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71st Person Dies from COVID-19. 76 Active Cases. Five Recoveries. Three Persons Remain Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Omar Ottley extends his sympathies to the family and friends of Sint Maarten’s 71st COVID-19 victim, who has passed away. Minister Ottley wishes the family strength during this time.

As of October 15th, there was one (1) person who tested positive for COVID-19; however, five (5) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to seventy-six (76). The total number of confirmed cases is now four thousand four hundred thirty-nine (4439).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring seventy-three (73) people in home isolation. Three (3) patients are hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 has increased to at seventy-one (71).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to four thousand two hundred ninety-two (4292). Fifty-nine (59) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The total number of persons tested is 53,236.  

As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley urges everyone to remain cautious when in public places; for your safety reduce social contacts and sanitize or wash your hands frequently.

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“Our future is at hand- let’s move forward together”. Happy Global Handwashing Day

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Global Handwashing Day is celebrated on October 15th every year in efforts to educate and encourage the public to embrace the benefits of properly washing their hands with water and soap.

Hand washing is a simple, cost effective and yet a very impactful intervention to significantly maintain one’s health and keep the germs away.

This year the theme is “Our future is at hand- let’s move forward together”. The theme marks the importance of universal hand hygiene. Together we can work towards achieving health goals.

Right now, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, handwashing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus and avoid getting others sick. The key to preventing the spread of germs and viruses by hand washing, is in the technique. It is especially important to wash your hands frequently with soap and water while scrubbing the palms, back of hands, in-between fingers and underneath the fingernails. Be sure to lather for at least 20 seconds or more and dry your hands with a clean towel or air dry them.

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),

Handwashing education in the community can:

  • Reduce the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by about 23–40%
  • Reduce absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29–57%
  • Reduce diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by about 58%
  • Reduce respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19 and colds, in the general population by about 16–21%

Whether you are at home, at work, traveling, or out in the community, handwashing with soap and water can protect you and your family. Remember, clean hands save lives.

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Seven New Positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday. 81 Active Cases. Five Persons Remain Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of October 14th, there were seven (7) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, twenty-one (21) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to eighty-one (81). The total number of confirmed cases is now four thousand four hundred thirty-eight (4438).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring seventh six (76) people in home isolation. Five (5) patients remain hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at seventy (70).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to four thousand two hundred eighty-seven (4287). Sixty-three (63) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The total number of persons tested is 53,215.  

As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley hereby encourages everyone to remain vigilant when in public, reduce social contacts, and sanitize or wash your hands frequently.

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BUSINESS CLOSURE EXTENDED TO 1:00 AM

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - On Wednesday October 13th, the Ministers of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications Hon. Roger Lawrence (TEATT) and Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Hon. Omar Ottley, held a meeting with night life business owners to discuss protocols and business closing hours moving forward.

During discussions, both Ministers agreed to extend the hours of night life for businesses to 1:00 A.M. The extension will go into effect on Friday October 15th leading into 1:00 AM on October 16th.

The Ministers stressed on the importance of health protocols and thorough screening, which will require persons to show proof of being fully vaccinated or having proof of a negative COVID-19 test result in order to enter establishments.

The business owners were given the opportunity to get their health pass procedures established within short. This health pass will be strictly enforced as of the 22nd of October 2021.

Strict inspections will be carried out by the inspectors, prior to this date, at the various establishments to ensure compliance with the health pass procedures.

If this health measure proves to be an effective way of ensuring the health safety of night life patrons, both ministries will consider an additional extension of the night life hours.

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11 New Positive COVID-19 Cases on Wednesday. 95 Active Cases. Five Persons Remain Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of October 13th, there were eleven (11) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, fifteen (15) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to ninety-five (95). The total number of confirmed cases is now four thousand four hundred thirty one (4431).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring ninety (90) people in home isolation. Five (5) patients are hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at seventy (70).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to four thousand two hundred sixty six (4266). Sixty six (66) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The total number of persons tested is 53,182.  

As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley hereby reminds everyone to reduce social contacts, and sanitize or wash your hands frequently.

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70th Person Dies from COVID-19. 17 New Positive COVID-19 Cases. 99 Active Cases on Tuesday. Six Persons Remain Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Omar Ottley extends his sympathy to the family and friends of Sint Maarten’s 70th COVID-19 victim, who has passed away. Minister Ottley wishes the family strength during this time.

As of October 12th, there were seventeen (17) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, thirty-nine (39) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to ninety-nine (99). The total number of confirmed cases is now four thousand four hundred twenty (4420).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring ninety-three (93) people in home isolation. Six (6) patients remain hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 has increased to seventy (70).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to four thousand two hundred fifty-one (4251). Seventy-six (76) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The total number of persons tested is 53,148.

As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley would like to remind everyone to wear your mask, reduce social contacts, and sanitize or wash your hands frequently.

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Join DCNA’s Free Big Live Nature Quiz and Win a Sailing Trip

SINT MAARTEN/BONAIRE - The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) invites students ages 12-14 that live on Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Maarten, and Sint Eustatius to participate in the secondinstallment of the Big Live Nature Quiz for Kids! It’s free, online, live, interactive and includes questions about Dutch Caribbean animals.

This fun quiz is in English, but questions will also have Dutch and Papiamentu subtitles. Several schools are participating throughout the Dutch Caribbean. Students may participate online from home or at school events.

Contact DCNA today to learn how to host an event at your school! You can join alone or form a team with max 4 friends/family/classmates. The winning team will win a sailing/snorkel trip around their island. Make sure to register at biglivenaturequiz.org.   

Date and Time 

Students of the six Dutch Caribbean islands ages 12-14 and older are invited to participate in the second annual Big Live Nature Quiz for kids. The quiz will take place on Wednesday October 20th, from 10:00am-11:30am AST.   

Teams 

Join alone or form a team with max 4 friends/family/colleagues.  

Location 

You can participate in two ways. Participants can play online from home with friends and family, or you can participate in one of the many classrooms hosting the event!  

Reserve your spot 

Groups consisting of one to four members must pre-register at biglivenaturequiz.org to participate.  

Requirements 

It is not necessary to prepare or study for the quiz in advance.  All you need to participate is an online registration (biglivenaturequiz.org), an internet connection, a computer, a phone to answer questions, and a good attitude.   

If you form a team and join from home, you need to physically get together behind 1 computer and only need 1 cell phone per team to send your team-answer.  

If you join at your school, you only need to register online (biglivenaturequiz.org), and bring a cell phone or smart device to submit answers.   

Theme: Dutch Caribbean Animals 

The quiz will have a total of 35 multiple choice trivia questions. The quiz will be in English but questions will also have Dutch and Papiamentu subtitles. There will be five categories: Marine Animals, Terrestrial Animals, Special Species, and People and Nature.   

Prizes 

The winning team will win a sailing/snorkel trip around their island. Second and third place teams will receive t-shirts and hats.  

Yearly Quiz for adults and kids 

The DCNA supports Aruba National Park Foundation, STINAPA Bonaire, CARMABI on Curaçao, Saba Conservation Foundation, STENAPA on St Eustatius and Nature Foundation Sint Maarten amongst others with their nature education programs. The online Big Live Nature Quiz was created to educate citizens about nature conservation in a fun interactive way, to instil pride about the islands’ nature, encourage eco-friendly practices, support the parks conservation projects, and to connect people throughout the Dutch Caribbean. This is a yearly event for adults and kids. The next Adults edition is planned for the spring of 2022.   

The Big Live Nature Quiz is generously funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) and DCNA’s activities are supported by the Dutch Postcode Lottery.  

Follow the Big Live Nature Quiz 

Check out DCNA’s Facebook (Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance), Instagram (DCNAnature) or biglivenaturequiz.org. If you have any questions, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at +599-717-5010. 

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MINISTER OTTLEY WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY 2021 MESSAGE

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Minister of Public Health Hon. Omar Ottley released the following message with respect to World Mental Health Day which is observed yearly on the 10th of October. The minister’s aim of commemorating this day is to raise awareness of Mental Health issues and to mobilize efforts in support of Mental Health.  

“The theme of this year’s awareness campaign is “Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality”. The theme this year underlines the pressing need to focus sufficiently on health beyond the physical in a sustained way, in a world still struggling to fight the coronavirus.

“As Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, I am cognizant of the effects of Mental Health in all three areas, especially labor. The prevalence of Mental Health issues that affect individuals’ physical and social well-being makes dealing with mental health integral to achieving public health goals.

“From a labor perspective, poor mental health not only decreases a person's employability and exacerbates the already difficult labour-market situation on Sint Maarten, but a number of studies have demonstrated a cyclical link between financial worries and Mental Health problems. Lack of sufficient finances and/or job loss can result in the loss of health insurance, and the loss of health insurance of-course reduces a person's access to health care, which can result in untreated health conditions and the inability to receive preventive care. The stress and mental drain related to this domino effect can affect a person's mental well-being.

“In other situations, there are persons for whom problems at work are often the triggers or root cause of their mental illness. Bringing about awareness of mental health issues is not enough to alleviate the issues in this area. However, great progress can be made by strengthening awareness and the implementation of tools within organizations/businesses, to help employers and employees deal with psychological problems at work.

“Increasing access to mental health care and treatment for persons to receive culturally competent care is one of my top priorities, along with reducing the cultural stigmas and negative perceptions about mental illness, which often discourages individuals from getting help. Attitudes about mental health issues within our small community affects the willingness of persons to seek help. Both religious ideas and cultural perceptions can shape how people feel about getting mental health care.

“There is comfort to be found in the fact that I am diligently working on addressing mental health disorders and improving the community’s well-being by way of a comprehensive approach, policies and activities that foster mental health, and also improving access to mental health services.

“As a community, I like to think that we are our brother's/sister's keepers. Therefore, I urge each of you to do your part by being helpful, kind and empathetic towards others. Use your words, gestures and social media presence as positive tools, rather than a means to target or attack others. The effects of social media on self image and a person's will to live is underestimated. Social media platforms have proven to have a negative impact on a person's mental health, due to cyberbullying, isolation, Anxiety-depression and inadequacy about their life. Our community have been plagued by several suicides within the last years, which is a telling indicator of how disconnected from each other our society has become, that persons may have felt they had nowhere to turn, no one to talk to and no other way out of what they were experiencing. Let us unite for global mental health, not only today but every day.

“I would like to leave you with some helpful ways to improve your Mental Health daily;

  • Stay positive
  • Maintain healthy online habits
  • Practice gratitude, which means being thankful for the good things in your life.
  • Take care of your physical health, your physical and mental health are connected.
  • Exercise often, get enough sleep and eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Connect with others by creating strong, healthy relationships.
  • Develop coping skills, which are methods you use to deal with stressful situations; such as meditation.
  • Most importantly it is also important to recognize when you need to get help. If you don't know where to get treatment, start by contacting your primary care provider. Talk about it, as therapy can save a life.

“Talking about mental health gives freedom to seek help, locate mental health services, find people who can relate, and move toward well-being. Let us continue the conversation about mental health. Together, we can work to stop the stigma surrounding issues many of us face.”

“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” – Glenn Close.

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10 Coast Guard Recruits Complete BOK Training

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - Last Friday 9 October, the first 10 aspiring Coast Guard recruits of the new Coast Guard Basic Training (BOK) completed their studies and received their diplomas, the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) said in a statement on Sunday.

“The young coast-guarders from Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten started their one-year study on January 1, 2020, but due to the outbreak of Covid-19, this became one and a half years.

“During the BOK, the aspirants learned many different skills and theoretical knowledge. Such as safety at sea, first aid, firearms and marksmanship, boarding techniques, maritime laws & conventions and physical training.

“Discipline and Integrity were important topics during the training. In addition, they followed the training to become a special police officer (BAVPOL) at the Police Training Institute Law Enforcement and Security Curaçao (ORV).

“The result is independent and reliable coast-guarders who are ready for the challenges of maritime law enforcement,” the DCCG press statement concluded.

coast guard toespraak directeur

coast guard

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69th Person Dies from COVID-19. Eight New Positive COVID-19 cases on Saturday. 122 Active Cases. Six Persons Remain Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Omar Ottley extends his heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Sint Maarten’s 69th COVID-19 victim, who has passed away. Peace and healing go out to the family during this time.

As of October 8th, there were eight (8) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, eight (8) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to one hundred twenty-two (122). The total number of confirmed cases is now four thousand four hundred three (4403).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring one hundred sixteen (116) people in home isolation. Six (6) patients remain hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 has increased to sixty-nine (69).  

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to four thousand two hundred twelve (4212). Ninety-two (92) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The total number of persons tested is 53,105.

As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Special thanks to VMT for their assistance at the community COVID-19 vaccination pop-up today. Your hard work and dedication is appreciated.

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