Philipsburg, Sint Maarten — The Interim Prison Director, Mr. Aartwicht Bell, has confirmed cases of prison officers who tested positive for COVID-19. The officers, who are guards at the Miss Lalie Youth Detention Center (MLC), received positive covid test results from the Collective Protective Services (CPS).
There is misinformation being circulated stating that there is a spread of the covid virus to inmates from the prison officers who tested positive. Mr. Bell would like to reassure the public that there is no positive cases amongst the inmates and no signs of symptoms. Despite this, the situation at MLC is being closely monitored to prevent any possibility of spread. Protocol is being maintained at MLC to continue to assure safety. The officers are continuing to take all the necessary steps to prevent any developments amongst inmates and themselves.
Mr. Bell stated that the officers who have been tested positive for COVID-19 are currently at home in quarantine. The Point Blanche Prison, as well as MLC, has established protocols to safeguard the lives of both officers and inmates against the COVID virus. “The officers who have tested positive have followed the right protocols and reported their symptoms immediately, which allowed for us to take the necessary steps by sending them for testing and immediately into quarantine. Despite having some of our officers testing positive for COVID-19, there was no spread of the virus to any of the inmates”, stated the prison director.
The current protocol at MLC ensures that the officers do not come into direct contact with any of the inmates without wearing protective gear. “Having a strict protocol being implemented reduces the risk factor of any contact spread to inmates, preventing them from being in any danger of contracting the virus.”
The officers understand the importance of protocol when at work, and wear their masks at all times, when executing their duties and when communicating with inmates and amongst themselves, while also adhering to social distancing rules. The Management team of the prison continues to take all the necessary measures in ensuring safe environment for the inmates and officers alike.
To promote the safety in the prisons, direct effort is being made into informing inmates on the vaccination opportunities available to them. All inmates are made aware and reminded that they can sign up to be vaccinated at any time. Taking the vaccination is not mandatory, as such, the necessary steps are being taken for the inmates who have opted to receive it.