More PCR testing sites to ease severe congestion
The Chief Medical Officer (Interim) Dr Autilia Newton reporting on Monday that there had been 843 new positive results for Covid-19 since the last report on Friday, 14 January, which means there are approximately 4,000 current cases of Covid in Cayman, or about one in 18 people with the illness.
With the high volumes of people getting Covid causing major headaches all round, Public Health has now announced that they are offering additional clinics in the districts to conduct confirmation PCR testing for people testing positive on rapid antigen lateral flows.
The following clinics will now be open daily:
• Ed Bush Sports Complex, West Bay 1 – 2pm
• Bodden Town Civic centre 1 – 2pm
• South Sound Community Centre 1 – 3pm.
Up until now, the South Sound Community Centre had been the only place where people who had tested positive on a rapid antigen lateral flow could then get the required PCR test to confirm their Covid status. The location was only open for a short time each day over lunchtime, so the increasing numbers of people trying to get a PCR test there caused authorities to have to divert traffic from South Sound in a bid to contain the traffic congestion in that highly built-up residential area. An area that has little in the way of parking facilities.
People were also frustrated over the weekend, with few private clinics open on a Sunday to accommodate rapid antigen lateral flow testing for those with symptoms or those required to take a day 2, day 5 or day 10 test following a return to the island after travel. On Sunday, hundreds were at the HSA’s walk-in clinic at 131 MacLendon Drive (behind Fosters Airport, next to DHL), as a result. Similar volumes will no doubt be expected this coming weekend and Monday, when Cayman has a bank holiday and private clinics will be closed in observance of National Heroes Day.
Omicron – the Covid variant that is reportedly a milder form of Covid (in vaccinated people, at least) – appears to be becoming the dominant variant in Cayman. While the number of confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the Cayman Islands remains at 132, the number of probable Omicron cases reached 2,836 during the reporting period, the interim CMO said.
Fifteen Covid-19 patients were hospitalised in the Cayman Islands as at midnight (12am) on Monday, 17 January. Seven new admissions were included in this number.
Meanwhile 11 new cases of Covid were reported in the Sister Islands.
As a reminder, anyone testing positive on a rapid antigen lateral flow test must receive a confirmation PCR test from the Health Services Authority from one of the above-mentioned clinics only. If they test positive on an LFT, they must immediately isolate, report the result on www.exploregov.ky and attend the next available designated HSA clinic for their PCR test.