By Staff Writer
Concern is mounting in Cayman over an uptick in COVID-19 cases attributed to community-spread of the disease here for the first time since the pandemic started.
The worrying trend continued on Thursday with Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee updating that there are ten positive community tests from the most recent batch of tests which include nine George Town Primary School students and one prison officer. There were four positive tests in travellers.
On Wednesday he’d reported a total of 10 people related to the Georgetown Primary School outbreak.
In all, of 1,214 COVID-19 tests carried out since Wednesday’s report, there were fourteen positive test results of which four were positive tests in travellers and the other nine being community spread cases.
There have been 104,609 COVID-19 vaccinations given in total in the Cayman Islands. Of these, 54,167 (76% of 71,106) have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 50,442 (71%) have completed the two-dose course.
“I know that news of more community spread is very stressful and worrying for many in the community,” the CMO said in a video message.
The investigation into the outbreak at the school is continuing with health authorities still trying to trace several other children and their families, Dr Lee said.
“I want to urge everyone who is in isolation to please remain at home as it is the best way to contain the spread. Please do not leave home until you are advised directly of your release by a Public Health official.”
Regarding the case of the prison officer who has contracted the virus, the CMO said the individual is fully vaccinated.
While more than half of the staff and inmates are also vaccinated, Dr Lee however said the prison was still facing challenges in managing the situation due to the close proximity in which they operate.
“That person is fully vaccinated so hoping that person will make very good progress, but that has obviously put the prison in a difficult position. And they have instituted procedures in order to protect both the staff and of course, very importantly, the inmates of Her Majesty's Prison Northward.
“It is good news that within the press release from the prison service, we have seen that they have around 60% of their staff from the vaccinated. And additionally, I know that over half the prisoners are vaccinated so they are now in a relatively good place, but because of their particularly vulnerable nature as an institution where people necessarily cannot always distance.”
Testing and vaccinations are continuing throughout the community and persons who have not yet availed themselves of the opportunity to get vaccinated are being urged to do so without further delay.
“ I think what's really reassuring to know is somewhere in the region of 6002 PCR tests have been done since last Wednesday, when we found out about the first community-based outbreak, that's, that's near enough 10% of our population,” Dr Lee stated.
Meanwhile, Public Health advises that if anyone is having any respiratory symptoms to contact their general practitioner, usual health clinic, or the flu hotline for advice. They would then advise if it is required to attend the flu clinic or other centres for testing or assessment.
Further, the Ministry of Health & Wellness along with Public Health also remind the community of the importance of mental health and psychological support especially in situations when quarantining might become necessary by contacting the Mental Health Helpline at 1.800.534-6463 (MIND), Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Residents who suspect that an individual has breached quarantine can make an anonymous report to 943-SAFE (7233) or file an online report at www.exploregov.ky/travel .