BELIZE CITY, Fri. Aug. 21, 2020– A case of COVID-19 has been discovered at the Dorothy Menzies Child Center on St. Thomas Street, where 23 children live.
One child has tested positive and eight others who are displaying symptoms of the illness have been placed in quarantine. The remainder of children, along with staff members of the center, have been tested, and are awaiting the test results.
Officials of the Ministry of Human Services said that there are protocols in-house to combat the spread of the virus, and areas of isolation and quarantine have been designated within the building which houses the center.
Officials of the Human Services Department, which oversees the management of the Dorothy Menzies Child Center, said that several children began to display the tell-tale symptoms of COVID-19 — coughing and flu-like symptoms, and they were taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital to be checked, and that was when one of the children was found to be infected with the illness. Subsequently, all the children with symptoms were quarantined.
It is believed that the minor who tested positive may have contracted the virus sometime in July after the lockdown was lifted and there was some resumption of normal activities.
Elswith Chavez, Director of Human Services, said that from March to July during the lockdown, the children were confined, but when the State of Emergency was lifted, some restrictions were also lifted at the center.
Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Human Services, said that contact tracing has begun, and it must also be noted that the spread within such a facility could escalate quickly.