An employee of the Ministry of Health and Wellness has tested positive for COVID-19.
The ministry made the announcement in a news release late Thursday. It said the worker is assigned to its head offices in New Kingston, but did not provide details on the suspected mode of transmission.
Contact tracing at the head office has begun and some members of staff, including Permanent Secretary, Dunstan Bryan, have been home-quarantined, the ministry said.
In keeping with its own established protocol for infection prevention and control, the ministry said it has decided to suspend operations at the head office buildings on Friday, April 17.
“This suspension of operation will allow for a sanitisation exercise in all the buildings. Counselling for staff members has begun and will continue as necessary,” stated the ministry.
The Kingston and St Andrew Health Department will continue to interview, sample and test other staff members, who would have had close contact with the employee in the last 14 days, the release added.
The ministry said its National Health Emergency Operation Centre, which has been managing the national response to COVID-19, will continue to operate and functionaries will work remotely and/or work from the Centre as required.
The head offices of the ministry are scheduled to re-open for normal operation on Monday, April 20, 2020.