COVID-19 positive worker is isolated, testing of co-workers taking place

Tue, 07/07/2020 - 11:15am

Block Island Medical Director Dr. Tom Warcup provided a detailed update on the recent Covid-positive case of an island worker, and the testing protocol on the island. 

“About 9 p.m. [Sunday, July 5] at the Medical Center, we happened to check our East Side Clinical Laboratory portal, which does our lab processing. We identified that we had a positive Covid test — a nasopharyngeal swab on our worker that we pre-tested for employment on the island. At that moment, I spoke with the manager of the facility, and then the owner. I called [First Warden] Ken Lacoste to let him know of a Covid positive case on the island from a worker. I spoke with the Department of Health… and coordinated with the owner of the facility and the D.O.H. throughout [Monday, July 6] morning for contact tracing, and it’s all going well currently.” Dr. Warcup informed the Town Council at its meeting on Monday, July 6. “[The facility] enacted their Covid action plan, [and] the particular patient is isolated now from the public and any other coworkers. [On Tuesday, July 7] at 7 a.m., we will be personally testing the remaining employees from that facility that was in close contact with that individual. The D.O.H. will be out here in a pre-prescribed fashion at 10 a.m. [on Tuesday, July 7] to do asymptomatic Covid testing at the Fire Barn… they will take their tests as well as our tests onto the boat [Tuesday] afternoon, and those will be processed [Tuesday] evening for the rest of those employees. The person is quarantining until we know further.” 

Dr. Warcup noted the facility “will remain in a closed fashion until we can get clearance from the D.O.H.”

“We will continue to handle any symptomatic individuals at the Health Center, and coordinate with the D.O.H. Symptomatic individuals – please contact us. Asymptomatic individuals - please go to the CRUSH COVID app or the hyperlink that is posted on our website. Sign up for slots available for asymptomatic testing, provided by the state every Tuesday and Thursday,” said Warcup.

The testing site will be at the Block Island Fire and Rescue Building, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Can you briefly stress the importance of mask wearing?” asked First Warden Ken Lacoste.

“Mask wearing, social distancing, hand cleansing… it’s essential. This is a scenario we have been preparing for, hoping it would have never happened. Now that it is here, I think our pre-planning went well,” said Warcup, adding to “stay vigilant” during this time.