April 2021

Update on COVID-19 Cluster Investigation


As of 3:00pm today, April 24th, a total of 43 persons linked to the cluster of COVID-19 cases identified on April 21st, have tested positive out of a total of 471persons tested. This consists of 39 adults and four children. In a correction from yesterday’s release, the seven-month old infant was not hospitalized after further consultations with the medical staff and is being managed as an outpatient. Furthermore, at the time of writing, no persons have been hospitalized, though several have reported symptoms including fever, cough, and flu like symptoms. All cases are under isolation.

Contact tracing and surveillance are ongoing and have now expanded to include the Orelia Kelly and Valley Primary Schools and the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School, Campus B. The Ministry of Education is in the process of contacting parents of children who may have been exposed. The Ministries of Education and Health hereby ask parents and the public to cooperate with the normal contact tracing procedures and to comply with the instructions given if called. Additionally, the Ministry of Education, is imploring that persons desist from circulating pictures of children on social media.

The current regulations in force with regard to limiting of movements of the public is geared at reducing the spread of the virus. Therefore, persons are being asked to stay in place unless absolutely necessary to leave places of residence for essential services.

The Ministry of Health also advises that contact tracing is a systematic, scientifically-based process that must be done properly and correctly if the spread of the virus is to be contained. In many instances this takes time and precision and the results may not be available for regular news cycles or social media posts. When information and updates are available this will be made available to the public. Please rest assured that persons who need to be traced are contacted on an urgent basis and followed up. Persons who have not been contacted are not persons of interest at that time. However, all residents are asked to remain at home in accordance with the regulations until such time that they are no longer in place. This is the best way to assist the Ministry of Health and the country at this time.

The Ministry encourages persons who feel they may have been exposed to COVID-19 to contact the COVID-19 hotlines before presenting to any health facility or the Ministry.

The developments of the last couple of days are, to date, the most compelling evidence of the ongoing and significant threat of COVID-19. At the present time, vaccination against this virus is our best tool to protect our population, achieve immunity and place the island on a sound development footing going forward. The Ministry of Health is once again appealing to all eligible persons to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Recall that all COVID-19 vaccinations are now being done at the Anguilla Football Association Stadium Monday to Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm.

The Ministry of Health also urges the general public to comply with the public health measures that came into effect at 23:59 on April 22ndin order to contain any further spread of the virus:

  1. All persons other than those providing essential services will be required to stay at home. You are permitted to leave your residence only to seek medical care, including vaccinations, to buy food or fuel and use banking services.
  2. Non-essential workplaces will close.
  3. All public gatherings are prohibited. This includes the closure of church, schools, nightclubs and bars.
  4. Restaurants and other food establishments are restricted to take-out services only. When customers are collecting food, they should practice safe social distancing.
  5. Re-introduction of mandatory social distancing measures in spaces allowed to remain open including capacity limits and wearing of masks in indoor public spaces. Per regulations, wearing of masks is mandatory.
  6. Closure of ports to all incoming passengers with outgoing movements permitted
  7. Restriction on visitors to residential facilities e.g. elderly care homes, prison and Zenaida Haven

For the avoidance of doubt, unless you are an essential worker, you should stay at home except to:

  • Visit your doctor or pharmacy or to get vaccinated
  • Buy food or fuel or use banking services
  • Exercise outdoors for a period not exceeding 90 minutes per day between the hours of 5:00am and 6:00pm.Of note, wearing of masks is mandatory when outside your residence.

These measures are subject to change based on the evolution of the situation. Additionally, be reminded of the basic hygienic practices that protect against the spread of disease and save lives:

  • Frequent Handwashing; if water is unavailable utilize an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Covering coughs or sneezes with a disposable tissue or in the crook of a flexed elbow.
  • Avoiding contact with persons who are ill with symptoms of acute respiratory infections such as fever or cough.
  • Regularly cleaning surfaces and objects that are frequently touched or handled

Persons with any questions or concerns that they may have been exposed should call the Ministry’s hotlines at 476-7627, that is 476 SOAP or 584-4263, that is 584-HAND. Additionally, persons who have been vaccinated and experience any side effects or adverse reactions are encouraged to report this at 235-4357 that is 235-HELP. Persons who feel that they or someone they know may need support with coping through these times, please contact the 24/7 Mental Health and Psycho-social Support Hotline, 7233-SAFE. The Ministry of Health will continue to provide timely updates through our media partners, our official Facebook page or at www.beatcovid19.ai.