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HSA expands COVID testing capacity

Local News 11 May, 2020 Follow News

Drive through COVID screening

Drive through COVID screening

Drive through COVID screening

Health Services Authority’s COVID-19 Screening Tents at the Cayman Islands Hospital

The Health Services Authority has expanded their testing capacity for COVID-19 screenings with the opening of two drive through screening tents for frontline workers and expansion of their laboratory to increase the processing of samples in a day.

HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood said she is pleased with how the drive through screening has gone since opening last week. “There are many logistics and steps in the process to ensure it operates as efficiently as possible.”

Upon arrival at the HSA’s drive through screening area, the whole process takes approximately 5 minutes.

HSA has also expanded physical laboratory space at the Cayman Islands Hospital, partnered with a private lab and has hired and trained additional laboratory staff in order to increase testing capacity. “It has been a tremendous effort from many persons to get us to this point, and we continue to look at ways to further increase testing capacity, said Yearwood. “These latest improvements and expansions are a significant step in the right direction to increase testing.”

Public Health is scheduling appointments with frontline workers for the foreseeable future while the testing efforts have ramped up. Phase 2 frontline workers and a percentage of construction workers are currently being scheduled for screenings. HSA, Public Health and the Chief Medical Officer are working together to prioritise persons or business who are deemed essential frontline workers.

“There are thousands of individuals that are deemed frontline workers, so it will take a few weeks to get through the majority. We understand there is anxiety in the general population to be tested so we making all efforts to screen as many eligible persons as possible,” said Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, Medical Officer of Health. “In addition to the drive through screening, members from Public Health are also conducting screenings on-site for larger businesses, which enables employees to be swabbed without having to leave the workplace.”

Persons who are screened for COVID-19 will receive results through the online MyHSA Patient Portal, which provides a secure method to accessing lab results. Public Health will continue to contact anyone who tests positive for COVID by phone. All persons screened will be provided a free patient portal account.

As the COVID pandemic is a national crisis, HSA is working collectively with the local private hospitals in an effort to screen as many essential workers as possible.

“We are currently working with Doctors Hospital by sending them various businesses to be screened in an effort to ensure they maximize their testing capacity,” said Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, Medical Officer of Health. “Health City Cayman Islands will be an additional screening site for essential workers in the Eastern Districts.”

All screening facilities are by appointment only and businesses will be contacted by Public Health for specific appointment times.

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