Cayman continues to record encouraging outcomes from its ongoing COVID-19 testing.
Friday’s report from the Public Health Department showed that there haven't been any new cases confirmed since the beginning of this month.
The Medical Officer for Health, Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, reported that 437 COVID-19 tests were carried out between Thursday and Friday and all were negative.
Friday's tests were more than twice the number from the previous 24 hours when only 210 tests were reported.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic reached Cayman in March, 26,117 tests have been done to date.
Although the 201 COVID-19 cases recorded here is disproportionately high compared to larger Caribbean countries, Cayman makes up for that with a very high number of recoveries at 197.
Only three cases remain active and the sole death attributed to the disease occurred in March.
However, concern continues to mount over the noticeable slackening off of people coming forward to get tested.
Caymanian Times understands that this could be linked to persons returning to work who might be concerned about being off work again for two weeks of quarantine if they test positive, with the resulting financial implications.
However, it has been repeatedly stressed that there is a greater risk to the community of people who do not get tested for the virus.
To date, Cayman has been constantly in the top five countries globally highly commended for their testing regime relative to population size.
Leading global health experts and progressive governments have all agreed that testing, along with social distancing, wearing masks in confined places and proper hand hygiene are all vital in suppressing the spread of the virus until a vaccine is found.
A Cayman Islands Government statement this week said: “With the Cayman Islands cautiously rolling back all but the most basic COVID-19 prevention measures, health officials are still emphasising the role that a strong testing regime plays in the continuation of this process."
With this objective in mind, it said a second cycle of re-screening frontline and other sectors that have recently returned to work has begun, and testing has also been opened to the public.
The Cayman health authorities are urging that “at this time, anyone who wishes to be tested can register for an appointment with the Health Services Authority (HSA).”
NO ROOM FOR COMPLACENCY
“Although the numbers of test results returning positive for COVID-19 has dropped in the past few weeks, there is no room for complacency,” Medical Officer of Health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez has said.
“Regular testing of frontline and other workers, every four weeks or so, is the only way to determine to what extent the virus has been controlled locally, therefore testing measures will be on-going.”
Pointing to the global resurgence of the disease in other reopened economies, he noted that routine screening helps at-risk persons to protect family and friends, as well as keeping the reopening of the economy on track.
In particular, Dr Williams emphasised that frontline staff working with the general public should be tested regularly.
He has also urged persons experiencing flu-like symptoms and anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the virus to self-register for testing.