Dashboard update for July 11, 2020.

Barbados retested passengers who arrived from New York, a COVID-19 hot spot, and five previously COVID-negative patients have tested positive for the virus. These five imported casesbringthe total locally to 103 since the first two cases on March 16. [related node_id='7302a1fe-612b-4055-8c73-15dd4faf8807'] Barbados now has a twice-negative COVID test rulein place for persons arriving in Barbados from high-risk areas. Having picked up these new cases by way of this rule, the Health Minister believes it is indeed paying dividends for the Ministry of Health and Wellness. Minister Lt ColJeffrey Bostic announced today (July 11) that while only one person tested positive last Saturday for the virus that has developed into a global pandemic, last evening (July 10), five of those who tested negative last Saturday are now testing positive. These persons would have been in quarantine, as mandated by the Ministry, and constantly monitored. Their positive testing suggests that the virus would have been contracted prior to arriving in Barbados, but would not have developed to the point where it was manifested in the initial test. Minister Bostic said this was precisely what local health authorities had been warning about. The disease takes up to 14 days to present itself in the PCR test used by local authorities. Therefore, the Barbados authorities instituted a mandatory second test for all persons arriving from high-risk areas, such as the United States, Brazil and other parts of Latin America and Eastern Europe. “I believe these discoveries today are tribute to the excellent monitoring mechanisms put in place by the authorities in the Ministry of Health and Wellness. In several countries around the world, a negative PCR test is a negative COVID test. For us here in Barbados, if you have come from a high-risk area, a negative COVID-19 test on arrival is but the first hurdle. You have to obtain a second negative test within five to seven days before you can be given the all-clear to go out into the society,” Minister Bostic said. Barbados’ total cases are now over the 100-case threshold. There are now 103 persons who would have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus sinceMarch 16. Of these, 90 have recovered fully, seven have died, and a total of six are currently in isolation. A total of 115 passengers arrived on the flight last Saturday. Ninety-five retests were done yesterday, and the rest are being completed today. A total of 146 tests were conducted yesterday, bringing the number completed by the public health laboratory to 8,801.

The Griffith family and Tanika Cummings graveside.

The 25-year-old photojournalist who was murdered in Barbados on June 22 has been laid to rest. Trying to hold back tears after eulogizing his eldest son Christoff Griffith, Christopher Griffith said to his wife that theirtripod is now down to two. Whilst delivering the eulogy for his 25-year-old son, Christopher took the more than 600 attendees at the funeral service held at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium in Wildey on a journey from Christoff the boy to the teen, young adult and man that he became. Reminiscing about his son, "our son" to his parents,"Bajan Chris" to his gaming buddies, Christoff the lover of photography, Christopher focused his lens like his son used toand helped all gathered to see the clear picture behind Christoff the man. Tragically taken after just a quarter-century of life, Christopher said even the annoying memories of his son will live on in the album of memories that he has in his heart. Christopher said Christoff "touched the lives of so many persons in so many ways. . ." and therefore he left people from all spheres of Christoff's life with gold nuggets of advice. Christopher told his son's Team Burger and Fries gaming buddies to focus on his laugher, "his Christoff way of doing things. There was never a dull moment when Bajan Chris was around." May you "never forget who is the greatest in the World, not you Mings!" To his personal friends, family members and adopted mothers, he called on them to focus on Christoff's love, kind-heartedness, his smile, his warmth. To his girlfriend, Tanika Cummings, "who I know he loved", cherish the fond memories. To his brothers Chad and Chaquon, "Christoff loved you. . . He always had your best interests at heart. . . and remember what he always told you, 'Don't be like me, be a better man!' And I want you to promise yourselves today that you would do that for him." And fighting back tears, to Christoff's loving mother Sonia, Christopher told his wife: "One of the legs of the tripod has passed. We will continue to support each other, love each other, one day at a time, one second at a time . . . our memories of Christoff will be forever." No parent ever wishes to eulogise their child, but as he prepared his words for today's service (July 11), Christophersaid that God gave him the strength to persevere. The officiating minister was Elder Fitz Herbert Kirton who told the congregation that Christoff was taken 'suddenly' and each and every one of them could have their own suddenly at any moment. For as he preached, the homeowner in the Bible did not know when the thief would could so he could prepare and prevent it. So he called on all to make sure that Christoff's death was not in vain, make sure that it means something. "The unexpected is closer than we think . . . The Bible advises us to be constantly awake, aware and admonish . . . Do not be asleep to what God wants this death to say to you." Roy Morris, the now Prime Minister Press Secretary, but Christoff's first boss in the world of journalism, paid tribute to Christoff calling him a unique photojournalist. Morris extended apologies on behalf of Prime Minister Mia Mottley whose schedule did not permit her attendance. The United Holy Church of America (Barbados) Ensemble rendered Psalm 23 in a most moving manner and one member, Sheldon Hope sang a solo 'Great is thy faithfulness' at the request of Christoff's mom, Sonia Griffith. Christopher Griffith, Sergeant 1059, saw his colleaguesincluding the members of the Royal Barbados Police Force Band outin their numbers, just as wasthe case with the media fraternity. Christoff was laid to rest at Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens. Media colleagues laid wreaths with cameras aplenty on them. At the service Former Finance Minister Christopher Sinckler was in attendance, meanwhile the Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs, SenatorLucille Moe was seen graveside. Christoff Sheldon Griffith Sunrise: February 6, 1995 Sunset: June 22, 2020 May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

The first Victoria's Secret store is now open at Gulf City Mall. Photo via Facebook, Gulf City Mall.

Following a minor delay in its opening, Victoria’s Secret is now ready for business at Gulf City Mall in south Trinidad. The first outlet in Trinidad and Tobago, which was initially expected to open its doors in April following the opening of Bath and Body Works, was formally opened on Friday morning to an eager crowd of mostly female shoppers. Group Marketing Manager Gervais Dattoo told Loop News there was an overwhelmingly positive response from mall patrons who lined the red carpet ahead of the 10 am opening. Pictured: Gervais Dattoo. Photo courtesy Gervais Dattoo. He reported that customers were adhering to COVID-19 guidelines by wearing masks and physically distancing. Staff is also wearing masks and following sanitisation protocols as set out by the Ministry of health. No more than 10 customers are allowed into the store at any given time. Dattoo said preparing the store and training the staff for its opening was done a bit differently in light of the closure of borders due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. He explained that under normal circumstances brand representatives go to new markets and oversee the training of staff and setting up the store, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, everything was done virtually. “Due to the pandemic and borders being closed, our operations team worked tirelessly to put the store together with the brand’s virtual guidance.” He said the brand conveyed that it is proud of the local team. For shoppers who are yet to visit the store, Dattoo said they can expect to see signature scents like Bombshell, Tease, Rush and more. As with Bath and Body Works, in-store bundles are available on body care items. Customers have the option to purchase one item (single units are priced at $150), or purchase three items (mix and match) and enjoy savings. Customers can mix and max in core fragrances with body mists and body lotions priced at three for $295. Eau de parfum 50 ml sizes start at $400 while 100 ml are priced $600 and up. The bundle prices are comparable to those offered Bath and Body, which offers mix and match options at three for $275 for 8 oz sizes. Victoria’s Secret fragrance mists come in 8.4 oz sizes. [image_gallery] The new outlet carries a range of accessories including knapsacks, passport holders, wallets, handbags and sleep accessories, including masks which comes in pouches. From Monday to Thursday the store is open from 10 am – 6 pm, from 10 am to 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and closed on Sundays. These times are subject to change, based on the rolling back of COVID-19 restrictions. As of now, there are no plans to open up any additional outlets. First Retail Incorporated which operates the franchise will assess the response from customers before any decision is made on opening more stores. First Retail is responsible for opening 30 fashion franchises and regional stores in Trinidad and Barbados, including ALDO, Skechers and Aeropostale. As for what’s next, First Retail will soon introduce Portuguese women’s accessories brand Parfois at the Falls at West Mall later on in year. The store will be the first in the Caribbean. Meanwhile, Gulf City Mall Public Relations Officer Sarah Ragoonath told Loop News it was no surprise that the largest shopping mall in South Trinidad was chosen as the location for the first Victoria’s Secret outlet in Trinidad. “We have over 30 years in mall operations experience so we’re ecstatic that they’re here. We were not surprised that Victoria’s Secret chose Gulf City Mall over the other malls.” Ragoonath said Victoria’s Secret fit perfectly into its new location. “It’s now a woman’s dream to shop as the stores are strategically lined up – perfect for shopping.” The spanking new Victoria’s Secret location is next to the Bath and Body Works outlet that opened at the mall in March. Ragoonath said even with the obvious economic impact COVID-19 has had, one would be heartened to see the constant flow of shoppers in and out of the retail stores. To show the mall’s appreciation a live virtual event is being hosted on Facebook and Instagram at 8 pm. Customers have a chance to win prizes from most of the mall’s stores.

Rihanna's Twitter

Prime Minister Mia Mottley has a fan - Rihanna. With billions of fans the world over herself, anentire Navy,Robyn Rihanna Fenty has declaredthat she is, in fact, a fan of her Prime Minister. Prime Minister Mia Mottley this week released a video thanking the Barbadian singer, businesswoman and philanthropist for her generous donation of tablets to the children of Barbados who need the technological tools to access the new online learning platforms. Schools islandwide were closed in March due to COVID-19. In response to the 'Thank you' video, Rihanna tweeted (July 9): "I don’t usually do this, but I’m such a fan of my Prime Minister@miaamormottley ! What an honor to be an ambassador of my country through your leadership! Thank you for taking the time to say these kind words!" Ahead of the May 24, 2018-elections in Barbados, Rihanna had caused some stir on social media when she appeared to endorse Mottley as the candidate deserving of the Prime Minister post. I don’t usually do this, but I’m such a fan of my Prime Minister @miaamormottley ! What an honor to be an ambassador of my country through your leadership! Thank you for taking the time to say these kind words! — Rihanna (@rihanna) July 9, 2020 Sharing the PM's video with her 97.2 million Twitter followers, she also recognised the work that her brother Rorrey Fenty did on this project. "Huge thank you to my brother@RorreyFenty for spearheading this project..." Rihanna, like Prime Minister Mottley also thanked Jack Dorsey'sStartSmallFoundation "for always supporting the@ClaraLionelFdn!" Rihanna's donation to Barbados' children was done through her Clara Lionel Foundation. The two tweets amassed almost 50K likes in just 16 hours. Rihanna also shared the same message on her Instagram at the same time and it has earned almost 2,400 likes and the video of PM Mottley expressing her appreciation has been viewed over 740,000 times. View this post on Instagram I don’t usually do this, but I’m such a fan of my Prime Minister @mamottley ! What an honor to be an ambassador of my country through your leadership! Thank you for taking the time to say these kind words! Huge thank you to my brother @gallest for spearheading this project and to Jack Dorsey’s #StartSmall foundation for always supporting the @ClaraLionelFdn ! 💛✊🏿🇧🇧 A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:24am PDT

On Thursday, Blue Iguana Conservation, the National Trust'sconservation programme for the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana, was called to attend to an incident which is beingreferred to by conservationists as "utterly tragic." According to Blue Iguana Conservation, a driver on Queen's Highway deliberatelyswerved to collide with a wild male blue iguana, which was eating on the roadside verge. After his successful breeding and rearing at the captive facility, theanimal was released into one of the protected reserves in 2012, where it had been thriving for 8 years, to then be killed by a deliberate act. "The loss of this large (7 kg) breeding male is utterly tragicand sets the programme back years," said the team at Blue Iguana Conservation. "All the team here at BIC would like to make a heartfelt appeal to locals and visitors on Grand Cayman to please drive carefully and to avoid hitting any iguana - it just might be a blue." Due to over-development from the growing human population in Cayman, the Blue Iguana'snatural habitat has significantly diminished. Another threat the species faces is attack byanimals such as dogs and cats. Blue iguanashave also had issues competing for natural resources against the more aggressive Green Iguana. Each of these threats have been a big contributor in the near extinction of theBlue Iguana Lizard. In 2003 it was recorded that there were just over a dozen of thisendangered species living in their natural wild habitat. It was predicted they would become extinct within a few short years. About a hand full of non- profit agencies are working with The Cayman Islands government to reestablish a more bountiful population of the Blue Iguana Lizard. These agencies have bred and released nearly a thousand back into their natural environment. Today, with all the efforts of the non-profit agencies to ensure the survival of this species,there are around 750 Blue Iguana Lizards living in the wild. This is a tremendous turn-around from the documented dozen living in the wild in 2004. For those who are interested in supporting the growth of the blue iguana population, Blue Iguana Conservationisseeking donations to help with the urgent construction of new hatchling cages after a promising breeding season. It costs CI$150 to build a cage, in order to provide the optimum start for itsprecious baby blues. If you would like to donate towards these cages, please click here.

Although the numberof test results returning positive for COVID-19has dropped in the past few weeks, there is no room for complacency says Cayman's Medical Officer of Health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez. Regular testing of frontline and other workers, every four weeks or so, is the only way to determine to what extent the virus has been controlled locally, therefore testing measures will be on-going Dr Williams explains. [related node_id='24806954-2946-41f9-ac8c-98d5044dd315'] Pointing to the global resurgence of the disease in other reopened economies, he notes that routine screening helps at-risk persons to protect family and friends, as well as keeping the reopening of the economy on track. In particular, he emphasises that, in particular, frontline staff working with the general public should be tested regularly. With the Cayman Islands cautiously rolling back all but the most basic COVID-19 prevention measures, health officials are still emphasising the role that a strong testing regime plays in the continuation of this process. With this objective in mind a second cycle of rescreening frontline and other sectors that have recently returned to work has begun, and testing has also been opened to the public. At this time, anyone who wishes to be tested can register for an appointment with the Health Services Authority (HSA). The Medical Officer of Health also urges persons experiencing flu-like symptoms and anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the virus to self-register for testing. Persons may register for screening using the form available on the bottom left of www.exploregov.ky/coronavirus. For organisations seeking to schedule on-site screening for employees please contact Covidscreening@hsa.ky.