The Ministry of Health and Wellness announced the relaxation of the national mask mandate as of October 1st. Bahamians are asked to wear masks in situations that they may feel it is needed. However, masks are still required in certain settings such as in schools.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Philip Swann spoke on the issue of masks in the classroom at the Office of the Prime Minister’s press briefing. He said, “increased cases of influenza like illnesses and not determined to be COVID-19 in one or two schools that requires the need for additional action and caution. There are no other settings where individuals are in such close proximity for multiple fixed periods of time of sixty to ninety minutes a day in closed settings. The vaccination levels among school aged children are among the lowest. I would even say sub-optimal they’re just the lowest. Same can be said to some extent to the groups that work with them. And their is some problems with parents adhering to protocols of taking them for testing when they present with symptoms of influenza like illness.”

Mr. Swann also said that the vaccination rate is trending between one and two hundred people per week and that arrangements are underway to make the delivery of the pediatric vaccine available in schools.