The Westmoreland Health Department will be conducting free community screening for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Saturday, November 21, as the parish continues to record an increase in the number of cases.
The screening will take place at Independence Park, Savanna-la-Mar, between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Speaking with JIS News, Health Promotion and Education Officer at the Health Department, Gerald Miller, said 200 persons will be targeted for free COVID-19 testing by a team of some 40 healthcare workers. There are no screening criteria to receive a test.
Mr. Miller pointed out that free blood sugar and blood pressure checks will also be conducted.
“We are targeting persons from across Westmoreland, including the taxi operators, who are desirous of having a COVID-19 test done. The COVID-19 test is free and we are asking persons to come out to have this done,” he said.
Mr. Miller said measures will be put in place to ensure that individuals are registered and processed smoothly.
The Health Promotion and Education Officer is assuring the public that strict COVID-19 protocols will be observed, “so persons can come out and feel comfortable”.
Mr. Miller said that individuals who are tested will be given a number to contact the parish’s COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), where arrangements will be made for them to pick up their results.
Additionally, he informed that a health team will be out canvassing the town of Savanna-la-Mar to arm individuals with the necessary information to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We are going to be into the streets to try to educate and also persuade persons who may be interested but may be apprehensive, to encourage them, so a team of us will be out there encouraging persons to do the COVID-19 test,” Mr. Miller said.
Meanwhile, he noted that the health department has been leading a series of public education activities across the parish, to impress upon individuals the importance of adhering to the established COVID-19 safety protocols.
“We have been using megaphones out there in town centres and reminding persons about the wearing of masks and the [frequent] washing of hands. We are out in the Negril, Whitehouse and Little London town areas. Also in targeting some of these communities, we go house to house and give out materials and also engage residents,” Mr. Miller added.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Westmoreland as at November 18 was 319.