By Lindsey Turnbull
A pilot project to see if lateral flows can help reduce the time people have to isolate for people caught up in the local community Covid-19 outbreaks is to take place this weekend, when all households having to isolate who don’t have positive cases will take these speedier tests.
“We recognise that we will soon have the ability to make a very profound impact with the use and application of these tests on the community, especially when the larger orders arrive,” Premier Wayne Panton said at a press conference held on Thursday.
The Government would be fine-tuning the national lateral flow policy in the coming days, and their use would be a game changer, he said.
The pilot would help release some of the families who had been very significantly impacted by quarantine requirements.
A medical team will set up the pilot for families who were having to isolate because of exposure risk at school but who do not have positives in their households. They will be allowed to come into a testing centre where lateral flow tests will be conducted. They will be given a demonstration on how to use them and if they are negative they would be free to leave quarantine.
They will be given sufficient numbers of tests to conduct daily lateral flow tests until the end of their intended quarantine period and will be required to report those test results to Public Health.
“This is a pilot which will allow us to evaluate how these lateral flow tests are being utilised, how they are being reported on, and more importantly, provide much needed relief for some of our families or students who have been impacted,” the Premier said.
This was a demonstration of the potential benefits of lateral flows and how they will make a difference.
“I want this those who are not participating to have some hope that this approach will be a significant game changer for how we manage this going forward and how we reduce the significant levels of inconvenience to families that we have been experiencing,” Premier Panton said.
In addition, the Government was also changing the regulations next week so there would be no requirement to present a securely verifiable vaccination certificate for Caymanians and returning residents who have been vaccinated overseas with an approved vaccine course. This meant they would be able to return home and be eligible for the seven day quarantine period.
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