Tauna Thomas reports.

Local Government Minister, Desmond McKenzie, is blaming slippage in the enforcement of established protocols for the outbreak of COVID-19 at the State-run Golden Age Home in Vineyard Town.

Minister McKenzie says the Ministry will be launching an investigation.

The facility is home to hundreds of senior citizens and other residents with physical abnormalities present from birth.

Three additional confirmed COVID-19 cases today have brought the total number of persons with coronavirus at the St Andrew-based facility to 46.

The outbreak in one of the clusters at the facility was discovered after a 73-year-old resident tested positive for the coronavirus on October 15.

The health authorities say he was showing signs of the virus just over a week earlier.

Last night, the Health Ministry disclosed that it tested 72 samples and 43 came back positive.

But three additional staff members have tested positive overnight, pushing the positivity rate at the Golden Age Home Home so far to almost 64 per cent.

The Health and Local Government Ministries held a joint virtual media conference on the COVID-19 outbreak at the Golden Age Home this afternoon.

Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, says all but one of the residents are asymptomatic.

Over the next two days, the Health Minister says testing of all 428 residents and 162 staff members is expected to be completed.

Meanwhile, Local Government Minister, Desmond McKenzie, says it’s clear there was some slippage in the adherence to the protocols at the Golden Age Home in Vineyard Town.

He says the Local Government Ministry will be launching an investigation.

In the meantime, Dr. Tufton says the Ministry will be increasing the capacity of the facility to manage the outbreak.

He says doctors will be made available to visit the Golden Age home daily.

Dr. Tufton disclosed that the outbreak has also resulted in a further tightening of the restrictive measures.

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Health and Wellness Minister.

The staff at the facility appear to be enforcing the anti-COVID-19 protocols.

Our News Centre visited the facility this afternoon and the security guards informed us that no outsider was being allowed on the compound.

We observed staff entering the facility but they were all subjected to temperature testing and hand sanitization at the gate of the facility.

A Ministry of Health and Wellness team who was also seen visiting the facility was subjected to the same protocols.