CAYMAN AMONG THE LOWEST GLOBALLY FOR COVID PREVALENCE
Cayman is ranked among the countries with the lowest incidence of COPVID-19 globally relative to population size.
That disclosure was made by Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee while giving his latest update on cases here.
Cayman currently ranks at 166.
That is far below other countries for the presence of the disease among their population.
The most recent COVID-19 test results on Wednesday resulted in an additional two persons testing positive out of 84 tests done.
The two persons are said to be returning travellers whose positive results were detected as part of the screening of arrivals. They are in isolation.
That brings the number of confirmed cases to have been reported in Cayman to 207, of which 204 have recovered.
The two persons are said to be returning travellers whose positive tests were detected as part of the screening of arrivals. They were asymptomatic and are in isolation.
It's the first time in four weeks that positive results have been shown and over nine weeks since any local transmission.
Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee reported that 282 persons are in government-managed isolation facilities and 42 are isolating at home.
Cayman is continuing a high PCR testing rate comparatively although the volume of daily tests has dropped.
The CMO put that down to the likelihood that people might not be coming forward to be tested "because they recognise that we are in a quite good position at the minute."
He said front line workers continue to be tested and added that "as we begin to see more travel across the borders we may well increase the number of tests."
Meanwhile, as antibody testing continues to determine who would have had the virus, 61 positives have been recorded out of 2,516 tests conducted which is 3.9% of the populations.
Of the 61 positive results, 37 were persons who had previously tested positive for the virus, six had come into contact with persons who’d caught COVID-19.
For the other 18, it was determined that eight had travelled while the other 10 have had no identifiable COVID-19 contact history, Dr Lee said.
Cayman still retains a high global position for testing being ranked at 11 down from the top five a few months ago.
Meanwhile, the ranking at 166 for the prevalence of the disease relative to the population is considered as a good reflection on the efforts locally according to Dr Lee.
That is far below other countries for the presence of the disease relative to the size of the population.
Looking at Barbados and Bermuda, ranked 126 and 148 respectively, Dr Lee said those countries have opened their borders but with strict protocols have been able to keep their disease rate low.
He said Cayman "was doing even better with a ranking of 166" .
Noting that Caricom was showing a "strong uptick in the number of cases in the region" Dr Lee went on to give a rundown of how some other countries were ranked relative to Cayman.
Aruba is now ranked second globally for the rate of prevalence of COVID-19, St Maarten is at 3, with Turks and Caicos Islands at 12, Bahamas at 14, Trinidad and Tobago at 25, Jamaica at 59 and British Virgin Islands at 78.
As explained by Dr Lee "these figures are the backdrop behind the decision-making by the government."
The USA which has seen a spike in numbers is ranked at 26 and the UK 108.
With a noticeable increase in the number of cases in the UK, the British government announced on Thursday that from next Monday, social gatherings will be restricted to six persons per group.
REVISED PHASED REOPENING PLAN
Hon Premier Alden McLaughlin, updating on the Revised Phased Border Opening Plan for September and October, declared that "the Cayman Islands is currently rated as Covid-free".
It's a status he said "which was hard-won by adapting our ways and making tremendous sacrifices for the greater good."
The phased reopening will be tested with a British Airways flight due to arrive on September 17th at which time the new entry protocols will be trialled before being implemented on October 1st when the borders will be opened.
However, that will only apply to entry at the airport with flights operations restricted to British Airways and Cayman Airways.
Mr McLaughlin emphasised that "the phased opening which commences on the first of October only pertains to air arrivals on Cayman Airways repatriation flights or the BA airbridge flights between London and Grand Cayman."
The (sea)port will remain closed for the remainder of the year except for cargo purposes.
The Premier further stated that during this month there will be no change to the current arrangements for approved travel to the Cayman Islands, except to trial some aspects of the new arrangements we have planned for the first of October opening of the borders."
He small a small number of pre-selected participants will be involved in the pilot.
The bio-buttons health monitoring device highly touted as a main feature for the new screening protocols might not be used.
Priority might now be given to a 'geo-fencing' tracking technology to ensure that persons remain within the stipulated perimeters of their isolation.
The plan will be reviewed at the end of October.