Police have sent a file on Sunday’s quarantine breach to the Director of Public Prosecution to determine if a prosecution will go ahead.
Following contact tracing, six people, including the traveller, who has been named as Skylar Mack, are currently in mandatory quarantine, public health officials said in a press release issued Wednesday.
Mack, who had recently arrived in Cayman and was subject to quarantine-in-residence regulations, was spotted on Sunday at a jet-ski race in South Sound, in which her boyfriend, pro rider Vanjae ‘VJ’ Ramgeet, was taking part. Mack was detained by police under the Public Health Law and later relocated to a government facility, at her expense.
Public Health confirmed Wednesday that it had carried out “all primary contact tracing protocols” and had ordered five other people to go into mandatory quarantine.
The department said all individuals concerned with this incident will be tested on Thursday, 3 Dec. “to allow sufficient time for incubation of the virus, and re-tested again at the end of their quarantine”.
Public Health also noted that as the jet-ski race was an outdoor event, “most people were found to be secondary contacts and therefore would be not required to isolate”.
The release noted that the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service had completed its investigations and sent a file to the DPP’s office. The DPP is also expected to determine whether anyone else will be charged in connection with the breach, the statement said.
It pointed out that, upon summary conviction, offenders are liable to a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to two years.
“I would like to use this opportunity to implore everyone in the Cayman Islands, visitors and residents alike, to take ownership and responsibility for your own health and the protection of our community. Together we will get through this,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez said in the statement.
Three other cases of quarantine breaches are also being investigated. No update on the status of those cases has been given by officials, other than to say that no one has been charged at this stage.
The press release also addressed concerns over the efficacy of the monitoring wristbands that all arriving travellers are required to wear while in quarantine.
A Quarantine at Home Programme Board manages the monitoring initiative that allowed for the partial reopening of Cayman’s borders on 1 Oct.
The release stated that the board had carried out an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the recent quarantine breaches and concluded that there was no malfunction in the wearable tracking technology being used by participants.
It said the monitoring team at the Department of Public Safety Communications “acted in full compliance with established protocols, which are founded on best practices in electronic monitoring”.
Asked for further details on how this and other breaches could have occurred without the DPSC receiving an alert from the monitoring devices, a Government Information Service spokesperson said, “This is part of an ongoing police investigation so we are unable to confirm such details at this time.”
The release noted that checks at the airport by the Mobile Compliance Team have been increased to ensure that wristbands have been fitted correctly prior to travellers exiting the arrival hall.
It also pointed out that the technology used to monitor participants in the Quarantine in Residence Programme “is different to that which is used by the DPSC to monitor persons enrolled in the Electronic Monitoring of Offenders Programme, in collaboration with criminal justice system partners”.
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, who chairs the Quarantine at Home Programme Board, said in the release, “I am satisfied that the monitoring and compliance checks that are built into the QAR programme provide sufficient safeguards on a number of levels to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19. Over 1,000 travellers to date have been approved to quarantine at a residence, and the vast majority have complied with the restrictions and completed their quarantine without incident.
“Notwithstanding, public safety remains a top priority and government will not hesitate to seek prosecution of anyone confirmed to have violated the QAR protocols.”