The Government has implemented tighter COVID-19 measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act for the parish of Westmoreland amid increases in the number of active cases there.
Speaking yesterday (December 15, 2020) in Parliament, Prime Minister Andrew Holness stated that recently, the parish has experienced increased cases coupled with increased hospitalizations and deaths. This, he noted, is a cause for grave concern as the hospitals are almost at full capacity.
“To date, Madam Speaker, the parish has recorded 117 active cases, with 76 new cases last week. These cases are spread over 80% of the communities in the parish. Approximately 1 out of 3 persons tested were positive for COVID-19. This is over three times the national positivity rate for that week,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The following measures are therefore being implemented in the entire parish of Westmoreland:
- A tighter curfew commencing at 7 pm nightly and ending at 5 am the following morning effective from 7 pm today December 16 and ending at 5 am on December 31, 2020;
- The general gathering limit for public places is being reduced from 15 to 10 persons;
- For burials, the maximum number of persons remains at 15; and
- Grand Market will be canceled for the parish of Westmoreland.
I am making a special appeal for strict observance of all the protocols and measures and for everyone to exercise vigilance and restraint.
“I am using this platform to appeal to the people of Westmoreland to abide by the infection prevention protocols and abide by the movement control measures which are the curfew and gathering measures. In short order, if we keep within the limits which we have set, we could see a reduction in the cases and a remission of the threat. I urge the residents there to follow the rules and not to challenge the State,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister asserted that the Government will continue to monitor the numbers closely. He also added that if the escalation persists, the Government may need to tighten the measures further.