COVID-19 positive cases continue to climb

| 05/04/2020 | 40 Comments
Cayman News Service
CMO Dr John Lee at Sunday’s press briefing

(CNS): Another four patients have tested positive for COVID-19, Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee said Sunday, as cases in Cayman continue to rise steadily. Three of these samples came from people connected to others who previously tested positive. The fourth had a travel history, showing that the virus can still emerge even after 14 days. With concerns mounting over the isolation of positive people, Dr Lee stressed that this is a legal requirement.

Delivering the testing update at the daily COVID-19 press briefing, Dr Lee said that 365 tests have now been taken and 39 have been positive.

Outlining the protocols surrounding patients who test positive, he explained that they are immediately told to self-isolate, which is a requirement under the Public Health Law and they can be arrested if they breach their confinement order. Once they are isolated, their close contacts are traced as quickly as possible. They are also placed in isolation and tested.

“They are then not allowed to leave the household,” the CMO added.

From then on, those who are positive will remain in isolation and closely monitored by public health staff, not just to ensure that they remain in isolation but to manage their medical or other needs, such as fetching food and essential supplies if they have no one else who can help them.

Dr Lee said that public health officials are trying to increase and improve the security of the monitoring, but admitted that this is a learning curve for everyone.

No one is released from isolation until they are negative, he confirmed. The fact that one of the cases reported today had returned to Cayman more than two weeks ago but had only recently begun to show symptoms demonstrated that the 14-day isolation period is no guarantee. Dr Lee said that some people may take 15 to 16 days for symptoms to appear, while others are symptomatic after five days. But each person must be tested before being released from isolation.

Of those who have been tested in the Cayman Islands so far, about 10% have been positive, though this was targetted testing. Dr Lee said he could not estimate how many people here are currently infected but have not been tested. He said that no one really knows but that many countries are under-reporting because they are not able to test enough people.

But once Cayman has all the kits it needs, they will relax the current WHO criteria that the HSA is still following regarding who gets tested, he added.

Commenting the how many people here are infected, Dr Lee was optimistic. “I feel, myself, that in Cayman, actually we have a fairly good handle on it as we brought in such strong measures to limit movement quite early on,” he said, though noted that there are probably people out in the community who are asymptomatic or had only mild symptoms but were not been tested because they did not meet the WHO criteria.

He also emphasized that while many people do not suffer significant symptoms, this virus can still make people very ill. He said that when a doctor refers to mild symptoms, it means they don’t need to be in hospital, but may suffer with extreme flu-like symptoms. While they can get through it, they may feel very ill, he said, and urged people to manage their fever and, above all, stay hydrated.

As Cayman continues to see an incremental increase in positive cases, the CMO once again urged people to stay at home because that is the only way to avoid getting infected or spreading the infection.

His sentiments were echoed by Premier Alden McLaughlin, who warned that after the fourth day in a row of Dr Lee reporting positive cases, there was “no question the virus is moving through the community”. He said that no one should be complacent about this virus, and while contacts can still be traced, the problem with these latest case is that those contacts have contacts, and that is how it spreads.

He said that every time anyone goes out, they are putting themselves and others at risk, as he hammered home the message to stay at home and only leave when it is absolutely essential. Otherwise, he warned, the lockdown and ‘shelter in place’ orders will go on for months.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (40)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I tried to find the government website mentioned in the briefing re Coronavirus. Does anyone have the address? I went to, and clicked on the Coronavirus link, nothing about FAQ that I could see. I just need to know if I can go retrieve my cheque book from the store, so that I can do payroll.

    CNS: I have tried to put every link that people may need on CNS Local Life. There’s a link that takes you straight to the CIG coronavirus page. The FAQs link is on that menu bar.

    Just to add that if your employees have bank accounts, you can pay them all via bank transfer.

    • Anonymous says:

      I just want to pay a great tribute to Wendy Ledger for the heroic job she is doing. This article is particularly reflective in excellence in journalism. I listened in on the press conference on Sunday and Wendy has done a fabulous job on reporting what Dr. Lee said.

      Wendy, I really appreciate the work you do, and I take my hat off to you and all the other journalists who are holding the fort of communication on behalf of government and on behalf of all of us in the public.

      You are helping to keep us safe and I thank you.

      I hope that while you cope with this essential role of communication that you are able to cope with the personal demands that we all face as we navigate these difficult times.

      God bless.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Jon jon is back.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What happened to JonJon today? Is he writing a new poem?

  4. Rollin' Papi says:

    The US seized ventilators destined for Barbados. Hopefully, this won’t happen to us?

  5. Anonymous says:

    -As expected, as more are being tested
    -As MORE will continue test positive as more tests become available.
    -As we will find that patient 0 was likely not patient 0 and that Covid-10 has been around for long that that.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “ Fifty-one recovered coronavirus patients test positive AGAIN in South Korea ….

    ….in cases where patients produce a positive result twice, it is normally because of a test giving the wrong result, which happens one in five times.“

  7. Anonymous says:

    How many pool guys have tested positive?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, once they start to do testing in greater numbers, these positive cases will rise like crazy. We are not doing any testing as we don’t have but a few of the test kits which are being used sparingly for those that present with the worse symptoms..
    Our biggest problem right now in Cayman is that people are not listening and staying home. Everyday there is some request to do this or that..Enough is enough! My life and my family’s life is worth something even if you believe you and your aren’t…

    Lord forbid the first Caymanian dies. I’ll bet then some of these idiots will realize that it is best to stay

  9. Anonymous says:

    I don’t like the way Dr. Lee is stopping short of answering the questions related to the ‘self isolation” of families. He say that Public health checks in on them..What is to stop them from coming out and interacting with us when Public health isn’t there?

    Why can’t they be more honest with house and tell us that like the students these folks are on lockdown and monitored 24/7.

    We all knew that the Cayman Brac was was coming as one of the guys got of Ba and went straight on over to the Brac and was in a bar drinking that same night.. I know they don’t want to tell us who they are but this is Cayman and we already know. My problem with this is that these same people are not self isolating but still coming out or sending out one of their family members to get groceries and this has to stop..

    • Anonymous says:

      Your post is spot on. The answer to your question is, because they dropped the ball. It was easier to target the returning students than family on island. Yes you can have your kid back, but he first has to go in lockdown because he MAY have the virus. As opposed, you are here, you HAVE the virus, now go home and don’t touch anything or anyone in your house.

    • Anonymous says:

      So .. what about the people coming in on the plane? Mandatory isolation at govt facility – if not, why not??

      CNS: It has been repeated several times that they will be subject to mandatory isolation as a condition of being on the flight.

  10. Anonymous says:

    How asinine that we isolate people who aren’t tested, but don’t truly isolate those who have tested positive. Do the Premier and Doctor Lee not know how contagious the virus is? Then to threaten us with lockdown for months. Stop talking and start thinking! Let me clue you in. The objective is as few cases as possible.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Looking at statistics world wide, we should hit the 100 in a week or two. With a possible 5 deaths.
    After that it might slow down.
    Aruba is comparable to our situation and they are on 64 . will soon come.

    We need more testing like in germany and south korea..

    Hopefully we learn that our society of paycheck to paycheck and a few wealthy is part of the problem. 20 people in one household, High cost of living to benefit the few, No social security no free healthcare.
    An immense amount of ignorant religious freaks that has no clue about the real world.
    This all contributes to the deaths that will come.

    Will anything change ? No, it won’t.

  12. Done reach says:

    Just a suggestion, the persons that have coronavirus, can government corintine them in a special place family’s in different rooms , for example who shops for those persons .It may slow done the spread.

    • Anonymous says:

      Different rooms wont stop the spread. They all need to be quarantined if they live in the same house. The virus lives on surfaces for potentially more than 24 hours. We cant risk anyone living in the house with the infected person to leave. Im sorry but they will have to arrange to have food delivered. It is not worth the risk to the community.

      • Kadafe says:

        It’s unbelievable that ppl can come back everyday and ask the same questions over and over and over. The answer to your questions are stay home! The list of things that are allowed are clearly stated, now stop whining and complaining and follow instructions! Do you understand that Jamaica next door, an island with 1 million ppl has 59 cases last count? How many does cayman have? 39? Are you trying to be the Caribbean champion or what?

        • Anonymous says:

          Do you have any clue what you are righting about? Jamaica has almost three million people. The reason their cases are low is that their Minister of Health knows the definition of ISOLATION.

          • Anonymous says:

            I understood that’s what Kadafe was alluding to. Caymanians do not know this definition…

          • Kadafe says:

            Ok so i was wrong about the population number but the point of the comment was to point out that they are doing something right, our population is tiny compared to theirs. If people do not follow instructions and stay home then we shall pass their number in short order. So as i said before, stay home and stop complaining!

          • Anonymous says:

            Jamaica’s figures are severely under-reported.

            As many other countries did (including Cayman) – at the outset of this virus.

          • Anonymous says:

            wrong, the reason is a lack of testing

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t know what the management entails, but I would feel more comfortable if government would offer the positives an opportunity to be separated from the rest of the household.

      It would probably be better for the infected person to remain in the home under the care of Public Health and for the as yet asymptotic persons in the household to be offered separate isolation accommodations, tested, and remain in quarantine for the required number of days under penalty of law.

      The Public Health Department would then monitor and arrangements made for the provision of food and other needs, and those who test positive given alternate accommodations.

      If this seems onerous, think what it will be like when our numbers mount to the hundreds.

      This is not far fetched the way things are going right now.

  13. Anon says:

    I heard the HSA has staff shortages. These covid -19 positives are “told to isolate at home ” by an HSA nurse, but what exactly does being “closely monitored by HSA staff”mean?.This has never been explained, are they at the homes day and night to ensure nobody leaves or visits?. This is critical especially as it seems these clusters are getting bigger every day.Exactly how many are in self isolation at home, at how many locations, do all these clusters consist of family members in the same house, how have they increased since the first infection, have any traced contacts developed symptoms or been diagnosed positive.
    The Premier expressed concern about the steady increase and we are all asked to stay at home, but if we do our bit and follow all the rules we need to be assured that the clusters epicentres are also following all the rules of self quarantine. The hospital cases were contained so it can be done

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a concern shared by many of us. Anyone flying back to the island is immediately put up in a hotel for a mandatory 14 day quarantine. There is no way to enforce people in their own homes. We are having to trust that they adhere to the law and stay at home. Quite frankly I do not trust everyone to do this. and if my concerns are valid the virus will only continue to spread..

      • Anonymous says:

        And also as the CMO indicated, persons can be isolated for 14 days but still have the virus but not show symptoms for 15-16 days, so after 14 days, are all these persons in hotels going to be allowed to go into the community? Perhaps they can all be tested prior to the 14 day isolation period at which point they should test neg or pos and a decision then be made.

        • Anonymous says:

          If one person has the virus and is sent home to “isolation”, you do realize the other family members may not all get the virus at the same time, or even at all? So maybe the others didn’t show symptoms till day 15 or 16 because they didn’t have it on days 1, 2, 3, etc. So don’t apply that logic to people who are truly isolated.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really? Govt paid for my friend to go Ft. Lauderdale to train to be a nurse. She passed with flying colors and expected to have a job once she graduated. … well she showed me her letter from HSA or whoever sent her the response. We cant hire you because you have no experience.

      She is a Born and Bred Caymanian.
      Well done all.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear…this just ain’t looking good for the long run.

    • Anonymous says:

      why?…please expand…we have very few true community transmission cases….

      • Anonymous says:

        Because the people making decisions on our behalf overlook the obvious while focusing on the obscure. This is not so much a deadly disease as it a numbers game. The more numbers we have, the longer we cannot function normally as a society. Every 20 cases, equals another two weeks of lock down. Simply put. It would be better for Cayman have10 cases and 1 death, as opposed to 500 cases and no deaths. I’m not being inhumane. The international press is focused on reporting the number of cases and any death other than an elderly person. By telling positive cases to return home, where the obvious will happen, we are multiplying the damage we do to our economy and reputation. It’s possible the world can open up again, while we are still sending infected persons back to their family homes.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh but you are being inhumane. All you’re thinking about is profit margins not lives. This is the true test of all our characters. Maybe now some of us realise we cannot eat $$$$$.

          Once you have finished sorting yourself out and have all you need then maybe try and help your neighbor. This is a time for lending a hand, not a time to take. Whether we like it or not we are all in this together now.

          • Anonymous says:

            This is short sighted. If you crater your economy your life expectancy will also fall.

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