HSA worker positive for COVID-19

| 28/04/2020 | 30 Comments
Cayman News Service
CMO Dr John Lee at Tuesday’s press briefing

(CNS): Three more positive samples of COVID-19 were reported by Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee on Tuesday from a batch of 187 results, which included a healthcare worker from the Cayman Islands Hospital and one local transmission. However, the CMO did not say if they were one and the same. He said one of the samples came from a traveller, another from a positive contact and the third is assumed to be locally acquired.

But Dr Lee said that there was no risk to patients at the hospital and there was no need to close down the facility. Speaking at Tuesday’s COVID-19 press briefing, he said that all healthcare workers who have been treating coronavirus patients have been taking the necessary contagion precautions since the first case at Health City, when staff at the time were unaware the patient was positive.

Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, the medical officer of health, confirmed that all staff at the hospital have been using full personal protective equipment because the hospital has admitted a number of coronavirus patients. He confirmed that contact tracing was now underway for that member of staff, implying that the healthcare worker is the assumed local transmission.

The latest figures bring the total of positive patients to 73 and testing to 1,335, which is increasing daily now that screening tests have begun. Dr Lee added that this equates to over 20,000 tests per million, ranking Cayman quite high on the international league table of testing levels.

Since two of the new positive samples have explained and the third is probably the hospital worker, this means that Cayman appears to be containing the virus and preventing it from spreading more widely through the community, though there are community transmissions.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said the results were trending the right way but “we are far from out of the woods with this pandemic”, adding that the results this week will be very telling. Nevertheless, he said that he remained hopeful that some restrictions will be eased next week.

“There is still considerable concern,” he said. “While we are, as Dr Lee pointed out… way up in the league with respect to the number of tests that we are conducting… we still do not have enough information to really make a categorical statement about the level of the virus prevalence in the broader community. Therefore, we must continue with the practices that we have now become accustomed to,” the premier added, as he reminded people about the hygiene protocols and the need to obey the curfew.

McLaughlin said the number of test results that come in over the next week will enable government to make reasoned decisions about the first phase in the gradual relaxing of the curfews, which he explained will happen in two week increments.

He said next week there will be some easing of restrictions. Having indicated yesterday that pool servicing may be allowed, today he said that government was looking at allowing an increase in curbside deliveries.

“We haven’t finalised these yet and they will be influenced by the test results,” he said. “We are getting better placed to make some more reasoned rather than gut based decisions,” the premier added.

See today’s press briefing on CIGTV below:

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (30)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    There will always rightly be proponents & opponents of the strategy being pursued by Dr Lee, & The CI Govt, – what everyone should be considering besides right or wrong is how long are they willing to endure lockdown & isolation on the promise of a cure / vaccine, the checkmate move pursuing our strategy.


    • Anonymous says:

      Because “how long?” is the central and paramount question, I don’t know how a case can be made that we go all in on a vaccine that may never come. The proponents are either operating in ignorance, blind faith or worse they think we really can isolate indefinitely.

  2. Anonymous says:

    @8:31 it’s people like you with your callous and insensitive comments that make the job for those in high-risk occupations feel that it is not worth it.

    The sad irony is that if you or your loved ones should get sick or is in danger, you wouldn’t think that those coming to your aid should suck it up as they are getting paid..and poorly paid for doing their job.

    You are like the politicians that want to send other people’s sons and daughters to defend their rights and freedoms but not from their households.

    For my part, I wish the healthcare worker a full and successful recovery!

    And like the many healthcare workers that have contracted C-19 and recovered (unfortunately, many have paid with their lives) and have returned to the ‘battlefield’ so that you and I may live free of the virus, I’m sure that this individual will be doing the same.

    Hopefully, s/he won’t be psychologically scared by your crude comments!

  3. Anonymous says:

    wendy..ask dr lee about antibody testing? i would certainly like to know if i was exposed…which i prob was and didnt even know…brush it off as cold….

    • Anonymous says:

      100% agree can CNN ask about having this available. It is unclear to me if I had a 2 week flu or the virus back earlier this year and they’re maybe a number of us that may have had it. Anyone can pay to have it done in the USA now for around $140.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We continue to receive poor information on the particulars of those testing positive i.e. were the persons hospitalized in mandatory quarantine at the time of testing positive, was the local transmission a health care worker or not, are the persons who tested positive and considered local transmissions now cleared and anyone associated with them cleared. I just want more transparency from Dr Lee and less grandstanding from the Premier. With no proven wide spread transmission to date why the phased in approach? Our hospitals are not inundated, no ventilators in use, all travelers mandatorily quarantined and with the recent results one health care worker who is positive can be tracked and traced. I for one wish they would just lift all restrictions. I am sure we can manage physical distancing, wear masks when out in public and if you can work from home continue to do that. This is all becoming more and more absurd as the days pass and no real plan that will immediately help the bulk of the people is forecast for weeks yet. Scaring me into submission stopped working two weeks ago.

    • Jen says:

      50,000 population – 73 COVID total cases over past 6-8 weeks that’s ONLY 0.15% of the population!!!
      Empty hospital beds and ICU – good news.
      Supermarkets, gas stations, banks all open for weeks now and visited by all people, without masks and still almost ZERO transmissions and no stress of HSA.
      Borders closed, quarantine in place so NO way for COVID to enter Cayman!
      It doesn’t get better than this – not even New Zealand has such a good situation and they are boasting to the world that they have beat COVID and are now opening for business. We should have made this announcement weeks ago!!!
      If we cannot open for business and lift social distancing now then the severe negative results of wide spread bankruptcy, huge Caymanian job losses, crime, civil unrest and long term disruption of our economy and community will result.
      Let’s not descend into the abyss. Let’s be smart and make an educated evaluation of our situation and determine that we can freely get on with our lives on our little island paradise we can collectively support each other.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Would just like to share my appreciation to all of the brave Health Care workers and other emergency responders….keep up the good work.

  6. Anonymous says:

    So the corona “pandemic” is creating some excellent opportunities for the government? People of Cayman, stay awake and watchful like this English lady.

    • Anon says:

      Thanks. It is obvious that this is an overblown hoax to accumulate government power. Like this ladies’ building in the film. No one died of the virus. The only person who arguably can be said to have died of the Chinavirus in Cayman is a cruise passenger who was so ill from a heart attack (with history of prior heart issues) that he had to leave the ship to be hospitalized. He died of the heart attack.

      All of these restrictions are not justified by the facts.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How many deaths? None. I could be on my death bed. They not sticking nothing up my nose. I stay home and fight them demons.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Where’s the logic Mr Lee, we’re currently in the casino willing ‘The Lucky Seven’.

    Once again the eradication strategy is futile. If the disease is contracted it’s said it may not guarantee immunity, if we wait for and institute vaccination the same principle applies especially should a varying strain emerge.

    What’s the plan if eradication proves too much of a challenge, is there one and why wait until then when any cure or prevention remains a long shot both figuratively and implementable at best. Complete isolation and no travel for a non determined length of time, great, – the reality is that’s all you have right now, the problem is it’s not sustainable.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If the borders have been closed for 6 weeks, how do we have a travel related case that is now being discovered? Was it one of the returning caymanians or PR holders? Could CNS please get clarification?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Please ask why only 10 of the 70 are recovered.
    In the U.K. you are considered recovered without 2 negative results. Are they still testing positive after weeks of initially testing positive?
    If so why?
    Dr Lee claimed high rates of testing. Why low rates of recovery?

    • Anonymous says:

      Ask Mr Seymour to ask his God.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ask him if he’s the reason why they are late starting the press briefing everyday. Waiting for god to tell him what to say?

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for asking this today Wendy. Interesting we have so many still testing positive after weeks in isolation &/or quarantine. Maybe that’s why in some countries they have said you can get it again. Maybe they hadn’t actually recovered in the first place!

  11. Anon says:

    Yes it is hard on all of us, or nearly all of us. I won’t mention those hypocrites who profess to be good living but as have just seen are anything but. “What goes around comes around” not sure where in the Bible it says that I’m sure Jon Jon can tell us in Tongues of course!

  12. Anonymous says:

    What about the community spread case? Personal trainer by profession? Can you ask tomorrow please Wendy?

  13. Anonymous says:

    We aren’t getting anything for another 2 weeks, they won’t relax anything after that appalling briefing which saw Alden backing someone who threaten the free press and then Dr Lee not answering a valid question about if that healthcare worker contracted it from a hospital patient or not.

  14. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    I urge us all to stay the course; we are on the cusp of being as successful as New Zealand and the Faroe Islands. We could actually soon be clear or nearly so on all three islands, and enjoy opening up businesses and a semblance of normalcy. I would expect that opening of our borders is yet months down the road.

    This curfew is hard on all of us, but think how blessed and fortunate we are to be having it here. Grand Cayman is full, yes, but nothing like nearby jam packed cities, some of which have health services overloaded and suffering from the incoming cases. I hope we can all soon enjoy the sea, which is the source of much of our joy.

    I hope we are helping others in our own way, perhaps expats who are stuck here, through no fault of their own. Be safe, Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      But then what? Second wave in a few months with no immunity or vaccine? Im grateful for what we’ve done. Dont get me wrong. But where does this put us going forward? Are we just going to keep repeating lockdowns every time theres a wave or enough positive cases to spook the Premier?

      • Anonymous says:

        Borders closed until a vaccine & we can buy a batch (in 2021) of 200,000 to inject people at a rate of 100 a day?? Should be virus free & safe by 2024???

      • Anon says:

        It puts us in, as my dear departed father in law used to say: “the slums of poverty”. Welcome to the third world.

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        I guess you got the idea that I was all sunshine and daisies. Look. You are in this. We all are. We can be pissant complainers, or we can try to make the best of it. There is a certain humour in all the masks, you have to admit.

        I don’t have the answers and don’t pretend to. I know that I heard Dr. Lee say that there were some who tested positive, had symptoms, recovered and weeks later still test positive.

        This is all an evolution, and you can be a whinger, or you can be a doer. Do the politics really matter right now? I’ve been through several natural disasters. They just occasionally bring out the best in some people.

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