someone may be infected and not show any symptoms and therefore able to pass it on to someone else without knowing.
“A team went down to the Palms and they did primary as well as secondary tracing in terms of persons who may have come into contact with the deceased. Those persons have since been placed into quarantine and will remain in quarantine for the next 14 days”, the Social Services Director said.
There are currently 194 residents in the Palms Geriatric Home.
It was explained that there are staff members who use public transportation to get to work and are screened before they begin duty for the day. Mr. Tanner said the Palms has now increased screening of staff members to twice per day.
The man who passed away was housed in a unit that caters only for bedridden residents. There are seven other units where other residents are housed.
Meanwhile, Mr. Tanner also shot down reports on social media that staff members of the Palms were not being provided with sufficient protective gear. He said he has seen the complaint on social media and it is simply untrue.
The Director of Social Services explained that staff members are provided with 4 masks and other protective gear at the start of every shift. He noted that steps will continue to ensure the residents of the facility are safe.
The COVID-19 Emergency Order prohibits visits to the Palms Geriatric home and other senior facilities across the country.