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Outbreak at Sandals - Yes, you can get COVID-19 at a resort

Dec. 14, 2020
3 min read
Outbreak at Sandals - Yes, you can get COVID-19 at a resort
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Editor's note: This post has been updated after TPG got a statement from Sandals Resorts International.

A growing outbreak of COVID-19 at Sandals Grenada has the government there scrambling to find out what happened and guests wondering what to do next.

The Ministry of Health confirmed a cluster of at least 26 cases including guests of the all-inclusive resort, employees and some of their contacts. That brings the country's COVID-19 caseload to 71, and that number is expected to rise.

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I reached out to the resort, and they told me they wouldn't answer questions, and were not talking to media. Later, however, we received a statement from Sandals Resorts International who told TPG:

"Grenada's situation is an isolated one, the asymptomatic individuals were quickly identified, and we are collaborating with public health authorities to develop key learnings further. Out of an abundance of caution, the government has asked that we pause the acceptance of new arrivals for the next several days; however, the resort is currently open and fully operational for guests to enjoy."

The news was first reported by The New Today newspaper in Grenada.

Grenada's health minister Nickolas Steele reportedly ordered the evacuation of the resort on Sunday, but later backed away from that order as the resort is apparently being considered a "place of screening and assessment."

More: A country-by-country guide to reopenings

Steele said they were investigating, “why, when and how the virus was able to spread at the hotel."

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Grenada's Prime Minister Keith Mitchell is scheduled to address the nation on Monday night.

According to published reports, guests at the luxury resort are not required to undergo regular testing while on the property, but all arrivals in the country do need to show they have proof of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival on the island.

We do not know exactly how the virus is being spread, but some reports suggest staff and guests have frequent interactions at the property. Like many Caribbean resorts, Sandals Grenada has multiple outdoor common spaces where guests congregate. Being outdoors much of the day, however, may not be enough by itself to protect guests from the virus.

Sandals says on its website that they are screening guests on arrival with temperature checks, but TPG couldn't find mention of a mask requirement for guests. Staff are required to wear masks.

(Screenshot courtesy Sandals)

At a news conference on Sunday Dec. 13, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shawn Charles said that hundreds of additional tests are pending and the case loads are expected to climb, "It is very likely that this number will increase significantly."

Still, the Minster of Health said in a statement the country would not go back into lockdown, “We have prepared for this eventually. We cannot afford to close our borders.”

Related: Grenada reopening

The resort remains open for future bookings.

(Screenshot courtesy Sandals)

Related: The Caribbean is reopening; recovery depends on you

Featured image by Westend61/Getty Images.

Featured image by Getty Images/Westend61

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees