Premier: Testing Cabinet for COVID-19 not priority

Says there are more urgent demands for tests

Premier Alden McLaughlin has said that testing himself and his Cabinet for COVID-19 is “not a priority” right now.

“We will wait our turn. Quite frankly, in my view, there are far more urgent demands on the limited testing capacity of the system than our people,” McLaughlin said as he addressed questions from the Cayman Compass on the issue of testing local leaders.

The premier said testing of Cabinet and its staff has not started yet.

“Most of my Cabinet ministers have been in isolation, self-imposed isolation, and we meet generally by Zoom, myself included. There are only three ministers that come to the building at all. I am more than happy to do the test, all of us are, but we are not a priority at this stage,” he said at Monday’s COVID-19 press briefing.

Three new cases of the coronavirus and 761 negative results were reported by Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez Monday after a weekend of heavy testing.

As of Monday, 4,187 people had been tested for COVID-19. Of those, there are 84 positive cases, 47 recovered, 36 ‘active’ patients, one death, 94 in government isolation and 98 in private quarantine.

The premier’s statement follows Governor Martyn Roper’s announcement, via his Twitter account Monday morning, that he was tested Friday for COVID-19 along with staff from the Governor’s Office and Government House.

He is the first local high-level government official to confirm he has undergone testing.

The governor shared that the tests came back negative and that it was “a quick, simple procedure”.

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said he is open to testing and has been trying to get tested for over a month. “But it seems like I won’t get sick so they won’t test me,” he joked.

He welcomed Roper’s negative results.

“I am glad and happy to know that I sit right next to the governor every day and he is well, so I think I am well. I am waiting for my turn,” he said.

Testing has been conducted on employees in the Government Administration Building, including staff members of Government Information Services, the National Emergency Operations Centre and the Department of Safety Communications.

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