While restrictions have been relaxed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, the Cayman Islands remains vigilant in the fight against COVID-19 and its variants.
WHAT IS COVID-19
COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory disease caused by a recently discovered coronavirus, 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.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
The virus most commonly causes:
- Breathing difficulties
- Loss of smell and taste
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually but commonly occur within 1 to 10 days after a person has been exposed.
Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Around one out of every six people who get COVID-19 become seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.
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 947-3077 or email [email protected] for advice. You can also check your symptoms using the online self-assessment form at gov.ky/coronavirus.
While it is not legally required to socially distance in the Cayman Islands, it is recommended to maintain distancing where possible, especially in public places, if you are in a vulnerable group or visiting with the elderly and vulnerable.
Steps that help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses include:
- 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
Getting vaccinated greatly reduces the risk of developing COVID-19 and transmission of the virus.
THE COVID-19 VACCINATION PROGRAMME
The COVID-19 vaccination roll-out began in the Cayman Islands in early March 2021.
As of 4 June 2021, anyone over the age of 12 years old in the Cayman Islands may receive the vaccine at any time during the opening hours on the schedule. This is true for dose one and dose two.
The vaccination schedule is available online at: hsa.ky/public-health/coronavirus.
CaymanCompass.com also has the schedule online, along with regular updates.
All persons must present photo identification to show their date of birth. You do not need to provide identification to demonstrate that you are ordinarily or legally resident in the Cayman Islands.
Persons who have received their first dose are reminded to get their second dose 21 days later or no longer than 12 weeks after the first dose. You must bring your vaccination card reflecting your first dose to your second dose. Do not laminate your vaccination card at any time.
Medical professionals will be visiting healthcare and institutional facilities to ensure that those who cannot visit clinics can opt to receive the vaccine.
If somebody has been unable to attend the clinics, they should call the Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 925-6327 or their local HSA district health centre to arrange for a vaccine to be given in their home.
Vaccination is not mandatory for anyone.