As the Cayman Islands remains vigilant in the fight against COVID-19, it is imperative to be informed about the virus.

What is COVID-19

COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus, first identified in Wuhan, China in 2019.

COVID-19 can be spread from an infected person to people in close contact with them (within six feet) through droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

It can also be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces that have been exposed to the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Breathing difficulties

Symptoms usually occur within 1 to 10 days after a person has been exposed to COVID-19 and are often mild, beginning gradually. Most people who contract COVID-10 have mild symptoms, recovering fully within two weeks. Some infected people may be asymptomatic.

However, one in six people will become seriously ill with difficulty breathing.

Those most vulnerable to serious illness are:

  • Older adults
  • People with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer, hypertension
  • Those with a compromised immune system from medical treatment

How to prevent spread and acquisition

There is currently no vaccine available to prevent COVID-19.

To prevent infection, avoid being exposed to the virus by practising social distancing of six feet between you and others.

Follow steps to prevent spread of respiratory viruses including:

  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Washing hands after using the toilet, and before preparing or eating food
  • Using hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing and immediately throwing the tissue in the garbage
  • Staying at home if you feel unwell
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and objects

As well as social distancing, minimise contact with others by:

  • Avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings
  • Avoiding common greetings such as handshakes
  • Limiting contact with vulnerable people such as older adults and those in poor health
  • Staying home unless it is essential to go out
  • Using technology to keep in touch with friends and family

What to do if you think you have Covid-19

If you think you may have COVID-19 call the 24-hour ‘Flu Hotline
on 1-800-534-8600 or (345) 947-3077 or email [email protected] for advice. You can also check your symptoms using the online self-assessment form at gov.ky/coronavirus.

Depending on your symptoms or potential exposure to COVID-19, you may be advised to self-isolate at home for 14 days. A member of the Health Services Authority will visit you.

Who should self-isolate

  • Anyone who may have come into contact with someone who has coronavirus
  • Anyone with coronavirus symptoms
  • Individuals arriving from overseas, whether symptomatic or not
  • The entire household of an individual who is self-isolating, whether symptomatic or not

Self-isolation Do’s and Dont’s

Do

  • Stay at home
  • Separate yourself from others in your household e.g. avoid being in same room at same time
  • Stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened
  • Ask family, friends or delivery services to do errands for you, such as getting groceries, medicines etc. and have items left outside for collection
  • Clean bathrooms regularly
  • If there is only one bathroom, implement a routine so isolated person can use last and clean thoroughly after use
  • Use separate sheets and towels and launder at hottest temperature possible
  • Wash crockery and utensils thoroughly
  • Wash hands after contact with household animals

Do not

  • Do not allow visitors to your home
  • Do not go to work, school or into public areas
  • Do not use public transport or taxis
  • Do not share utensils, crockery, or linens with other people in your home
  • Do not let family members who live with you leave the home. They are also required to self-isolate

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1 COMMENT

  1. The author claims that “one in six people will become seriously ill with difficulty breathing.” In Cayman, 203 tests have come back positive after 27,323 tests were administered, with nearly all positive cases being asymptomatic. The amount of people that have had symptoms in Cayman is closer to 1 in 50. Where did the figure of 1 in 6 come from?