Airport staffer tests positive for coronavirus

A staff member at Owen Roberts Internationl Airport has contracted the coronavirus. - Photo: File

A staff member at the Owen Roberts International Airport on Grand Cayman has tested positive for COVID-19, the Cayman Islands Airports Authority confirmed Wednesday evening.

The CIAA said the team member, who is asymptomatic, is in isolation and contact tracing is being carried out. The employee was tested as part of the airports authority’s company-wide testing.

According to a statement issued by the CIAA, nearly 300 airport personnel have been tested, including its own staff, as well as employees of partner companies that provide services at the airport, such as many of the construction personnel working on the Airfield Upgrade Project. All of these other workers have tested negative.

The CIAA said in the statement, “The health and safety of our passengers, colleagues and partners are of utmost priority for us. Upon receiving confirmation of the one positive case, our teams immediately carried out additional safety measures throughout the terminal. We employed a professional cleaning service to conduct deep cleaning of the areas where the positive team member may have travelled or made any type of contact and intensified our normal airport cleaning regime for all areas.”

According to the CIAA, new procedures and safety measures implemented at the airport include:

  • Social distancing – 6-foot distance markers have been placed on the floors where passengers queue;
  • Distanced seating in the departure lounge;
  • Only passengers are allowed to enter the terminal – family and friends must say goodbye outside the terminal;
  • Disinfectant is provided for passengers to disinfect their hands and luggage upon entering the terminal, and portable hand-sanitiser dispensers have been installed throughout the terminal building;
  • It is mandatory for masks to be worn prior to entering the airport terminal and while inside any CIAA buildings;
  • Increased cleaning and sanitisation schedules throughout the terminal with advanced cleaning after each repatriation flight;
  • Cleaning of each bin after it is used at the security checkpoint;
  • Temperature checks conducted on all passengers arriving on repatriation flights;
  • Development of a local operating procedure for COVID-19 Pandemic Response.

Owen Roberts International Airport in George Town and Charles Kirkconnell International Airport in Cayman Brac remain closed for international passenger flights until at least 31 Aug. Domestic, cargo, courier and emergency medical flights are continuing to operate, in addition to any air-bridge or repatriation flights that the Cayman Islands government approves, the CIAA stated.

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