Message to Students and Staff: COVID-19 Update in Jamaica

19 March, 2020

The Ministry of Health and Wellness reported today March 19, 2020, 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Jamaica which includes the country’s first fatality from the COVID-19 virus. The UWI community wishes to express sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased.

We understand that anxiety is growing amongst the general population and among our own staff and students, but wish to encourage everyone to be calm, proactive and careful in taking the necessary personal precautionary measures and actions as advised by the Ministry of Health and Wellness and other relevant health agencies.

If you develop any of the symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough and difficulty breathing/shortness of breath) at home or while on campus, isolate yourself in a room or space away from others and call the Ministry of Health and Wellness immediately at 888-ONE-LOVE (888-663-5683). Please also advise your Hall Manager (students) or Head of Department (staff).

Experiencing fear or extreme anxiety?

If you think you need support or recognise someone who does, do not hesitate to contact the UWIHELPS telephone counselling service: 876-294-0042 Text/Whatsapp/Call (24 hours) or the University Counselling Services: Counsellors 876-521-3473 Text/Whatsapp/Call; 876-551-0118 Text/Call Psychiatrist 876-551-0118 Text/Call

Our Chaplains are also available to assist all students and staff. Please send an email to to request emotional/spiritual support from a Chaplain.

We again wish to encourage you to:

  • Be Calm
  • Keep informed on updates, guidelines and protocols as stipulated by the Government of Jamaica
  • Stay informed on the facts of COVID-19
  • Continue Effective Personal Hygiene and self-care practices:
    • Frequent hand-washing for 20 seconds with soap and water
    • Social distancing 2 meters/ 6 feet
    • Sneeze and cough in bent elbow or tissues and properly dispose to reduce spread of illness