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Governor’s Updates #6

Government 20 May, 2020 Follow News

Governor’s Updates #6

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek2020 - It is ok to be not ok. We should all look after our mental health in these challenging times. In Cayman, we have a mental health hotline 1-800-534-6463 open Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm for anyone who wants to talk to someone. The Cayman Islands Crisis Centre and Alex Panton Foundation are also great sources of support.

Evacuation Flights - The flight to Manila on Saturday has now sold out. There is no planned flight at the moment to Miami but there will be further flights in the future. These flights will take people out but won’t, at the moment, bring people back because we are at capacity in the isolation facilities. We continue to work on BA air bridges and on a flight to India, but no progress on Jamaica or Nicaragua unfortunately at the present time.

Positive Tests at the Prison - I know the two positive results at the prison will be of concern, but I pay tribute to the incredibly fast and effective work of the Prison Director and his staff. They had a very detailed plan in place and they put that into action. A prison wide screening testing programme is in place which ensures that we are maintaining the welfare, safety and well-being of everybody at the prison - the prisoners and our prison staff. The majority of prison staff and prisoners have now been tested and results were negative.

New Covid 19 cases - I know that 17 new cases may seem somewhat concerning. But we have to bear in mind that these results are from over eight days. Over 1100 results have been completed, outstanding work by everybody doing our testing, particularly HSA who have worked incredibly hard. My thanks to them and to Doctors Hospital. It terms of testing we continue to do really well with 10% (6,000) of our population tested. We are around number 8 in the global league of testing per head. That is something to be very proud of. All the cases that we’re getting are asymptomatic. This shows that our screening process of front line staff is really important. Our strategy puts us in a good position to test, trace contacts and isolate to stop further spread. However, as the Premier underlined today we have some local transmission, but we do not have widespread community transition and we want to work very hard to keep it that way.

Don’t let your guard down - Covid-19 is a complicated, dangerous virus and we do not have all the information about it. So as we open up the economy please don’t let your guard down. It is really important to keep going with the social distancing, the basic hygiene and staying at home as much as possible (unless you remain out in the local economy as we open it up). Avoiding contact with people outside your household is still the best advice to avoid the spread of the virus. I believe our strategy remains on track, now at suppression level three. Where we go next depends on testing over the next couple of weeks. Our aim is to gradually move to level 2, but we could move up or down depending on how testing goes. However, we remain on track towards suppression level 2.

Immunity Antibody Test - I am excited by the news of the immunity antibody test mentioned by Dr Lee. Our procurement team is securing supplies. Although there are still some doubts on the science surrounding this test, it could be another important additional tool in our armoury to tackle the virus. It will give us more information about to what extent Covid has affected our population.

Easing of restrictions in Grand Cayman - Good news that as part of our easing of restrictions in Grand Cayman the Sunday hard curfew is lifted. Thank you for your cooperation, which has enabled us to make this change. Beaches were opened on Tuesday with access determined by surname. The good results from our high level of testing is giving us confidence to ease restrictions and open up our economy in a careful and measured manner. We all need to maintain social distancing as part of our ‘new normal’.

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