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Local News 20 May, 2020 Follow News

Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee

Cayman has surpassed a milestone 100 positive COVID-19 tests.

With 1,182 screenings conducted 17 were positive pushing the number of positives to 111.

In presenting the results of testing done over the past four days including the Discovery Day bank holiday weekend, Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee pointed out that the rate of positive results remains low with an average of just 1.4%.

There are no hospitalisations, 55 persons have fully recovered and to date, only one person has succumbed to the disease.

All of the results announced on Tuesday came from the enhanced screening programme now being carried out, and ranged from samples taken from amongst essential workers, supermarket staff, construction staff and others.

There were two cases each from Cayman Brac and the prison.

With 43 of the cases being from asymptomatic persons and 12 from those who displayed symptoms, Dr Lee sounded a note of caution that the asymptomatic results showed that the disease was still very present in the community.

He described it as “hiding away in the community and a lot more present than we might think it is.”

The CMO continues to urge the public to exercise caution and follow the safety protocols, a point echoed by Hon. Premier Alden McLaughlin.

The Premier commented that “the results showed that the disease was very much out and about across the community,” although he noted that “the prevalence is very low” - a welcome sign.

He however drew attention to the number of asymptomatic cases, which he said: “showed that just about anyone can have the virus.”

Mr McLaughlin advises the residents of Cayman to continue wearing masks when in enclosed public places and to practice good hand hygiene.

He said the government was working towards moving the unlock status from the new Level 3 (Moderate Suppression) introduced this week to hopefully Level 2 (Mild Suppression) in a matter of weeks.

“If the results continue on the current trajectory it’s possible that we could be moving from Level 3 to Level 2 in a few weeks.”

The reopening plan is structured across an initial two weeks for each phase depending on the test results and a review of the situation at that stage.

Speaking of the “managed and controlled reopening of the economy” being followed by Government, the Premier reminded of the “real risk" of the virus spreading again in a second wave "with all of the efforts and sacrifices going for nought.”

Referring to critics who he said have challenged the government for being “over-cautious”, he said it was the best approach and the policy was being guided by the results of the ongoing testing.

He reiterated the importance of continuing with a gradual reopening to ensure that the second wave of an outbreak doesn’t occur resulting in another series of lockdown measures.

Premier McLaughlin said,” Cayman is in a very positive place as we are actively hunting down the virus rather than having cases showing up at the hospitals.”

His Excellency Governor Martyn Roper also addressed local response to COVID-19.

He assesses that Cayman was trending well ranking about 8th globally having tested about 10% of the population.

While there is some local transmission, Governor Roper said the virus was not widespread and he called on residents not to let their guard down.

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