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People’s worker passes sixth Covid-19 test

A pharmacy employee whose coronavirus test results were called into question at the weekend has been given the all-clear.

The People's Pharmacy employee had been the subject of social-media rumours that she had breached Covid-19 rules. Yesterday it was announced she received negative status after a sixth test.

Tamara Richardson, the vice-president of the People's Group, said the Department of Health had acted with “alarming lack of clarity” and that the employee had faced “excessive testing”.

She added the business's reputation had suffered “irreparable damage due to what can only be described as a testing nightmare exacerbated by libellous and salacious social-media posts” and that staff had faced a weekend of “panic and angst”.

She confirmed that staff at People's Pharmacy had been cleared to return to work today.

She said the employee returned to Bermuda on July 2 and got clear test results that day, Day 3 and also on Day 10, which included an antibody test.

The employee returned to work on July 13, but on Day 14 she received a positive test result — one of 11 results from that day said to be “pending”. The staff member then received negative test results on Day 15 and Day 16.

She said: “This entire ordeal has given People's, as a business, a clearer picture of what is required in a post-Covid society to transact with transparency while ensuring an individual's confidentiality is respected.

“As mentioned previously, we will take additional measures for all returning employees including a mandated quarantine for 14 days on island, despite the current protocols that allow residents and tourists to return and move about freely following two negative tests.”

Ms Richardson said the weekend had left “more questions than answers” and she added: “Our company does not intend to let this matter go without seeking clarity on what went so wrong in a process that we depend on as citizens to ensure our health and safety. One pending test, coupled with an alarming lack of clarity from the department charged with administering these tests, should give us all pause.”

Ms Richardson questioned how many tests it took to “keep us safe” and asked who paid for the “excessive testing in the long run?”

She said: “Many will remark that the testing is free, but as taxpayers we know all too well that nothing in this country is free.”

Ms Richardson thanked customers, friends and colleagues who contacted her to offer support. She said: “We can only hope that no other Bermudian business or resident has to deal with what People's and our employee experienced as a result of one pending test and subsequent breach of confidentiality around those results.”

The Ministry of Health has been contacted for comment.

Combating rumour: Tamara Richardson, the vice-president of the People's Group of Companies (File photograph)

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Published July 22, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated July 22, 2020 at 9:03 am)

People’s worker passes sixth Covid-19 test

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