Cayman has recorded 16 new COVID-19 cases, three of which were detected at the end of their five-day quarantine period, Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee reported Monday evening.
Following Monday’s figures, Cayman now has 40 active coronavirus cases, 29 of which are showing signs of the virus and the others are asymptomatic.
A person who is one of the three locally transmitted cases announced last week, remains hospitalised. Overall, Cayman has recorded 745 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 703 of which have fully recovered.
Lee, in his report, said 878 COVID-19 tests have been carried out since Friday, 10 Sept., sixteen of which returned positive test results in travellers. Five of those passengers were vaccinated and three were on the shortest five-day quarantine period.
The CMO, addressing the anxiety in the community following confirmation of locally transmitted cases, knocked the spread of rumours over the weekend.
It comes as seven alleged breaches were reported by Travel Cayman officials.
Lee acknowledged that the news of community spread after 14 months “is very stressful and worrying for many in the community”.
“I think that ‘false’ news has compounded people’s anxieties and I encourage people to use credible sources. I am very reassured that Public Health has been able to swiftly contact trace all those concerned, and I thank them for working through the night both on the ground and in the laboratories. I am also grateful to all the public for their cooperation,” he said.
Getting vaccinated, the CMO said, is the best protection against COVID-19 disease and “I believe we are already seeing this play through this incident”.
“I want to reassure the public that keeping people safe and well informed remains the government’s top priority throughout this worldwide health crisis.”
Meanwhile, the Cayman Islands Prison Service has announced resumption of its requirement that visitors to Her Majesty’s Prison Northward and Her Majesty’s Prison Fairbanks present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their arrival.
“The decision, which is supported by current legislation, follows the news late last week that three persons in the community, without a travel history, tested positive for COVID-19,” a brief statement from Government Information Services said.
“Management of the prison will inform the public when testing requirements are once again lifted,” it added.
Similar restrictions were implemented last year when Cayman experienced community spread of the virus.
Public Health, through Lee’s report, also advised if anyone is having any respiratory symptoms to please contact their general practitioner, usual health clinic, or the flu hotline for advice.
“Public Health will advise if it is required to attend the ‘flu clinic or other centres for testing or assessment. The ‘flu hotline can be contacted on 1-800-534-8600, 345-947-3077 or [email protected],” it added.
Additionally, it said, residents who suspect that an individual has breached quarantine may make an anonymous report to 943-SAFE (7233) or file an online report at www.exploregov.ky/travel.
Lee shared that, so far, 103,904 COVID-19 vaccinations have been given in total in the Cayman Islands. Of these, 53,626 or 75% of an estimated 71,106 population have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 50,278 or 71% have completed the two-dose course.
The Ministry of Health & Wellness reminded the community of the importance of mental health and psychological support during the pandemic saying that professionals can be accessed through the Mental Health Helpline at 1-800-534-6463 (MIND), Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.