• Gallery Staff

Government Complex on GB could become a potential COVID-19 hotspot



An apparent lack of proper COVID-19 protocols at the C.A. Smith Complex on Grand Bahama is a major concern for not only the employees assigned to that government building, but the scores of residents who visit the various agencies located there daily as well.

The complex houses the island’s Immigration, Customs and Education departments. There have been concerns about exposure to the contagion at the Immigration Department on at least two separate occasions following the detainment of illegals who were reportedly not tested for COVID-19 prior to being detained and a lack of the proper personal protective equipment for Immigration officers, and at the Education Department after it was reported that a staff member had contracted the virus.

The Gallery now understands that the virus has spread to the Customs Department and the response from authorities is alarming for some residents and staff at the complex. Reports coming in to this Daily say that residents and staff who are aware of the confirmed virus case are up in arms because while authorities ordered the sanitization of the Department’s Bonds Section following confirmation that a staff member tested positive for the virus on Monday, several other areas closely connected to that section, which also cater to the general public, were not sanitized. To make matters worse, staff members are now being summoned back to work. It is understood that none of them have been tested for the virus.

Reports also suggest that authorities are intentionally not informing the public and wider staff complement about the confirmed case and they are failing to provide even the basic necessities to combat the virus such as soap and running water in the restrooms. Toilet paper and hand towels are reportedly often not found in place either.

Further, those residents and staff say without the proper sanitization of all potentially affected areas, they fear that the building’s layout and its ventilation and air conditioning systems will all play a role in spreading the virus throughout the complex and the agencies within it, exposing staff and an unsuspecting public, and putting their lives at risk.

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