By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
A BIMINI woman who was airlifted to New Providence after experiencing a fever and breathing difficulties on Monday has been released after testing negative for COVID-19, a relative said.
The 65-year-old woman is the step-mother of former consul general to Atlanta, Randy Rolle. She became ill sometime after his 78-year-old father recovered from a high fever and a cough, he said.
Bimini resident Kim Johnson-Rolle, 57, was the first confirmed COVID-19 death in the country. Since then, there has been a confirmed COVID-19 case on nearby Cat Cay but not on Bimini.
Mrs Johnson-Rolle attended the same church as Mr Rolle’s father and the last time the pair were in the same vicinity was at a March 27 funeral, Mr Rolle said.
He said his step-mother was persuaded to go to New Providence by Health Minister Dr Duane Sands.
“Dr Duane Sands called to convince them. My dad’s a Christian who would’ve prayed himself through his issues. We are all believers of faith but she was convinced to err on the side of caution as opposed to waiting until things get worse. I talk to her every half an hour or so now. She’s always been stable,” he said.
Mr Rolle later told The Tribune that his step-mother’s test came back negative.
Although Mr Rolle’s father was not transported with his wife, health officials took a swab from him to test for COVID-19, Mr Rolle said.
“My father is a former athlete, a very strong 78-year-old with no underlying illnesses so there is a chance he recovered if he had the virus,” he said.
Dr Sands, speaking to reporters before a Cabinet meeting yesterday, said officials used COVID-19 precautions before transporting the woman.
“…It is not to say that the person was exhibiting COVID symptoms,” he said. “We don’t know what the problem is, however, in this COVID-era anyone who has a problem now is looked at through the prism of COVID-19. I think it’s very important for us to wait until we get information because people can still have heart attacks, people can still get pneumonia, people can still get tuberculosis, people still have cancer, not everyone who is sick has COVID.”