COVID-19 outbreak at Grotto Home for the Homeless, forces management to clamp down on visitors

File photo of the new Grotto Home

An outbreak of the COVID-19 virus at the Grotto Home for the Homeless has forced management at the facility to implement a no visitation policy, says the president of the home, Ainsworth Irish.

Thirty of the more than 40 residents, as well as six employees, have tested positive for the virus,  and all are receiving treatment at the COVID-19 facility in Portsmouth, Dominica News Online (DNO) has been informed.

“As to how that happened, we’re not sure.. we have always observed the COVID protocol in terms of having people wash and sanitize their hands, wear their masks, and advise of our no visitation policy,” Irish stated to DNO, “But of course, with an institution like ours, sometimes there is always the cross-fertilization of, where people come sometimes off [to] drop good(s) and what have you, but we’re really not sure how this happened.”

The president of the 45-year-old institution which is now located in Bellevue Rawle, said contact tracing is presently being being done at the facility and plans are in place to ensure that testing of staffers and residents continues more frequently.

Another approach that will be taken to safeguard the lives of these individuals, who Irish says are all vaccinated, is by ensuring that the public adheres to the no visitation policy which has been mandated by the cabinet.

“We know they [family members] would like to see their loved ones. But of course, at this time, we cannot have anybody coming in to visit and we will ensure that there is a control mechanism, “ he said. “Yes, indeed, it is the responsibility of the family members to bring food and other stuff for their people, but it is also our job at the Grotto home  to control the level of persons that can come in and visit, and we hope that the public can not only understand that but respect our decision.”

In light of the sharp increase in reported COVID-19 cases for the past three months, Irish is urging the public to adhere to measures put in place by the ministry of health which includes social distancing, use of face coverings, washing and sanitizing of hands and other safety measures, to help stop the spread of the virus.

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  1. Under the radar
    October 9, 2021

    I really dont understand why in 2021 people think there exists any flu shots that prevent infection. this has never ever existed. Flu shots are just preemptive. Coronavirus or any kind have always been left to run their course with the support of meds to dampen the impact, not block or cure. That’s kooky talk.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      October 13, 2021

      Whoever you are you do not know what you are talking about; so let me tell you there is absolutely no comparison between, any flue “influenza” and COVID-19.

      You are talking about two different viruses; COVID-19 is an RNA virus; and I will not elaborate; since I discover you do not know the difference. Learn this; when one get sick with the flue, antiviral drugs may be an option for treatment.

      The flue last from seven to ten days as it goes through three stages; the incubation period of of a few days followed by the first stage of symptoms onset.

      In the second stage from fourth to the seventh day symptoms gets worst and peak. Very few people die influenza. COVID-19 kills; there is no cure or special treatment this RNA virus; it is destine to kill; thus far it has killed almost eight hundred thousand people in the United alone; many millions of people around the world.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      October 13, 2021

      If you believe COVID-19; or the Delta Variant is the same as a flue, I have news for you; I have a cousin, daughter of my late aunt; I just got the news this morning; her name is Gladys; from Wesley.

      She is the aunt of Dr. Griffin Benjamin; she lived for a long time, and I suppose had many bout with all kinds of flue virus; and lived, she survived them all; nevertheless; COVID-19 or the Delta variant took her life! 

      You can keep fooling yourself that COVID- 19 is flue that runs its course, and all the other garbage you wrote!
      If we are not careful, Dominica as it is will perish from this virus; now it is in Wesley, I fear for my only remaining sister by mother.

      Be informed also there is another one from Wesley in Antigua; when told she is infected with the virus, she denied it; said it’s a flue; she is on a life support ventilator now; near death!

  2. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    October 9, 2021

    “Thirty of the more than 40 residents, as well as six employees, have tested positive for the virus, ”

    Consider the entire population at that convalescence home infected!

    When people play games; as such as this; talking about antigen test; and not focusing on Coronavirus test lying to themselves and uneducated people such are the results; many times I saw where some who profess to be medical doctors on DNO talking fart about antigen test rather than testing to see in one has contracted the virus; but these so called quacks are trying so hard to impress people that Dominica do not have COVID-19 nor the Delta Variant; so let’s confuse the issue talking about antigen test.

    I elobrate on this before; I shall state it again the medical term “antigen” is any substance which is capable, under appropriate conditions, of inducing a specific immune response, and of reacting with the products of that response; and that is, with specific antibody, or specifically sensitized…

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      October 9, 2021

      “Antigen” is any substance which is capable, under appropriate conditions, of inducing a specific immune response, and of reacting with the products of that response; and that is, with specific antibody, or specifically sensitized T-lymphocytes;or both.

      Antigens can be soluble: (Note; soluble is a substance able to be dissolved, especially in water be aware of this poison is a soluble in alcohol okay. Antigens are soluble substances, such as toxins; and foreign proteins; or particulate, as bacteria, and tissue cells; nevertheless, only the portion of the protein, or polysaccharide molecule known as antigenic determinant combines with antibody, or a specific receptor on a lymphocyte.

      So, when these quacks in Dominica talking fart about antigen test rather than COVID-19 test; is simple to make belief we don’t have the virus in Dominica.
      Mother hen lay the eggs, now mother hen is hatching the chicks; politics cannot prevent death cause by COVID-19.

  3. Sympathetic
    October 8, 2021

    Some of them are being sent home today. You have to know the condition of these residents before we start to critic. The vaccine helped them. Chances were not being taken on the lives of these unfortunate human beings who are ALL compromised and they are.doing very well. Some have been residents from inception of the home. So when we start making fun on the lives of them including the caregivers who are doing yeoman service remember God does not like ugly.Bon

  4. zandoli
    October 8, 2021

    What treatment is available to covid infected people in Dominica? I doubt there is any of the currently used drugs on the island. Warehousing patient does not equate to treatment.

  5. We the People
    October 8, 2021

    “But of course, with an institution like ours, sometimes there is always the cross-fertilization of, where people come sometimes off drop good and what have you, but we’re really not sure how this happened,” he added.

    A joke that man? What is Irish saying, the people are plants now? Jesus!!!

  6. BMB
    October 8, 2021

    Cross-fertilization? Plants that there man…!

  7. Magway ca
    October 8, 2021

    A fishing boat in Argentina had a crew of 64. They spent 2 weeks in quarantine and all tested negative before going on a 30 day fishing trip offshore. On return 62 crew members tested positive for covid. You really have to say you don’t kno how that happened? Boy people in dca really doh have any common sense .

    • Prudence
      October 8, 2021

      No test or safety measure is infallible, so of course a certain proportion of infected people are going to test negative initially. Undetected infection in close quarters spreads quickly (which is why cruise ships are an insane risk – vaccinated or not). To appreciate these issues properly, nuance is required. Real life is rarely black and white, but we seem to crave absolutes. With a relatively new disease caused by a quickly changing virus, that’s a sure path to drawing wrong conclusions.

      As for the Grotto, it doesn’t exist in a sealed bubble. So unless the workers are living there 24/7/365, and nobody’s entering or leaving the premises, it’s clear that even with strict protocols being observed, there’s plenty of opportunity for infection to get in.

      • Magway ca
        October 12, 2021

        Remember I said a 30 day fishing trip at even if 1 was infected by the end of the 3rd week everyone on such a small boat would have been infected and been over the virus. That boat would have returned to port clean. But seeing that the majority were infected. That means that they were infected itching the last week of the fishing trip. So that alone makes what you said of no use. And that’s by only using the viruses known gestation period. So what you just said has no bearing at all on tests not being 100 cause the 1 infected person and the entire crew would have got the virus and been over it in about 15 days.

  8. Roger Burnett
    October 8, 2021

    The news item begins by stating: “twenty-eight of the 40 residents, as well as three employees, have tested positive for the virus…”

    It then appears to read that these individuals are all vaccinated.

    If that is correct it certainly indicates that vaccination is not a safeguard against being infected by the virus.

    Let’s hope that the vaccines perform better in preventing serious illness or death.

    • Frank N Stein
      October 8, 2021

      Man where have you been! From the beginning we were told that vaccinated people still have to follow protocol and they can get infected. Stupes with all you people’s ignorance. At this late stage you still ill-informed but talking full mouth.

  9. Look nonsense
    October 8, 2021

    They are all vaccinated and still got covid, with a no visitation policy already in place? Where did the covid come from? Then they say the unvaccinated is the issue.

  10. Wakanda Forever
    October 7, 2021

    Thanks Mr Irish, for being humble enough to acknowledge that you just don’t know how it happened. That is to be expected in a pandemic, because protocols aren’t bulletproof even when fully adhered to. You did your best.

    May all who are affected recover soon.

  11. Want answers
    October 7, 2021

    Why bring Elderly people to Portsmouth? What Covid facility? What is required is to treat these people away from others infected and give them vitamins and what they need to boost them, Actually all elderly persons should be left home with their relatives. Once they ship them down there is to die. These persons may not even take meals from fresh people and do you all put them in separate rooms or that bid open bedroomy area? A recipe for disaster. A lot of things are hidden. There is deception too. How can those with comorbidities be mingled with other so-called positive patients? Then we hear another (elderly note – over 80 years die from “covid” not because of their sickness. Even too you all vaccinate those persons. Why?

    That vaccine agenda!

  12. just me
    October 7, 2021


  13. Ibo France
    October 7, 2021

    Would like to wish all those not only at the Grotto home but all over Dominica a complete recovery from this devastating virus. Practise the non-pharmaceutical measures. Be wise.

    • Thanks
      October 8, 2021

      That we trying but it ain’t working.

      • Frank N Stein
        October 8, 2021

        Exactly. dont listen to these internet pharmacists, speak to real health care personnel. They will tell you take bush until you die.

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