When compared to a number of other islands within The Bahamas, Eleuthera currently has a relatively small case count of Covid-19, standing at a total of fifteen (15) as of Monday, September 14th, 2020.
Dr. Pearl Mcmillan, Chief Medical Officer, with the Ministry of Health (MOH), during a national press conference hosted at 5pm on Monday evening, September 14th, 2020, while providing an update on Covid-19 statistics, stated that health officials were cautiously optimistic about Eleuthera’s case trends to-date, however, emphasis during the conference was placed on the vital necessity for the public to continue to carefully adhere to the recommended health safety measures to slow community transmission of the highly contagious virus.
At the end of August 2020, Eleuthera had reported six confirmed cases, which included one death. Within two weeks, that number had more than doubled to fifteen (15), with the latest three (3) cases reported on Monday evening, September 14th.
Dr. Jillian Bartlett, Sr. Medical Officer with the Ministry of Health, answering questions posed by The Eleutheran Newspaper, during the September 14th MOH press conference, shared the current locations of Covid-19 cases within The Eleutheras, saying, the North Eleuthera district, comprised of Spanish Wells, Harbour Island and mainland North Eleuthera (The Bluff, Upper and Lower Bogue, and Blackwood), had seen just one case in Spanish Wells, which was now recovered. In Central Eleuthera, she reported there were eight (8) confirmed cases, one of which had been recently reported on Sunday, September 13th. However, in South Eleuthera, she shared that the Ministry of Health had confirmed three (3) new cases during the past week, with an additional three (3) reported on Monday evening. Dr. Bartlett commented that health officials were seeing a cluster trend within the Wemyss Bight area of South Eleuthera.
On Tuesday, September 15th, the medical team at the Wemyss Bight clinic, released a recorded message to the Eleuthera public, which provided information on what symptoms to look out for with Covid-19, and the immediate recommended actions to take if someone suspected they may have the virus.
The message began,”This is a public service announcement brought to you by the medical team at Wemyss Bight Clinic on Covid-19, which is a world-wide pandemic, affecting us today. Covid-19 is an infectious illness that affects the body, and is highly contagious. The most common signs and symptoms are fever, dry cough, tiredness, loss of taste and smell, shortness of breath, headaches, and diarrhea…”
Sharing recommended actions for local residents in the event they were experiencing symptoms, the message continued, “Should you experience any of these symptoms, please quarantine, and contact any of our clinics or healthcare providers at 334-0077 or 470-8152. Quarantining, means to isolate yourself from family, friends and co-workers for a period of fourteen (14) days. Once the healthcare providers are contacted, it will then be determined whether you need to be tested by swabbing in the nose. While awaiting test results, we will begin contact tracing…”
Urging residents to act in the best interest of their communities as a whole, the message concluded, saying, “Please cooperate and do not hide from us. Confidentiality is assured. This is in an effort to keep you, your family and our communities safe. How do we prevent Covid-19? Remember to wear your mask and face shield, frequently wash your hands and use hand sanitizers, social/physically distance three (3) to six (6) feet apart, and avoid social gatherings. Please, my family of South Eleuthera, let us all keep safe. We are all in this together.”