COVID update: One new case in latest results

The Cayman Islands has one new case of COVID-19, Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee announced Friday at a government press briefing.

The case involves a traveller who is currently in isolation at a government facility.

The latest results come from a total of 385 tests.

Cayman now has recorded 209 positive cases. Of those, four are currently active but asymptomatic. All four are travellers who have flown into Cayman.

The pilot phase of procedures that will be in place after 1 Oct., when the ‘soft reopening’ of Cayman’s borders begins, started on Thursday, when 29 arriving British Airways passengers from 12 households were chosen to take part in the ‘quarantine in residence programme’. 

Lee said those passengers received PCR swab tests at the airport as part of the pilot programme, and none of the 29 returned positive results.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said one of the 95 passengers who arrived on Thursday had failed to receive authorisation from Travel Time to enter the islands.

He said the traveller had been placed in quarantine overnight. “No one should arrive on island without necessary approvals,” the premier said.

Later on Friday night, Customs and Border Control clarified in a statement that the passenger was a dependent of a permanent resident and permission to remain on island was reinstated prior to the individual’s planned departure on the British Airways flight on Friday.

Lee said the launching of the pilot programme on Thursday was a “big day” for Cayman, and that participating arrivals had described the procedures as “comprehensive, understandable and easy to follow”.

Tasha Ebanks-Garcia, deputy chief advisor in the Officer of the Deputy Governor, said the decision to choose just 29 passengers was based on selecting a number that was large enough to serve as a test sample, but small enough for resources to deal with.

She said there are currently 1,200 monitoring wristbands on island. These include 1,000 which were delivered today, and 200 which arrived earlier. Some of the wristbands from the batch of 200 are being used by the passengers in the trial programme and also by some government staff members, including employees in the Computer Services Department who are testing the functionality of the devices.

The remaining 1,000 will be utilised from 1 Oct. McLaughlin previously said a maximum of 800 travellers will be allowed into the Cayman Islands next month.

Regulations

The government on Thursday night issued regulations regarding the latest quarantine arrangements for people who arrive on the island.

Under the regulations, breaches in quarantine are considered criminal offences, with maximum penalties of a $1,000 fine and six months in prison.

A second set of regulations relate to legal actions that can be taken to deal with people who visit individuals who are quarantined at home.

US mail

Finance Minister Roy McTaggart announced that mail to and from the US will resume on Monday, 21 Sept., following the signing of a contract between the United States Postal Service and Cayman Airways.

He said mail should begin appearing in mailboxes by Wednesday, 23 Sept.

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