Saturday, August 08, 2020

The Council of Ministers met today, July 25th, in an urgent meeting with key ESF coordinators, and CPS representatives to discuss and address the rapid and alarming increase of COVID-19 cases over the past few days. As such,the Council of Ministers took the decision to take corrective measures to mitigate and contain the further spread of the virus in the community, while maintaining key services to the general public.

The Council of Ministers is very appreciative and would like to thank CPS for their tireless efforts in monitoring, and carrying outsources and contact tracing which has proven to be very effective in informing the Government and the general public as to the latest COVID-19 developments. Due to their diligence and systematic analysis of contact tracing, they were able to identify more cases in a short period of time, and have identified at least 2 clusters which is helpful in being able to contain the spread of the virus.

The Multidisciplinary Taskforce established during the period that the EOC was activated, has been formalized in a Ministerial Regulation signed today, July 25, 2020, by Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs Silveria Jacobs. To further strengthen the ability of the government in enforcing the COVID-19 measures, the Ministers of Justice and VSA will issue their respective Ministerial Regulations in the coming days related to mask usage, social distancing, and enforcement thereof within the community.

The COVID-19 Multidisciplinary workgroup will continue to monitor, evaluate and advise the Council of Ministers related to the implementation of COVID-19 regulations and measures necessary. This workgroup consists of ESF 5 representing Police and the Justice chain, 6 representing Public Health, 7 representing Social Development, 9 representing General Affairs, and 10 representing TEATT. This workgroup will be chaired and supported by ESF 9 and will coordinate the COVID-19 Enforcement Team to work together in order to carry out the necessary inspections aimed at ensuring that the guidelines and all protocols are adhered to.

As a result of the advices received, the Council of Ministers took the decision to scale back mass gatherings which includes‘entertainment’ as mentioned in Phase 4 of the Economic Re-opening Plan. These are namely, bars, night clubs, dance establishments, adult entertainment establishments, bingos in casinos, as well as large public gatherings. The aforementioned types of entertainment establishments and gatherings will only be able to operate if proper social distancing can be enforced according to the protocols as per the mandatory guidelines published in the Economic Re-opening Plan for all businesses on the government’s website. The protocols also include establishing a maximum number of patrons allowed in these high-risk establishments at one time, as well as submission of operational plans from the business or organizer for approval by the COVID-19 Multidisciplinary Taskforce.

These measures are deemed necessary based on the current developments and increase in positive COVID-19 cases, which are significantly related to lack of adherence to and enforcement of the guidelines in these settings. Government, businesses, and the general public have a role to play in this. Members of our community are hereby advised to avoid large gatherings and being in close contact with persons whose status is unknown.

Prime Minister Jacobs stated, “The choices we make will determine how quickly we recover from this latest resurgence within our community. The government will continue to take all measures necessary to keep the general public informed and encourages all to take the measures seriously as we work to rebuild our economy and ensure the livelihood of our people in these challenging times. We want, at all costs to avoid another economic shutdown, so we implore all to adhere strictly to the mandatory guidelines as prescribed. A National Briefing will be held tomorrow afternoon to further update the community.

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.