Prime Minister and Chair of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Silveria Jacobs hereby updates the general public for today, Thursday, May 14, 2020, as part of the process to keep the community of St. Maarten informed about the latest developments and the Government’s COVID-19 containment, mitigation and response measures.
Based on the latest available data provided by Collective Prevention Services (CPS) Epidemiologist Eva Lista-de Weever, for today, May 14, 2020, as of 4:00 PM, there have been no new reported COVID-19 confirmed cases. The data does, however, show an increase of one more person in self-quarantine and two more persons in self-isolation. The number of persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 currently hospitalized at the Mobile Medical Pavilion has decreased to two patients. Furthermore, CPS updates that its community outreach testing campaign continues in the community on Saturdays and Sundays as businesses are closed on these days. Contact tracing as needed to ensure that the virus is contained will also continue.
A meeting between the governments of St. Maarten and St. Martin to synchronize the de-escalation measures took place this afternoon, May 14. During the meeting, both governments were able to give a presentation on their phased de-escalation plans with a special focus on educational institutions and public transportation in regard to school busses. Also, discussed in the meeting was the synchronization of border control measures for each phase of the economic re-opening plans as well as proposals for border re-opening after community testing has taken place.
The governments of St. Maarten and St. Martin were not able to agree moving forward on the re-opening of the internal borders until further assessments are done regarding the medical and health aspects of the COVID-19 virus and its effect on the population in terms of community spread. Once this information has been gathered, both governments will meet next week, to further ascertain the date that the border controls will be lifted. The government of St. Martin shared that they are currently evaluating their school opening to see how many students will be returning. However, this is being done before any further discussions take place at an executive level in regard to their students who reside on St. Maarten attending school on St. Martin. Despite St. Maarten’s government’s concern for these students, there was no agreement made for such. As per the schools on St. Maarten, only schools that have indicated that they will be re-opening will open. Therefore, parents are asked to stay updated and in contact with their child’s school.
Public transportation busses continue to be inspected by the Ministry of TEATT and will be given the green light to commence working on the public roads as long as they meet the safety guidelines. However, they must remain within our Dutch borders until the government has finalized discussions with their French counterparts.
“As we are re-opening our economy in phases, things may seem to be reverting to normal. However, we cannot afford to become complacent, where our safety and the safety of our loved ones are concerned. Rather, we must maintain the personal protection guidelines always. I encourage you to educate your children about the new norm and ensure that they too understand and follow the safety guidelines. Most importantly, be an example to them in demonstrating this. Let us remember that mitigating the spread of COVID-19 depends on us all. I commend your efforts thus far as we continue to fight the COVID-19 virus, and encourage each of you to ensure that these practices are habitual for you and your family,” concluded Prime Minister Jacobs. The mitigation of the spread of the virus depends on the behaviour of the St. Maarten people. Let’s stop the spread of this virus together. Together we can! Stay blessed St. Maarten.