The Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) is calling on the St James business community to do more to help contain and reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
Regional Technical Director, Dr Diane Campbell-Stennett, said with the continued spike in COVID-19-positive cases, business operators must continue to follow best practices to keep their customers and staff safe.
She said they must place the same level of importance on routine cleaning and sanitising of their environment as they do on the other infection prevention and control measures, such as the temperature checks, physical distancing and the mandatory wearing of masks.
“The cleaning of our environment, the cleaning of our businesses… these are the things that must be in place now,”
Dr Campbell-Stennett was speaking at a recent virtual COVID-19 forum organised by the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
Manager of St James Public Health Services, Lennox Wallace, in his remarks, also pointed to the need for greater responsibility on the part of business operators to help lower the transmission of the virus.
He said that the health department team has been visiting businesses and making recommendations on how to strengthen compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.
“The health department would have gone in and made the necessary changes, along with the police, to ensure that we minimise contamination.
“But this is an everyday challenge and we are asking for the continued support from the business community to see how we can improve our practices, so that those waiting on the outside and those on the inside, practise the COVID-19 [protocols] and ensure that the parish of St. James will see a reduction in cases,”
Wallace bemoaned the increase in cases in the parish, which be blamed on the public’s indifference towards the threat of the virus.
“Prior to the first case of the COVID-19 virus in Jamaica, I could tell you that no other parish was as prepared as St. James. In fact, we were ready from December 2019. We were the parish in Jamaica at that time to have a quarantine facility that could take persons from anywhere in Jamaica,”