Local health officials have flagged a possible community transmission COVID-19 case in the latest screening results after a traveller who cleared quarantine several weeks ago tested positive for the virus at a private hospital.

In a statement Thursday morning, Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee reported that the positive case, which was detected in a sample at Doctors Hospital, was “at the limits of detection” or a “very weakly positive result”.

Further samples were taken from the individual and the person’s household on Thursday and those tests were negative.

“It is likely that the positive test is a false positive, which can occur as a result of cross reactions with other viruses or genetic material and usually present results near the limits of detection,” Lee said in the statement.

Although the case is being treated as a false positive, Lee said the family in question will remain under quarantine.

“In the interests of caution, the household will be isolated and monitored by Public Health, with further testing over the next few days. No further action is required of the Public unless you have been contacted by Public Health,” Lee said.

The last reported locally detected case was that of a Red Bay Primary School student in October last year. That case was also reported as a weakly positive result.

Lee said the possible false positive was taken from someone in the community who was being screened as part of the ongoing programme.

“This person and all in the household are asymptomatic. This person and members of the household travelled from the United Kingdom some weeks ago, and went through the normal quarantine and screening process with no problems,” Lee said in his report.

He added that of the 490 COVID-19 tests carried out since Tuesday, five were positive. All were travellers who were asymptomatic and will remain in isolation until considered recovered.

The case detected by testing at Doctors Hospital is not being counted among Cayman’s overall COVID-19 positive figures.

The number of people in isolation, either at a government facility or in their homes, as required by the medical officer of health, is 1,187.

The total number of people vaccinated under the national vaccination programme hit the 3,525 mark Wednesday as a further 406 people received their first Pfizer-BioNTech inoculation. Of those 406, 355 were in Grand Cayman and 51 in Little Cayman.

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