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Four staff at Hodges Bay resort have today tested positive for Covid-19, Observer can reveal.

Dr Joseph John, of private practice Medical Surgical Associates, confirmed he had tested the resort’s current 66 workers this morning using rapid antigen tests.

The new cases takes the total count of coronavirus cases for Antigua and Barbuda to 69 – although the results of up to 40 more tests due last Thursday have not yet been released.

Dr John commended the luxury resort for its proactive approach in requesting tests for its entire workforce.

“They were really on top of this and other hotels need to do the same. It’s the only way to keep staff and guests safe,” he told Observer.

“I hope this changes attitudes in the country and leads to more widespread rapid testing. I fully accept we must move forward with our tourism industry and we can’t stay closed but by the same token we must do so in a way that keeps everyone safe.”

He said he believed – but could not confirm – that all resort staff had been staying at the hotel and that the four positive cases were in isolation.

Two had already been isolated due to showing mild symptoms, he said.

All four are believed to be doing well.

Dr John said the rapid tests – provided by his surgery – have a high accuracy rate. “Accuracy is on a par with the PCR machine, in my opinion,” he said, referring to the standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method.

Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez was at the resort while the tests were being carried out. Dr John said he had compiled a report which had been sent to the Chief Medical Officer Dr Rhonda Sealey-Thomas containing his findings.

Observer media has reached out to the resort, along with Dr Sealey-Thomas and Health Minister Molwyn Joseph for comments. We will bring you more details as we get them.

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