Rum shop limes affecting Grenada’s COVID positivity rate

Dr Shawn Charles

Grenadians are being urged not to become complacent as health officials report a decline in the island’s COVID-19 positivity rate. 

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Shawn Charles notes only two weeks ago through testing, Grenada reported a positivity rate averaging 30 per cent. 

However, from testing over the past few days, officials have observed signs that the positivity rate is going down

On September 18, officials recorded an average positivity rate of 23 per cent and the following day 14 per cent, so overall 18 per cent of people who went out to get tested were positive. 

Charles warns Grenada still has a large population of vulnerable unvaccinated at-risk individuals in communities, the elderly, those who are 50 years old and above with multiple diseases, who are still undecided about getting vaccinated. 

He outlines some of the problems being faced: The most vulnerable are still being discouraged by others not to take the vaccines; people are being filled with misinformation; there are people testing positive but refuse to isolate; there are others who are denying the existence of COVID-19 and we have to stop and try and persuade individuals that COVID-19 is real; there are persons denying at all costs when they test positive that they have COVID-19 and are refusing to accept the diagnosis or test result.

The Acting CMO says while the decline in the positivity rate indicates that people are heeding the COVID-19 regulations in place, he says gatherings continue to be a challenge. 

Charles says he has personally seen persons gathering with no social distancing or masks. He says popular rum shops or liming spots where there are young, middle-aged men and a few women in between, can be seen sitting and behaving as if nothing has happened. “It is a very irresponsible thing to see,” said an exasperated Charles.

The Acting CMO says it would appear that the proprietors of these establishments have a high tolerance for people gathering, not wearing masks and just living it up. 

“Even after curfew hours, we are seeing some popular rum shops with gatherings. We encourage these adults to be more responsible. We should not be seeing large gatherings outside rum shops or persons not social distancing and not wearing masks.” 

Meanwhile, Dr Myanna Charles, Medical Officer with the Ministry of Health provided statistics on the latest epidemiological situation in Grenada:  Grenada has recorded 4, 213 confirmed cases to date; 1,813 of those cases have recovered;    2,337 of those cases are active of which nine are imported and 2,328 are local cases; the active cases are 53 per cent females and 47 per cent males; age of active cases range from 2 months to 103 years old; 85 per cent of the active cases are not vaccinated, 10 per cent are fully vaccinated and 5 per cent have received a first dose of a vaccine; the COVID-19 cases are dispersed throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique; 63 cumulative deaths have been recorded in Grenada.