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New protocols for hurricane shelters, but no change in numbers


New protocols for hurricane shelters, but no change in numbers

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The number of people to be housed in Category One hurricane shelters will remain the same, however, additional protocols will be in place to satisfy coronavirus (COVID-19) requirements.

Acting Senior Medical Officer with responsibility for Disaster Management, Dr Ingrid Cumberbatch, made this disclosure during a Hurricane Forum meeting last Wednesday.

She explained that while a reduction in the numbers being allowed in shelters was originally being considered, the spatial requirements per person would remain the same, as required for the physical distancing protocols being enforced under COVID-19.

“That means that the numbers in shelters will be maintained because it existed before,” she explained. However, she said in light of COVID-19, registration forms at hurricane shelters would include additional screening questions.

Additionally, shelter wardens were set to undergo training in first aid.

Cumberbatch said new protocols for shelters would include the wearing of masks, temperature checks and the sanitising of hands.

She said there were also proposals to have a designated shelter for vulnerable people, due to COVID-19. That shelter, she said, would also have a nurse present from the time of opening.

“We have also asked shelters to enhance their sanitising abilities in areas such as the bathrooms,” she said. There are 31 Category One hurricane shelters, of which 19 are public, and 11 are privately owned. (BGIS)