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Health officials have changed how they will be reporting COVID-19 cases in Cayman.

It comes after confirmatory tests from the Caribbean Public Health Agency determined that a sample which had been found to be negative during testing at the Health Services Authority laboratory was, in fact, positive. The sample was from the initial batch of results that were run through the HSA lab.

On Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee reported the false negative test.

“But when we put it through the confirmatory test, the result came back as positive,” he said, adding, “The subject had been isolated at all times and remains in isolation. We will now be changing the process so that anything that screens positive will be reported as inconclusive and will then be sent to CARPHA for testing for confirmation.”

In addition, Lee said, Cayman will continue to send all its positive tests and 10% of the negatives to CARPHA.

He explained that in the case of the ‘false negative’ result, it is possible that the sample sent to CARPHA had been taken much later in the disease process, and “maybe [had] some influence in that particular case”.

However, he said he remained confident in the results of the tests being run by the HSA lab.

“I’m very encouraged that all of the other results that came back were correct, so that is good,” he said.

He said some of the students who returned to the island from overseas have been tested.

As of Thursday, Cayman had 166 negative cases.

There have been eight positive cases. Two were reported on Wednesday, which originated from the HSA and were from people who either presented themselves at the flu clinic or were from samples taken by doctors. One test remains inconclusive and health officials are still are investigating that patient at HSA – a suspected community-transmission case.

COVID-19 test results
– 6 positive related to Health City Cayman Islands (including 1 deceased)
– 2 positive related to travel history outside the Cayman Islands
– 1 related to community transmission (still awaiting confirmation from CARPHA)

Full coverage: Coronavirus

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