There were no positive COVID-19 results among the mass drive-through tests done at the Cayman Islands Hospital on Saturday, health officials have announced.
Of the 620 samples analysed since government’s press briefing on Saturday, all returned negative results. The majority of the tests, approximately 500, were done at the drive-through facility established outside the hospital in George Town on Saturday morning.
At the press conference, Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee reported that all the classmates of a Red Bay Primary School student who tested positive last week returned negative tests after they were tested on the school property on Friday afternoon. The tests of the Year 2 students’ parents and of their teachers were also negative.
Out of 346 tests carried out on Friday and announced on Saturday, only one person – a returning traveller – tested positive.
The positive case of the Red Bay Primary School student prompted the Health Services Authority to offer free COVID-19 testing at its drive-through facility at the hospital.
Of the tests taken at that site on Saturday morning, 116 involved children between the ages of 1 and 18 years.
The drive-through COVID-19 testing facility will be open again on Monday from 7am to 9:30am.
Anyone wishing to be tested must wear a mask and carry photo identification, including for any children that are to be tested. If a child does not have a photo ID, the parent’s photo ID along with the child’s birth certificate will suffice, officials said.
Red Bay Primary School, and its after-school programmes, will reopen as usual on Monday for all classes, except for Year 2 students who will remain in isolation, along with their households, until 17 Oct. The three classes of Year 2 students – a total of 54 children – will receive lessons via online remote learning, along with any of their siblings who attend the school.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez on Saturday evening clarified the self-isolation instructions for parents of the classmates of the student who tested positive for COVID-19.
“The Public Health Department would like to advise parents of students in Year 2 at Red Bay Primary School, that they are required to isolate at home, at least until Saturday, October 17 when they will be retested,” Williams-Rodriguez said.
“Exit testing will be done at South Sound Community Centre on Saturday, October 17, from 9am to 12 midday.”
Although the Red Bay Year 2 students and their parents have all tested negative, the COVID-19 incubation period of approximately 14 days means that, in theory, they could be infected but the test may not detect it. This is why an exit test after at least 14 days has to be carried out which will pick up any infection.
This is consistent with the protocol for returning travelers, who are required to isolate for 14 days before undergoing a COVID PCR test. They are only allowed to move freely after a negative exit PCR test.
Williams-Rodriguez said, “This isolation instruction means that parents, siblings and all household members of these children are to remain at home and have no contact with anyone else outside the immediate household.
“You are not permitted to go to work, nor the supermarket, gym, church or any activity outside your home.”
He said parents who live in a single-family dwelling may allow their children to play in their own yard but not with persons outside the household. Parents who live in apartment complexes or multi-dwelling buildings must ensure that everyone remains inside the home.
“No visitor should be allowed in any of your homes,” Williams-Rodriguez said. “Should any member of your household develop any symptoms, please call the flu hotline on 1-800-534-8600, or 947-3077, or 925-6327 for instructions.”
For further information, visit the Health Services Authority website at www.hsa.ky.