New rules have been put in place for people in isolation that should make the release process a little less painful. Last week Public Health issued new criteria for the release of people from isolation on confirmation of positive PCR tests at the end of their isolation period. The new criteria stipulate mandatory requirements in three areas:
• isolation of 11 days for vaccinated or 15 days for unvaccinated;
• asymptomatic for the past 72 hours; and
• a CT value is 32 or over reflected on the PCR test results received via email.
People meeting the above criteria with a positive PCR exit test should contact the flu hotline at 1-800-534-8600 or 947-3077 for a telephonic assessment.
A CT value represents the viral load of Covid-19, or the prevalence of the virus is in a person’s system. The lower the CT value, the higher the viral load, meaning someone is more infectious and likely to transmit the disease to others. The higher the CT value, the less infectious (i.e., value of 32 and over).
“The new criteria for isolation release will allow some persons to get back to work & school, though still testing positive via PCR but not contagious and therefore not a public health risk to the community,” said Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, Medical Officer of Health.
The mandatory requirement for exit PCR tests remains in effect and persons are not permitted to release themselves from isolation.
New travel restrictions to beat Omicron variant
Last Friday Cabinet issued regulations that restrict travel to the Cayman Islands from nine countries in southern Africa and one in Europe.
The measures follow the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognising the variant first reported to have emerged in South Africa two days ago, as a variant of concern, which it has named Omicron. Other countries around the world have already taken similar measures.
In its announcement, WHO noted that the variant had a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Countries from which travel is restricted include: Belgium, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Anybody who travels to, from or through these countries within the 21 days preceding their arrival in the Cayman Islands, must undergo PCR testing within 24 hours of arrival, and must also complete a quarantine period of not less than 14 days.
This means that travellers from these countries already in the Cayman Islands from these countries will also be required to complete a 14-day quarantine.
The regulations also detail provisions for persons who have been in contact with such individuals, including any other occupants of a private residence where they may be quarantining.