Address Island Governor Jonathan Johnson, Saturday, October 31, 2020
A message from Island Governor Jonathan Johnson;
I want to address the community on the upcoming phase 1 re- opening of the island on Sunday, November 1st.
Firstly, this by no means indicates that anyone can come to the island at any time, without permission and following the safety protocols put in place Noncompliance will have consequences.
The strategy for Saba is containment as opposed to mitigation in response to Covid-19, this means that the goal is to keep the virus out. This requires very strict measures at our borders and for incoming travellers, but allows us to live a relatively normal life on Saba. This is similar to what New Zealand and many Asian countries are doing.
Saba’s unique situation has not changed with its vulnerability and limited medical capacity. However, the Outbreak Management Team and I have decided to allow more than just the residents, medical students, and essential travelers to enter the island. The idea is that anybody wishing to come to the island and stay longer than two weeks to quarantine are allowed to enter the island once they follow the proper procedures, which include quarantine and testing.
Persons wishing to enter the island should request this via firstname.lastname@example.org to get permission, and this will continue on a case by case basis. Those individuals must then sign a waiver which states that they comply with our guidelines. While they are on the island, our mobile surveillance team monitors them.
One of our top priorities as an OMT is to ensure that people who need medical care get just that.
For this reason, on Friday, October 30th, ZVK started a pilot for medical referrals to St Maarten for the day. This pilot creates a type of bubble for patients who will visit the same doctor. During the visit, a chaperone will be present, ensuring that all safety measures and protocols are adhered to, guaranteeing that these travelers can return and not have to quarantine.
Lastly, if the epidemiological situation on Bonaire and St Eustatius remains the same in the coming week, we will assess the situation and lower their risk levels.
State secretary will be visiting the island soon, I would just like to reassure the community that strict measures will be in place and there will be no close contact with anyone.
Lately, I have not been giving many updates as the epidemiological situation on Saba has remained stable. Interest has been shown for my updates to become more regular. Therefore, as of next week, every Thursday afternoon, I will provide an update to the community.
In closing, I would like to express to you the public that we are doing our best to make decisions in the island’s best interest. They may not always be the preferred ones for everyone, but safety remains first.
We have been going through the covid-19 pandemic for almost nine months now, and the end is still not in sight. I want to commend Saba’s population for following protocols and together keeping our island and ourselves safe. It has not been an easy road, especially for the people who continue to quarantine because of elective care or for persons that need to quarantine in general. Still, let us continue to stick together and navigate these uncertain times as a community.