The Public Health Department is reporting that as of 8 a.m. Monday, 1 November, there had been 3,693 PCR tests conducted since the last report on Friday, 29 October.
Of these, there were 437 positive tests comprising 19 travellers due to leave quarantine and 418 from the community. The 19 travellers who tested positive remain in isolation until they return a negative test result.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee noted that these test results came in over a three-day period and that the daily average over the time period was 139 positive community tests per day.
These results bring the number of active cases of COVID-19 in the Cayman Islands to 1,205. Of these, there are 70 active cases in the Sister Islands: 68 on Cayman Brac and two on Little Cayman. In the Sister Islands, 44 are symptomatic and being supported at home and 26 are asymptomatic.
The total number of cases recorded in the Cayman Islands since the start of the pandemic stands at 2,241.
Dr. Lee said, “Just to give you some idea of the magnitude of these PCR tests, since 8 September with our first community outbreak this year we've done 44,248 tests in all.”
There are currently eight COVID-19 patients hospitalised, with only one of these patients requiring supplemental oxygen. None are on a ventilator.
Dr. Lee explained that supplemental oxygen “means having a little bit of extra oxygen other than room air. So that is good news”.
The Chief Medical Officer also described that some of the hospitalisations might not be deemed strictly necessary in other jurisdictions, but the patients were admitted due to the Health Services Authority (HSA) taking a cautious approach.
He said, “I need to say that on the whole at the George Town Hospital, we often admit people…in order to make sure that we can watch them and monitor them. I think perhaps in even up to half of the cases that are currently admitted, in many countries these people may well have been managed at home. But we have erred on the side of caution to keep them safe and comfortable and under observation in the hospital.”
Minister for Health Hon. Sabrina Turner said, “I understand that some people will be concerned by the number of positives, but this is not unexpected based on Public Health modeling and projections. We undoubtedly remain fortunate in the effects COVID-19 has had on our community. As the Premier pointed out in his message last week, we are not seeing high rates of hospitalisation or severe disease as compared to the overall number of infections. The vast majority of cases continue to be mild to moderate, with many being asymptomatic. We are well covered and well protected by our high vaccination rate, and just have to remain aware and vigilant with regard to our prevention practices.”
As of Monday, 1 November there had been 115,481 COVID-19 vaccinations given in total in the Cayman Islands. Of these, 56,661 (80% of 71,106) have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 54,468 (77%) have completed the two-dose course.
Additionally, 4,352 (representing 23% of those over the age of 50) have had a third or booster dose.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez addressed complaints regarding the timeliness of COVID-19 data coming out of Public Health over the past week.
He said, “The large numbers of positives necessarily lead to a great deal more work in processing results, because each result is checked for accuracy. For example, each test is checked to ensure that it is not a duplicate from someone already previously tested. This has meant a change in systems in order that up-to-date results will continue to be supplied regularly.”
Minister Turner added, “I would ask everyone to understand that results can take up to 72 hours to be returned, and that the testing volumes have increased drastically. So, please be patient, as we want to ensure that the national statistics we are issuing are reported accurately in addition to being disseminated as quickly as possible.”
Dr. Lee’s full video may be viewed at https://youtu.be/OR9z9NH-z0w
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