Governor Martyn Roper said Sunday that Cayman’s transition into Level 3 of government’s COVID-19-suppression plan is still on track despite the announcement Friday night of three positive cases of the virus at Kirk Market.
Roper, in his Mother’s Day message posted on his social media pages, said such incidents are expected as government’s ramped-up testing continues.
He said that work towards moving the country out of Level 4 (high suppression) to Level 3 (moderate suppression) will continue.
The governor noted said it is “not a surprise” that some cases are still popping up.
“It is a complicated and dangerous virus. That is why we are doing the testing of all front-line staff so we can isolate, trace contacts and suppress any further spread. Our strategy of being able to ease some restrictions in a week or so as we move to level 3 (moderate suppression) still remains on track,” he said.
Premier Alden McLaughlin announced at a Friday, 1 May, press briefing Grand Cayman’s transition from maximum (Level 5) to high (Level 4) suppression, which began the following Monday and saw the easing of some restrictions that allowed for some businesses to reopen limited operations.
Last week, both Cayman Brac and Little Cayman were released from most of their restrictions following the results of extensive screening tests, in which almost the entire population of Little Cayman was tested and all results were negative.
On the evening of Friday, 8 May, Kirk Market announced that three of its employees had tested positive for COVID-19.
The George Town supermarket closed its doors for the day Saturday to carry out what it called “additional stringent sanitation and deep-cleaning procedures”.
Following the closure of Kirk Market on Saturday, Hurley’s, Foster’s and Cost-U-Less extended their opening hours to 7pm to accommodate long lines of customers.
Roper commended Kirk Market for its handling of the announcement.
“I know you will be worried about the small number of positive cases at Kirk Market. The management handled it brilliantly. It looks like a small cluster,” he said.
Kirk Market representatives declined to be interviewed Saturday, but said the store will provide updates to the public when more information is available.
In its statement Friday, the store said that “meticulous contact tracing has been carried out to track down every colleague who has been in sustained or adjacent contact with the affected team-members”.
All close contacts with the positive individuals, it said, have been tested and excluded from work while the company awaits their results from the HSA, which is continuing to test all frontline workers throughout Grand Cayman.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, in response to queries from the Cayman Compass on Saturday, said the total 81 positive cases in the Cayman Islands announced at Friday’s press briefing remains the current total of confirmed cases reported to the Public Health Department.
In his Sunday message, Roper acknowledged that this year’s Mother’s Day is different.
“Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers across our Islands! Perhaps not the Mother’s Day any of us could have envisaged but I hope you get some joy and happiness from the day,” he said.
If anyone is concerned that they may have been in contact with a person who is COVID-19 positive or if they have flu-like symptoms, they should call the flu hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 947-3077 or email [email protected].