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Three New Positive COVID-19 Cases on Tuesday. 23 Active Cases. 59 Persons in Home Isolation/Quarantine. Three persons Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of May 4th, there were three (3) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, four (4) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to twenty-three (23). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand two hundred forty-three (2243).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring twenty (20) people in home isolation. Three (3) patients remain hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at twenty-seven (27).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand one hundred ninety-three (2193). Thirty-nine (39) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 2, 725 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 26, 359 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

For your safety and the safety of your loved ones, Minister Ottley encourages everyone to wear your mask, practice social distancing, and sanitize or wash your hands frequently.

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Recreational facilities, school buildings discussed at retreat

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - The development of recreational facilities and the upgrading of the school buildings were two topics discussed during the recent retreat of the Island Council and the Executive Council.

Recreational facilities

Recreational facilities are high on the agenda of the Island Council, especially the creating of a public swimming pool annex recreational park. The Juliana Sports Field and the Johan Cruijff Court in The Bottom are already improved, while plans are made to upgrade the playground in St. John’s, the Wilhelmina Park, the kitchen facility at the Juliana Sports Field and a further upgrade of the Cruijff Field.

Budget proposals are being drafted for these plans. A project team has made a first plan for a public swimming pool annex recreational park. The idea is to create this at the Cove Bay by upgrading the building, expanding the playground, add new facilities to the area and build a salt water pool which needs a lot less maintenance than a regular swimming pool.

The Island Council pushed hard to have lights installed at the Johan Cruijff Court. A timer will see to the automatic switching on and turning off of the lights. Contact has been made with the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and the Cruijff Foundation to resurface the field. The planning and a budget plan for this project will be ready shortly.

Other government buildings used as multifunctional (youth) centers will also be evaluated and the structures reinforced (roofs repaired or replaced) based on the recommendations of the evaluations.

While the ongoing repairs are taking place to the roof of the Sunny Valley Youth Center in The Bottom, the Island Council also suggested to have a porch roof added to the construction works. Members of the Island and Executive Council visited several projects, including the Artisan Foundation, the Under the Hill housing project phase II, the Sunny Valley Youth Center and the new parking lot at the schools in St. John’s.

School buildings

The Public Entity Saba, with the financial assistance of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (SZW), has completed renovations at the Sacred Heart School and the Saba Comprehensive School (SCS). Plans to construct a new daycare and afterschool care building and the expansion of the primary school for the kindergarten continue to be worked on in consultation with the Ministry of OCW.

In the opinion of the Island Council, since the new constitutional structure, the progress with regard to the new building and the expansions have been much too slow. Several stakeholders, along with the Executive and Island Council, have expressed frustrations about the delays. In the meantime, the needs have to somewhat changed, which stakeholders should take into account when moving forward.

The Island Council suggested to have discussions with the Ministry of OCW, to continue the further upgrading of the school buildings and to facilitate the construction of the new daycare and afterschool care center. The Island Council noted that continued improvements to Saba’s only secondary education institution remained necessary.

Satel NV

During a recent meeting between government and the telecommunications company Satel, the quality/higher speed and the price of internet were discussed. In June, the contract with the present provider will end. The bidding process for a new provider started in April.

This should result in a new contract with better quality/higher speed and better pricing. Satel will work on installing extra equipment for areas such as St. John’s and Zion’s Hill to improve reception. The Island Council also expressed interest in having fiber optic cable installed to each household. Even though this will not guarantee optimal speed, it does allow to improve the infrastructure needed for the near future.

Parking situation

The number of cars on Saba has increased, which creates parking problems. The Public Entity Saba is putting together a mobility plan that will deal with different aspects of this issue. Constructing parking lot specifically for government vehicles is being considered. Car wreck removal will be part of the plan. (Saba GIS)

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10 New Positive COVID-19 cases on Monday. Active Cases Climb to 24. Two Persons Hospitalized. 59 Persons in Home Isolation/Quarantine

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of May 3rd, there were ten (10) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, two (2) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to twenty-four (24). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand two hundred forty (2240).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring twenty-one (21) people in home isolation. Three (3) patients are currently hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at twenty-seven (27).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand one hundred eighty-nine (2189). Thirty-eight (38) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 2, 716 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 26, 359 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley urges everyone to remain focus and wear your mask, practice social distancing, and sanitize or wash your hands frequently.

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Posh Productions presents prizes to the winners of the 2019 pageants

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Posh Productions Incorporated (POSH) in a press release over the weekend, stated that it has finally presented prizes to winners of the 2019 pageants. Unable to recover financial investments made to produce the pageants and the lack of sufficient sponsorship, POSH found itself in a very negative position with the delivery of prizes to the winners of the 2019 Carnival King and Queen pageants.

Despite efforts to raise funds through various initiatives, ultimately the non-profit foundation could not garner sufficient revenue to complete its obligations at an earlier time. Furthermore, with a large percentage of patrons who attended the shows in the the Festival Village entering using season passes, the foundation gained little success at the gate through door sales. This significantly contributed to its negative financial position and ultimately bankrupted the foundation.

“When POSH launched for Carnival 2016, we came out with great enthusiasm and were passionate to take pageantry to another level. I believe it is safe to say we did just that. However, as the years proceeded, the financial challenges that we faced became more difficult. There was an inability to secure funding and the needed support to maintain the five year concession contract the foundation was locked in to. Nevertheless, we remained committed and pushed through. Unfortunately, year after year not being able to recover from the year before eventually tanked POSH and left the foundation and participants in a very unpleasant situation,” said POSH President; Mrs. Cassandra Weekes-Jeffers.

Despite the negative experience, POSH management remained steadfast to their commitment made to winners. Though it has taken way longer than anyone anticipated, and for some was unbearable, POSH is happy that on Thursday, April 22nd, 2021, together with Motorworld, Mr. Genuine Quality (GQ) King; Mr. Learie Hall, Miss. Mature Carnival Queen; Anastatia Peters and Senior Carnival Queen D’Shnay Mathew York received checks in the amount value of $10,000.00 which is the maximum value of the vehicles they would have received back in 2019. The winners are free to purchase a vehicle from Motorworld or do what they wish with the funds. Ultimately, they have accepted this as their top and final prize from Posh Productions.

POSH will be meeting with the other level winners and Runner Ups within short, to discuss the course forward to their final prize as POSH pushes to close off this chapter.

“POSH has maintained contact with most of the participants of the pageants and once again takes this opportunity to express our sincere apologies for the unfair and unfortunate situation experienced. This was never our intention and to a large degree fell out of our control. We truly appreciate your patience with us and we are grateful for your kind cooperation,” said President Weekes-Jeffers.

POSH is also expressing much appreciation to the management and staff of Motorworld for working with us and making this all possible.

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Saturday morning Shooting near a Restaurant in Simpson Bay leaves Investigators Puzzled

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - Central Dispatch of Police Force (KPSM) received several reports on Saturday, May 1, about 10:30 a.m. of a shooting in the vicinity of a restaurant in Simpson Bay.

According to the information obtained by the patrol who first arrived on the scene, it appears that the drivers of the two cars, who remain unknown, fired shots at each other close to the restaurant.

After the shooting, both drivers left the scene. A vehicle parked on the side of the road was hit by a bullet.

Police later made contact with the medical center to determine if anyone had arrived at the hospital injured from a gunshot wound.  No one had appeared with injuries from a bullet wound at the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC). Detectives are still busy with this investigation. (KPSM)

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Second phase of Statia’s Border Reopening starts as of May 9

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - The Public Entity St. Eustatius will further open up its borders on Sunday, May 9th, 2021 by introducing the second phase of the road map. As of this date family members of residents and Statians that want to return home can enter the island. Also, visitors from Curaçao, Aruba, St. Maarten, Bonaire and Saba are welcomed to Statia. The only condition is that all incoming travelers must be fully vaccinated. 

Everyone else can also visit Statia but must go into quarantine for 10 days if they are not fully vaccinated.

Third phase

The third phase of the road map does not have a starting date but will start when 50% of the population of St. Eustatius is vaccinated. When this is reached, fully vaccinated visitors can come to Statia without the mandatory quarantine of 10 days. Up till now in total 879 persons (which is 37%) received both doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Fourth phase

In the fourth phase everyone can enter the island, also not vaccinated visitors, without the need to go into quarantine. The condition is that the majority of the Statian residents must be vaccinated, which is 80%.

The easing of measures started on April 11, 2021 which was the first phase of the road map of the opening of the island. As of that day, Statian residents that are fully vaccinated do not need to go into quarantine anymore when entering Statia after traveling abroad.

Careful deliberation

The decision to further easy the measures was taken after careful deliberation and only after consulting the key partners involved. These are the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports in the Netherlands (VWS), the National Institute for Health and Environment (RIVM), the Public Health Department and the Crisis Management team in Statia. (Statia GIS)

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Four New Positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday. 16 Active Cases. Two persons Hospitalized. 51 in Home Isolation/Quarantine

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of April 29th, there were four (4) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, three (3) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to sixteen (16). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand two hundred thirty (2230).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring fourteen (14) people in home isolation. Two (2) patients are currently hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at twenty-seven (27).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand one hundred eighty-seven (2187). Thirty-seven (37) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 2, 705 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 26, 359 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley would like to bid everyone a safe Carnival Day in advance and reminds everyone to remain cautious, wear your mask, practice social distancing, and sanitize or wash your hands.

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Seven Seas Water observes World Day for Safety and Health in Collaboration with the Fire Department

SINT MAARTEN (POINT BLANCHE) - Social corporate responsibility is important for Seven Seas Water, and as such the company gives special attention World Safety Day by hosting its own World week for Safety and Health which is observed in week 17 of this year. This year’s theme set by the International Labor Organization (ILO) is ‘Anticipate, prepare and respond to crises: Invest now in resilient occupational safety and health systems.’

“Seven Seas Water (St. Maarten) could not let this opportunity go unnoticed since the company subscribes to its role as a conscientious corporate citizen with a high level of corporate social responsibilities,” said Seven Seas Water (St. Maarten) Managing Director of Franklyn Richards.

With this in mind, Seven Seas Water (St. Maarten) continues to engage in training of staff regarding occupational safety and health (OSH) systems, in order to face crises now and in the future, drawing on lessons learned and experiences from the world of work, said Richards.

Fire Chief, Clive Richardson furthermore, emphasizes that Safety is something that should be observed and respected at all times no matter what one does. One must realize that cutting corners when it comes to safety might not affect us today but can affect a person or persons tomorrow. Therefore, the Sint Maarten Fire Department always champions “safety first”.

The company considers adhering to a safe and healthy work culture an important aspect of its corporate responsibility and sees as benefits, among other things, greater productivity, higher performance and lower abstention rates at work.

Fire Department collaboration

To further promote safety and in giving true content to social corporate responsibility, Seven Seas Water decided to join forces with the St. Maarten Fire Department. Seven Seas Water and the Fire Department share similar social responsibilities with regard to promoting safety, creating safe conditions while at the same time protecting the environment.

“I have seen how the company is creating a safety culture, with having all participating into events like this, monthly safety meetings and all other online safety trainings,” said Seven Seas Water (St. Maarten) Plant Manager Howard Rogers. Having worked for the company for 11 years, he spoke from experience when he said that, “Programs like this promote a safety culture in workplaces and adds a high level of importance on safety beliefs, values, and attitude.”

Head of Prevention, Preparation, Education and Training at the Fire Department Silvanico Pauletta expressed his support for the endeavors of Seven Seas Water to observe 2021 World Day for Safety and Health. “Businesses like Seven Seas Water (St. Maarten) have the obligation and social responsibility to protect their environment and the health and safety of all stakeholders involved. This includes personnel, visitors and also the areas surrounding the business. This needs to be done to both prevent an accident from occurring and to mitigate the effects when an accident happens within your business,” said Pauletta.

Pauletta highlighted that even with preventive measures in place, there is always a chance that accidents can happen. “As a business, you need to prepare your facility and staff to act in such a way to limit the damage and injuries or even fatalities. This is why it is so important to have crises mitigative measures in place.”

“Seven Seas Water (St. Maarten) is committed to safety and the execution of safe behaviors which determines the constantly improving safety culture the company so dearly holds,” stated Operations engineer and Site Safety Officer Tano Bergen. “Safety is determined by the sum of the individual contributions and not by intellect, positions or departments. Safety is for all and all should be for safety,” he added.

Seven Seas Water (St. Maarten) and the Fire Department together are producing a comprehensive, 15-minute video which will emphasize the committed approach to improving and instilling a safety culture at Seven Seas Water, while at the same time showing the importance of crisis preparedness and having a solid cooperation with a vital emergency response stakeholder like the Fire Department.

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Six New Positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. 15 Active Cases. 53 Persons in Home Isolation/Quarantine

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of April 28th, there were six (6) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, three (3) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to fifteen (15). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand two hundred twenty-six (2226).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring fourteen (14) people in home isolation. One (1) patient is currently hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at twenty-seven (27).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand one hundred eighty-four (2184). Thirty-nine (39) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 2, 703 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 26, 359 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Remain vigilant when in public, it is your duty to protect your health. Continue to wear your mask, practice social distancing, sanitize or wash your hands frequently and refrain from mass gatherings.

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Five New Positive COVID-19 cases on Monday. 12 Active Cases. Six Recoveries. Two patients Hospitalized

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of April 26th, there were five (5) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, six (6) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to twelve (12). The total number of confirmed cases is now two thousand two hundred twenty (2220).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring ten (10) people in home isolation. Two (2) patients are currently hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at twenty-seven (27).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to two thousand one hundred eighty-one (2181). Twenty-nine (29) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 2686 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 26, 322 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley urges everyone to register to be vaccinated. We must collectively work together and encourage one another to prioritize your health first.

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