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The Health Services Authority has cancelled all elective surgeries and specialist services at the Cayman Islands Hospital and Faith Hospital effective Sunday night as it moved to insulate the institutions from COVID-19.
This is the second such step by the authority to minimise public contact with the hospital.
On Saturday, the HSA banned visits by members of the public to patients at the Cayman Islands Hospital.
Only parents of children in the paediatric ward and those accompanying women in labour will be allowed into the hospital.
The authority also said, as a precautionary measure, all staff who have returned from overseas as of 13 March will be placed on home isolation for 14 days before returning to work. Where possible, these employees will be assigned tasks that can be done remotely, the HSA said.
“Protecting our patients and the community is our utmost priority as we prepare for COVID-19,” HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood said in the statement.
The HSA said the cancellations were done “in order to minimize any potential transmission of COVID-19 within the hospital environment and ensure the ability to sustain vital healthcare services to the country”.
Patients will be contacted to reschedule their appointments.
“We understand that cancelling appointments is an inconvenience, however, we are doing so in the overall best interest of our patients and the community,” Yearwood said. “With the global outbreak of COVID-19, we are taking these measures to help mitigate the spread in our islands.”
Further changes, the authority said, will be made throughout various departments, such as pharmacy, which will be limiting the number of seats in the waiting room and offering additional seating in the atrium, in an effort to ensure patients maintain a safe social distance.
All doors into the facility will be locked and only accessible to authorised personnel.
The Accident and Emergency Unit will be open to patients who require immediate emergency care.
While these policy changes have been implemented, HSA said, its outpatient clinics will operate as normal.
The expanded Flu Clinic has been moved to the former Mental Health Outpatient Unit and will be open from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
The Flu Clinic in Cayman Brac will operate out of the medical wing of the Aston Rutty Centre, as of Tuesday, 17 March, 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
All dental clinics, (George Town, Bodden Town, West Bay and Merren) and the eye clinic will be open for emergencies only.
Paediatric acute care services will be offered from the Specialist Clinic. Children with flu symptoms will be seen in the dedicated Paediatric Flu Clinic, which is located in the old physiotherapy department.
| The Health Services Authority is encouraging members of the public who are experiencing flu-like symptoms to call the flu hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 947-3077, or email [email protected]