Cayman’s COVID-19 cases have increased by four, taking the national tally to 160, according to the latest report from Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee.

Lee, in a statement Thursday, said three of the new cases are assumed to be locally acquired cases and are asymptomatic.

They were picked up through screening, and contact tracing has started for those individuals.

The fourth positive case is a contact of a known positive person. This case also presented as asymptomatic.

A total of 745 COVID-19 tests have been carried out in the last 24 hours, Lee’s statement said. This latest batch of tests brings Cayman’s overall testing total to 13,253.

Of the 160 positive cases, 85 have recovered, 74 are active, and one has died.

While Thursday’s cases were all asymptomatic, on Tuesday Lee reported the first symptomatic case since 27 April – a 9-year-old child who was displaying mild symptoms, and had not required hospitalisation.

The child is one of seven children who have tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of the crisis.

Lee said three of the seven children had displayed COVID-19 symptoms.

Premier Alden McLaughlin, on Tuesday, said those results are also important when he considers the volume of requests to reopen schools.

“I am personally receiving a number of requests from persons and institutions to allow some schools to reopen and to allow childcare, institutionalised childcare, to resume,” he said.

“As we pointed out from the very beginning, children are the single biggest vector of the disease because generally they are asymptomatic and because it is very difficult to teach children to fight against the natural human instinct to touch and to embrace and to be close to each other,” McLaughlin added.

Thursday’s results were released through a statement and not the usual press briefing. Government has reduced the number of briefings held each week.

It is expected that a COVID-19 press briefing will be held Friday to update the community on the latest developments with government’s expanding testing programme and response plans.

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