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The Bridge of Hope children’s home in Sangre Chiquito.

A total of 18 residents at the Bridge of Hope Children’s Home, Sangre Chiquito, have contracted the COVID-19 virus.

Confirming the outbreak yesterday, Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy, who has responsibility for Child Affairs in the Office of the Prime Minister, assured that the affected persons had been, “receiving guidance from the County Medical Officer of Health and their doctors.”

Webster-Roy said eight members of staff have agreed to remain on the premises to care for those who have tested positive.

Providing a status report on the condition of the 18 yesterday, Webster-Roy said, “All symptoms are extremely mild. All residents are in good spirits.”

Indicating that the home was well stocked in terms of medication, personal protective equipment and food items, the minister said they did not require anything additional at this time.

Although the facility was sanitised this week, all residents are to remain in quarantine until February 5, Webster-Roy said.

When Guardian Media contacted the home yesterday, an official declined to comment and directed all questions to the Children’s Authority, as they said a report had been forwarded to them regarding the situation.

Contacted yesterday, Children’s Authority communications manager Cheryl Moses-Williams said 31 children live at the facility.

“Operations continue at the home to provide care, protection and rehabilitation for the children with a designated group of staff assigned to care for those children who tested positive,” Moses-Williams said.

“The County Medical Officer of Health is monitoring the children and staff. The staff are also ensuring that the children remain motivated with play, music, songs and dances.”

She said the home has been observing ministry guidelines to provide safe and appropriate home care for the COVID-19-positive children, who had been separated from the other children.

The authority said it will continue to monitor the home’s operations.