The Cayman Islands has six new cases of the coronavirus, including four students who had been quarantined at a local hotel, Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee announced today at the daily COVID-19 briefing.
This brings to 45 the number of people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19.
Students who had returned from overseas have been in isolation in a local hotel since they landed back in Cayman last month. Health officials tested them for coronavirus before releasing them. The students that have tested negative have been reunited with their families.
The students who tested positive are continuing to stay in isolation at the hotel.
The latest results are from a batch of 114 samples that were tested. The two results that were not from the students were connected with two previously reported positive cases, Lee said.
Premier Alden McLaughlin said he was heartened by the most recent results, despite the six new positive cases, “in the sense that four of them are returning students, which I think vindicates entirely the decision to isolate them and indeed the decision to test them once the 14 days had expired”.
He said some may ask how the students tested positive after they had been in isolation for 14 days, and gave some possible explanations for this. For example, they may have contracted the virus on the flight between London and Grand Cayman, or the virus was still showing up in their blood, resulting in a positive test.
He added that it was unlikely the students were still infectious, but that health officials were acting out of an abundance of caution by requiring them to remain in isolation until they showed two consecutive negative results.
So far, just one case has been confirmed positive on Cayman Brac, and 17 people have been tested there, Lee said.
‘Fake news’ voice note
Police Commissioner Derek Byrne said a person had been arrested in connection with a voice note that had circulated alleging that Governor Martyn Roper had organised this week’s emergency British Airways flight from London so his wife Lissie could return to the island from the UK. Roper stated over the weekend that his wife was in the UK and planned to remain there as her elderly parents are unwell.
“I can confirm that an arrest was made this morning. One person is currently being detained at the custody detention centre … for interview,” Byrne said, adding that it would not be appropriate for him to comment further.
Businessman Mario Rankin, on a radio show on Monday night, apologised for making the voice note, saying that it had not been intended to be circulated publicly.
The police commissioner said his officers were seeing near total compliance with curfew regulations, describing the scene overnight Monday/Tuesday as “very quiet”, with no breaches of the hard curfew being found on any of the three islands.
During the soft curfew on Tuesday, however, two people were found to be in breach by carrying out non-exempted commercial work.
Byrne said that one issue that was being repeatedly mentioned by members of the public was dump trucks being driven “at very high speeds in a reckless manner”. He said if police received video or dash-cam footage, with the licence plate number and the date and location of the offence, “we will initiate an investigation”.
The premier commended the public for abiding by curfew rules, stating, “I think people are truly understanding the importance of what we are trying to do.”