The Archdiocesan Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Team has issued guidelines ‘COVID-19 Action to be taken in respect of positive cases among persons who were at our Churches’.
Recently, churches in four of the 61 parishes that comprise the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Port of Spain (Belmont, Penal, St Augustine and Curepe) were closed as a result of persons in the congregation testing positive for or having been exposed to persons with COVID-19.
The HSE reminds everyone “it is critical that they adhere to the protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and the Archdiocesan HSE.”
The guidelines advise:
The guidelines emphasised, “Hence the need to maintain an accurate log of the names and contact numbers of every person who attended each Church Service.”
Contact Tracers, following a telephone interview with the individual testing positive for COVID-19, will be able to identify occasions of possible high-risk transmission e.g., shared private transport versus less risky behaviour e.g. socially distant conversation outdoors with nose and mouth covering.
Individuals with prolonged, direct contact with the index case i.e., primary contacts, are instructed to quarantine at home for 14 days. At present, under community spread with a rising number of positive cases, primary contacts, both symptomatic and asymptomatic are encouraged to attend at their local Health Centre for COVID-19 testing.
Congregants who were ‘also present’ in the church are informed of the confirmed positive case(s), instructed to quarantine at home for seven days and remain vigilant about the onset of any flu-like symptoms at which point they too must present themselves at their local health centre for COVID-19 testing.
Parishioners are invited to stay tuned to their parish’s social media platforms for updates and more information
For full list of HSE Guidelines for the Archdiocese of Port of Spain, CLICK HERE
For further information persons are invited to contact the HSE Secretariat: firstname.lastname@example.org