BVI News

Maintain the protocols! 3% of COVID cases came from restaurants

Noting that a percentage of the territory’s COVID-19 cases stem from the foodservice industry, National Epidemiologist, Harmony Brewley is urging all restaurant owners and their staff to operate in full compliance with local COVID-19 protocols.

Brewley made the appeal during a recent online forum with various restaurant owners across the territory as they prepare for the reopening of in-dining services.

She said: “We are definitely cautioning restaurants and the staff to be very diligent in who they interact with and how they interact with persons because we have linked several of our cases to bars, bartenders, waitresses and so forth [and] sometimes we get very lax when we’re speaking to our coworkers and colleagues.”

“We feel that we know them. They don’t look sick so, therefore, we take off our masks to interact with them. And it has led them to primary contacts coming from cases that were working in restaurants or in bars. So you do have to keep up the measures and you do have to encourage your employees to sustain the measures even amongst themselves,” Brewley further said.

Three percent of cases linked to restaurants

Brewley also revealed that of the total 69 positive cases that existed in the territory prior to the latest recorded patients, three percent were directly linked to restaurants.

Of that percentage, Brewley said a number of those persons exhibited symptoms of the virus.

“Now three percent does not seem like a lot. However, if they’re interacting with staff and they interacted in passing with other customers, it means then that those persons then become primary contacts, which means that those persons have been exposed and would take home the said virus to their families, which could then potentially make them secondary contacts,” Brewley she reasoned.

She added: “The problem isn’t so much that the cases were positive, it really comes down to whether or not they were symptomatic or even pre-symptomatic while visiting the restaurants. And in this case, they were symptomatic which means that the risk of your staff contracting COVID-19 increases exponentially.”

Penalties to be enforced

Meanwhile, Chief Environmental Health Officer Lionel Michael said his department will ensure businesses adhere to the existing COVID-19 protocols.

He said his department in collaboration with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force will have an army of workers going around to monitor the actions of both employees and customers.

If persons or businesses are caught in breach of the protocols, Michael said they will be ticketed.

According to Public Health (COVID-19 Control & Suppression Measures) (No. 8) Order, 2020, an individual found in breach for the first time will be required to pay a fine of $100 and to attend mandatory training sessions. For an individual’s second offence, the fine will increase to $200.

In contrast, businesses found in breach of the COVID-19 protocols for their first offence will be required to pay a fine of $1,000 and will be issued a notice of temporary closure, which will persist until the owner attends a training session and makes the necessary corrections.

A second breach by a business will result in a $2,000 fine along with an order of immediate closure of the establishment. The business will also have its Environmental Health Certificate revoked.

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  1. Yes says:

    This has been an opportunity to teach restaurants and their staff what cleanliness is. Nothing to do with Covid. Wash a table after each guest. Wash your hands after you pick your nose and before you touch food. Wash and clean dishes, glasses and cookware. These are common occurrences in the First World. It seems that you can put on a tie but basic personal hygiene is a mystery.

    Like 8
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    • To yes says:

      Well some business owners are too darn harden. The restaurant that recently opened in town between Na**_o and the bakery are operating their bar and selling alcohol without a liquor license….when I asked the staff who authorized Them, none of them could answer.

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  2. Yawn says:

    She is just happy to be in the limelight right now and loving the fear mongering. It’s time for people to live, take care of themselves, take precautions and if sick, do the necessary. Time to stop killing businesses and the economy of the BVI because it won’t be easy to get back what is lost. Everyone talks about health but ‘health’ also includes mental health, financial health which should always be factored into the decisions being made.

    Like 14
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  3. Strpzz says:

    Restaurants and bars do not create and spread viruses. Viruses are spread by people. Punish individuals for spreading the virus to healthy individuals and not punish proprietors. The virus can be caught in supermarkets, churches and any public place/ facility.

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  4. And 97% of the cases says:

    Came from smuggling in people during curfew. It might not seem a lot but it is nearly 100% of the cases!

    Like 15
  5. Facts says:

    2 cases came from a restauart that was a BAR serving food, all cases came from BARS and only 2 came from a bar serving food.

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  6. impossed fines says:

    since the new fines how many people have been charged. we can talk about enforcement but if we aren’t doing it nothing will change?

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  7. 2cents says:

    3% of 69 = 2 people.

    Like 11
  8. UK border control says:

    will stop 100% from the smuggling. VIP would like to keep on bringing in drugs & people so they can continue to have their pay day!

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  9. Lol says:

    So that’s 2 people. This lady has been trying to spread fear on various Facebook posts all along. She can’t be taken seriously.

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  10. Mask ( CHIP ) says:

    Plandemic. No Mask no service , No Chip no service.God says that people who know the truth please spread the truth.The mask is the introduction of what is being planed. World wide test to see how the population will comply.( VACINE 666).Tell youtube to put back up the leaked video that shows the interview with them saying how much weak immune systems we should have by 2021 with the continuous uses of those mask. Breathing in the chemicals that they are made from and rotating carbon dioxide. If the six feet works , why the mask.Why are they pushing for all these new vacines with digital ID. Research and see who they say should get vacines first. Time to stand up and wise up.

  11. W.E. Man says:

    So two people representing just 3% of cases in the territory causes a shut down of the business community, meanwhile the churches are allowed to expand from gatherings of 25 to 50, I guess our economy will survive on donations and tithing.

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