Latest tests negative, few people sick

| 27/03/2020 | 53 Comments
Cayman News Service
Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee at Friday’s press briefing

(CNS): Fifteen more samples tested for COVID-19 were negative and according to public health officials there has been a drop in the number of people reporting sick with anything that resembles coronavirus symptoms, meaning that so far there is little evidence of community transmission here. There is one case pending verification, which is unrelated to travel to an area where there are coronavirus cases or the HCCI case. Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee said the sample was not a definite positive but inconclusive.

Dr Lee also revealed at Friday’s COVID-19 press briefing that a Caymanian resident who returned home to Honduras and died shortly afterwards tested negative for coronavirus, according to officials there, removing fears that the person could have been another source of local transmission.

Cayman has still tested only a relatively small amount of people here because of a chronic shortage of testing kits. There were still no new supplies on island Friday, leaving the authorities with less than 100 kits. But of the tests being conducted, the vast majority so far are negative.

Dr Lee said that 190 tests have been conducted to date, with 181 negative results. Of the nine positives, two people had a travel history to countries where the pandemic was already transmitting locally and both patients were isolated. Six include ‘patient zero’, the cruise passenger who died at Health City Cayman Islands, four members of staff at HCCI who took care of him, plus another patient at that facility.

The ninth positive result is the one described as inconclusive and the only one where the transmission cannot be accounted for. Dr Lee said he expected that the confirmation regarding that patient’s sample would take several more days, and in the interim he was continuing to be treated as positive.

He also confirmed that, as far as he was aware, none of the patients were particularly unwell, with most of those who have tested positive having recovered or displaying only mild symptoms.

The risk for Cayman from the recently returned travellers was described by Premier Alden McLaughlin on Friday as “still very grave”, but a week or so after this mass return, there is little evidence that people are getting sick.

It appears that there are no significant numbers of people presenting at the HSA or at any other healthcare facilities with symptoms that could signs of the virus. While this may change, currently, the Cayman Islands Hospital is not being overwhelmed by people who could potentially have COVID-19.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez said that the numbers presenting at the flu clinic had dropped significantly since it opened on 16 March, and that people appeared to be staying away and using the hotline to discuss potential symptoms.

Health officials managing those phones are able to advise people what to do to isolate. But if people appear to be sick, they can be brought to the hospital, as it has an isolated ward ready to deal with COVD-19 cases.

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour, who has taken a back seat during this health crisis, with the premier largely leading the charge, made a notable contribution at the press briefing on Friday when he was able to confirm that calls to that flu hotline have also fallen significantly. He said there were 120 calls on the first day but by yesterday that had fallen to 41 callers.

However, even though there is no evidence yet of community transmission McLaughlin said that Cayman was “not out of the woods by any means” and maintaining the ‘stay at home’ order and strict nightly curfews were essential “to give ourselves every chance to stop the rampant spread” of this virus.

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Category: Health, Medical

Comments (53)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I think that Alden’s comments regarding needing stricter measures if we all do not avoid the grocery stores, will only make people panic buy more. It is counterproductive to threaten the populace with store closures, as a way to get them to avoid going to the stores. Duh!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wondering why watercolors has not closed their pool area and lounge chairs. Are their chairs cleaner than every other condo?

  3. Anon says:

    It’s such a relief to read an article headed by a photo of someone intelligent and honest. Every time you feature Mack and we see him in his wig and gown I choke on my food and/or drink and it ruins the rest of my day. I hope his “leave of absence” is indefinite and that he does not get one for Northward.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I do wish it was that simple. If only 60,000 people living on a tiny rock mid ocean could sustain life without interaction with the outside world. Like a jungle tribe lost in the depths of pristine forest.
    Unfortunately pristine forests ceased to exist and life on this rock is import dependent.

    Being COVID19 free seems to be a good reason for celebration. Until you ask yourself “what is next?” It has disrupted modern society on a scale that most living people have never witnessed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you Aristotle. But while asking questions is good, they are useless with out suggesting answers. If we stipulate what you say in your last sentence is true, what would you have us do differently?

      • Anonymous says:

        You have the largest overpaid and underworked Government in the world to figure this out. But to be fair, at this point, there’s nothing CIG can do but to keep 60,000 people fed and not killing each other, while the world, as a whole, battles with the virus and figures out what to do next.

      • Anon says:

        Here is a suggestion: Temporarily Cordon off an area of the island into a tourist zone to receive visitors and house the plane crew, airport personnel who have contact with tourists, bus drivers that take them to and from the zone, and everyone working there within the “tourist zone”. Separate off the rest of the island and have quarantine for anyone leaving the tourist zone. This is basically what Royal Caribbean does in Labadee, Haiti. The tourist area peninsula that serves the passengers is separated from actual Haiti by a nice tall fence with concertina wire on top. Everyone has a great time and the Haitians who work there get some income.

        Disney World has the same type of system. One has to take a ferry across a lake, or a monorail train to get to the gate. The park is surrounded by canals. The physical setup could easily accomodate a quarantine

    • Anonymous says:


      Run out of meds little bro?

      Your observations are so obvious that most of us feel foolish to publish them.


  5. Rick says:

    My respect for the Premier has improved by leaps and bounds in this crises. He is a man of substance. That is saying a lot from me, since I did not consider him to be previously. You have my appreciation, sir. Great job, and just the right tone.

    • Anonymous says:

      He can’t lose. He’s hopefully killed the virus from travel persons. If there is no community spread he’s a hero. Of course, who’s to say there would be none anyway? Plus we should be counting deaths (hopefully none) as opposed to counting an infection from which the vast majority recover. Total worldwide coronavirus deaths 30,851 in three months. Total average automobile deaths over three months 312,500. If we applied the same logic we should ban cars immediately.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am impressed with you 8:08, you are regurgitating the words and logic from a few days ago on auto deaths and banning cars from the “subtle genius” in Washington.

        Stop watching Fox News and Trump propaganda.

        • Anonymous says:

          I neither watch Fox “news” / opinions, nor follow Trump. So rethink your argument.

          • Anonymous says:

            Then you must have been talking to the stable genius because he shares your brilliant perspective. Geniuses think alike. LOL

          • Anonymous says:

            One has no choice. It is impossible not to follow Trump as he destroys America by his non action and stupidity.

      • Anonymous says:

        We are up to over 36,000 coronavirus deaths today. At current rates of deaths we are soon going to pass the average for automobile deaths. The death tsunami is going to hit big in America in 2 to 3 weeks.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Open the supermarket on sunday. 50% reduction in the amount of people.

    These jesus freaks are responsible if more cases are tested positive.

    Is this what you want ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, that’s what they want.
      One guy yesterday asked the premier to open churches again. Don’t you get it ?
      Are you THAT ignorant ? Don’t you read the news ?

      The more sick people the better for the power of the church.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Your suggesting is excellent. Your argument could be improved upon. For instance, what if we put podiums for preaching at the grocery stores? People are standing in silence, six feet apart, for hours anyway. Anglicans between the hours of 8AM and 10AM at the new Fosters. Baptist same time, the Airport Fosters. Catholics can buy fish in George Town. You get the drill. Just takes a little coordinating.

  7. Chris Pappas says:

    Having traveled to GCM for 30 years, i am shocked by the local restaurants bathrooms.
    The look the same as the did back then. Dirty and disgusting. 3 examples are Eden Rock, Rackhams and Paradise. These are used by cruiseship guests. And people who fly in. Cant the govt do something about these deplorable restrooms? You must see to believe it.

    • Cayman Lover says:

      Excuse me sir i can tell you about rackams a place that i go very often with my family and friends, the bathrooms always clean and it looks that it is being clean very often during working hours. I have visited Rackams over 20 years and i higjly recomend it. Cant vouch for the other mentioned since i have not been there.

  8. Elvis says:

    So far so good. Let’s stock up at the weekend and have a 7 day lockdown. It’s the only way all cases will be discovered. This thing don’t play so let’s get it right first time Alden.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Since lockdown: one random cruise passenger with a heart condition, two traffic accidents. #closeourroads!

  10. Anonymous says:

    But I don’t understand… some guy called “Anonymous” said he knew for a fact that the Honduran guy’s death certificate said he died of Coronavirus, Who should I believe – Dr. Lee or Anonymous? I think I need to ask Alex Jones.

  11. Anonymous says:

    There is another side to this entire story. This gentleman invented email and has 4 post graduate degrees from MIT in the medical field.
    Please take a look.

    • Anonymous says:

      You lost me at “this gentleman invented email.” He did not. And this is just another deep state conspiracy theory for weak minds and right wing nut jobs.

  12. Anon says:

    I just want to say how much Dr. Lee is appreciated. Always calm and to the point. In such times, his calm is necessary and should be an example for us all to follow.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Alden goes on about the return of students from the UK, but the last tourist left here only a week ago. We have at least 3 weeks before we are anywhere near calling an all clear.

  14. Sarah says:

    Seems the aggressive measures have worked out so far. Other islands and countries should take note.

    • Anonymous says:

      Other countries aren’t small islands that can stop people from coming in as easily as Cayman can. But I agree that the aggressive measures here are a good idea!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Good job Mr Premier. Kudos for the way you are handling this. Short term pain for long term gain.

    PS. Don’t bow to the pressure to re-open the churches. We don’t need to go to a church to pray. Works just as well from home.

    • “Chuch bisniss” that’s all we don’t need says:

      Yeh but the pastor na gettin those perks! Any churches here helping their congregations financially, in times of dire needs, don’t think so.

  16. Anonymous says:

    3,000 people die everyday worldwide from car accidents. Unfortunately, we had further proof of that statistic today when our roads are empty. If we took a similar approach to vehicle as we’ve done this virus, we should ban all vehicles.

    • Anon says:

      Car accident fatalities do not lie on an exponential curve, dufus.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re not very bright

    • Anonymous says:

      Just keep watching Fox News who keep parroting the auto death line like the self proclaimed “genius”. More great ideas coming every day.

      • Anonymous says:

        Can you people not get through one News item without ‘parroting’ the same old lines about Trump and Fox News ? TDS has really got a hold here and we’re not even in America ! I watch several different US News channels and almost all of them are crap but I don’t let them govern my thinking with the Monotonous thinking of ‘Fox News this/Fox News Readers that … Let’s stick to this ‘local’ news item…..and remember, we’re in the Cayman Islands not America !

        • Anonymous says:

          You obviously did not watch Trump’s press conference yesterday or any other day last week from the White House. One does not have to watch Fox News to clearly see that this individual spewing out misinformation every day is not what one wants to see in a leader anywhere in the world. Just watch Trump’s 6 o clock follies every night and be scared. The Celebrity Apprentice program is over when hundreds of people die every day with a President who cannot deal with the truth.

          Incompetence like we have never seen in an American President.

          Now 2,900 conoravirus deaths in America and headed towards 200,000 or more.

          To say we are in the Cayman Islands not America is foolhardy at best.
          Wake up Bobo. We are interlinked and when the food and supplies no longer come in by ship from Florida because so many people will soon be sick there, you will come to realize how foolish you have been.

          • Anon says:

            You are ignorant of the facts. The sick and death toll is exaggerated in the USA because the governors in Democrat states, like New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania ordered nursing homes to take in persons sick with the virus, so of course they had thousands more deaths than the states led by Republican Governors. Trump had nothing to do with that folly, and if you will bother to check you will find that Trump restricted Chinese to US flights in January, months before Cayman took any action. At that point officials in California and New Yorkl condemned Trump as “racist” and urged the public to attend Chinese New Year gatherings in downtowns. The Democrat mayor of New Orleans urged people to attend Mardi Gras.

            We were stuck in the Cayman Islands for two weeks in April. We couldn’t even swim or fish from the beach that we (supposedly) own, even though there was no one else ever in sight. I was so glad to get back to Florida that I felt like kissing the ground. Life here has been great ever since. We take sensible precautions, masks, hand washing, distancing, etc, and we have had no problems what so ever.

        • Anonymous says:

          We will certainly know we are in Cayman Islands when our food stops coming in from Florida.

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