Saturday, August 08, 2020

July 23, 2020  Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA) RichardPanneflekhereby updates the general public today, Thursday, July 23, 2020, in order to keep the community of St. Maarten informed about the latest COVID-19 developments and the Government’s response measures. Based on the latest available data provided by Collective Prevention Services (CPS) Epidemiologist Dr. RaissaTjon-Kon-Fat, for today, July 23, 2020, as of 6:00 PM, St. Maarten had 94 persons

with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection. 16 of these cases are currently active cases reported during the past few days. On July 21st, 2 new cases were confirmed. 3new cases were confirmed throughout July 22nd, and 10 active cases were confirmed this evening July 23rd. To date, there have been 63 persons recovered from COVID-19 and 15 persons have passed away. Our current 16 active cases are actively being monitored by CPS and they have also initiated source and contact tracing for all cases to ensure that the virus is contained as soon as possible. Minister of VSA Richard Panneflek will host a press statement with CPS representatives in order tofurther update the general public tomorrow morning.

As per CPS procedures, all individuals that have been identified to have contact with a confirmed case have been placed in quarantine and have received information on COVID-19. Over the course of the quarantine period they will continueto be monitored by CPS. Persons that are required to quarantine or isolate according to CPS procedures, are required to stay at home and limit contact with all other persons, including their own family. This is the only way to ensure the mitigation of the spread of the virus.All positive cases are in isolation, with one confirmed case admitted to SMMC today, July 23, 2020.

The sudden spike in cases over the past few days which have been reported and confirmed on St. Maarten have been mainly local transmissions, of which 3 cases are confirmed as being travel related via the repatriation flight from the Dominican Republic of July 22nd. Some 143 passengers were tested at the airport over the past week as residents returned on several repatriation flights. Besides this number, GPs and CPS also send samples to be tested on a regular basis as soon as symptomatic persons make themselves known. In contrast to last March when we had our first cases, CPS, the labs and government are better equipped to deal with an outbreak. CPS is highly commended for getting contact tracing started right away on the newly reported cases which also led to new cases being identified today. CPS will continue this process to be able to contain the spread of the virus.

The virus can only spread through human movement and contact; therefore, the general public is once more urged toremain vigilant and do everything necessary to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19and keep yourself safe.We must all do our part in the fight against COVID-19 and not become complacent.The Government of St. Maarten will strictly enforce all social measures as has been constantly communicated to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 on St. Maarten.

Protect your loved ones and the public of St. Maarten by staying at home, avoiding crowded areas, maintaining proper social distancing of 2 meters from other persons, cough or sneeze into your elbow or a napkin, and always wearing a mask when out in public.The public is also encouraged to continue washing your hands often with soap and water.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, stay at home and call your family doctor. For additional questions or concerns, call CPS at 914. Rest assured that this Government is doing its utmost to keep the public safe. The general public is asked to cooperate to avoid any further shut downs at this time. Stay tuned tomorrow morning as Minister Panneflek and CPS will update in a press statement.

August 2, 2020   LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wilford Brimley, who worked his way up from movie stunt rider to an indelible character actor who brought gruff charm, and sometimes menace, to a range of films that included “Cocoon,” “The Natural” and “The Firm,” has died. He was 85. Brimley’s manager Lynda Bensky said the actor died Saturday morning in a Utah hospital. He was on dialysis and had several medical ailments, she said. The mustached Brimley was a familiar face for a number of roles, often playing characters like his grizzled baseball manager in “The Natural” opposite Robert Redford’s bad-luck phenomenon. He also worked with Redford in “Brubaker” and “The Electric Horseman.” Brimley’s best-known work was in “Cocoon,” in which he was part of a group of seniors who discover an alien pod that rejuvenates them. The 1985 Ron Howard film won two Oscars, including a supporting actor honor for Don Ameche.

July 31, 2020  LONDON (AP) — Alan Parker, a successful and sometimes surprising filmmaker whose diverse output includes “Bugsy Malone,” “Midnight Express,” and “Evita,” has died at 76, his family said. A Briton who became a Hollywood heavyweight, Parker also directed “Fame,” “The Commitments and “Mississippi Burning.” Together his movies won 10 Academy Awards and 19 British Academy Film Awards. The director’s family said he died Friday in London after a long illness. Parker was born in London on Feb. 14, 1944, and, like many other aspiring British directors of his generation, including Ridley Scott and Adrian Lyne, began his career in advertising as a copywriter and director of commercials.

NEW YORK (AP) — When historians look back on the top films at the box office in the summer of 2020, they may feel like they’ve slipped into a time warp, or maybe “Back to the Future.” Over the second weekend in July, “Empire Strikes Back” — 40 years after it was first released — was again No. 1. “Ghostbusters” claimed the July 4th weekend, 36 years after opening. Over the June 19-21 weekend and 27 years after it last led the box office, “Jurassic Park” again ruled theaters. In a pandemic that has resurrected all kinds of vintage pastimes, from puzzles to drive-ins, even the blockbusters are retro. That is much out of necessity. About 1,000 theaters in the U.S. are currently open, just about a sixth of the nation’s cinemas. That includes the approximately 300 drive-ins that have, since the multiplexes shuttered in March, hosted the majority of moviegoing.

July 29, 2020  LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tracy Morgan and his wife of five years are ending their marriage The actor-comedian’s representative said in an emailed statement Wednesday that Morgan and Megan Wollover have filed for divorce. “This is a challenging time for all involved, so I ask that you please respect our privacy,” Morgan said in a statement. Morgan and Wollover married after the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member recovered from a 2014 highway crash. One man was killed in the crash that left Morgan and two friends seriously injured. The crash happened when a Wal-Mart truck slammed into the back of a limo Morgan was riding in.