761 negative COVID-19 tests ‘very positive’

| 11/05/2020 | 113 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Alden McLaughlin at Monday’s press briefing

(CNS): The number of negative COVID-19 test results revealed on Monday was “very positive”, Premier Alden McLaughlin said at today’s press briefing, stressing the importance of testing to beating the virus. A total of 764 tests have been run since Friday, of which 761 were negative and three positive, the HSA’s Medical Officer of Health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez reported. This included two screen samples from Kirk Market and one taken from a contact of a previous positive person.

All three people are asymptomatic, Dr Williams-Rodriguez confirmed.

Cayman has tested 4,188 samples to date, 84 of which were positive. At present there is no one in hospital suffering with COVID-19 and 47 people have formally recovered. There are 36 active cases and most are now asymptomatic, the doctor said.

The flu clinic and hotline are dealing with relatively low numbers; 15 people have visited the clinic since Friday and less than 50 people have called the hotline number over the weekend. This continues to be an indication that the virus is not widespread in the community.

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Dr Williams-Rodriguez said 94 people remain in government quarantine facilities and they will all be tested after 14 days. Another 98 people are in self-isolation in the community many of which are awaiting test results.

Dr Williams-Rodriguez also revealed that testing at the prison of staff and inmates is almost complete. So far, no one has tested positive on either side of the bars.

Aware of community concerns about the situation at the supermarket, the head of public health reassured people that if they have been following the well-publicised social distancing and hygiene protocols, there is no need to be worried. He said that, in accordance with World Health Organization protocols, it is only those who are close to someone infected (around one metre) for at least 15 minutes who are at risk and need to be tested.

Dr Williams-Rodriguez pointed out that so far, the number of front-line workers who have been screed and tested positive remains very low, which was another good sign.

When cases are positive, however, the Public Health Department is moving quickly to contact trace and is taking samples from at least 15 people for every positive case, and often many more. He said in one of the latest cases, 27 people were traced, contacted and tested after they were believed to be in proximity to someone who had tested positive for the coronavirus during the screening process.

Talking about the all important testing numbers, Dr Williams-Rodriguez said the daily testing target was currently around 400-450 per day, and with the help of the CTMH Doctors Hospital and Health City Cayman Islands, that target was now almost being met.

However, the premier pointed out that the testing must be increased. He said this weekend’s negative results were encouraging, but he urged people to bear in mind that the virus is still out there. Testing front-line staff was critical to the re-opening plan, he said, as he raised concerns about those who are asymptomatic are spreading the virus.

“We are doing everything we can to ramp up the ability of the systems to be able to deliver more results. We are aiming for significantly more than the 450 Dr Williams-Rodriguez spoke about but there are some capacity and equipment issues we need to address to significantly increase that number,” McLaughlin said, as he repeated that testing is the key to unlocking the economy and resuming community activity.

The premier said that while there appeared to be a low number of positives, not enough people have been tested yet to open the doors without further consideration, as he warned about the potential surge in the virus.

“All the signs in Cayman are good,” he said, adding that we will get to the position very soon where the community can have real confidence that people around them are not carrying the virus. But he warned that he would not yield to the pressure to open everything now.

Meanwhile, Governor Martyn Roper has been tested and is negative. The premier said he had no objection to being tested at some point but it was important to get to the front-line workers first, and he expected the Cabinet, many of whom have been in isolation anyway, would get tested in due course.

Government is also beginning to test civil servants, starting with those on the National Emergency Operations Committee, the Department of Pubic Safety and Government Information Services, who are still going into their offices regularly.

See Monday’s press briefing below on CIGTV, set to start with the premier’s address:


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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (113)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How can Aruba want to open their borders next month but Cayman is talking Sept 1??
    Both popular tourist destinations.. How/Why??

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because it would be somebody else problem, Premier had said. He wants to get a medal for saving seniors, everybody else be damned.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    If the Government still has enough COVID 19 tests why are people being told to self isolate at this stage if they call the flu hotline with symptoms of sore throats, fever, headaches, and chills. Are they not being tested because it might be possible that they might actually test positive ? I understand when we didn’t have enough tests but as far as I remember hearing that they did have enough tests to test everyone on the island (not that they were planning to ). Also in regards to the construction companies how will it be determined which workers are tested ?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Iceland is opening up see below from their Gov.
    They seem to be able to test on arrival!
    It is time to make a real plan for our country and as things change we must change.
    We should watch them closely and see what systems they use to open their boarders instead of hoping for a miracle vaccine that maybe years away.

    “Iceland expects to start lifting restrictions on international arrivals to the country “no later than June 15,” the government said in a statement on Tuesday.

    “Travellers will likely have to choose between being tested for Covid-19 or a two-week quarantine upon arrival. All arrivals will also be required to use the official tracing app during their stay.”

  4. Anonymous says:

    ….and 2020 Hurricane Season is already here…Tropical Storm Arthur is expected to form north of Bahamas by this weekend.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how many people that are shouting at us to stay home are still smoke cigarettes.

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    • Anonymous says:

      smoking kills the one smoking, its a personal risk, not the other people like your parents or grandparents that spreading COVID will do.
      just shows the selfish mindset of those thinking “its my choice if I want to take the risk of mixing with others”. It isn’t, I couldn’t care less about those self deluded idiots, its the vulnerable people they infect when they get home to their families.
      That is who they are risking by their stupid behavior.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Second hand smoke? Butts littering the beach polluting the oceans? Seems like I don’t have a choice. Or I guess I never go to a public beach.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I used to live above a man who never worked but sat outside smoking all day. I couldn’t sit on the balcony with my little one or even get the breeze with open windows and doors without it engulfing my unit.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Everyone needs to be tested before the local economy can reopen under the lockdown strategy, if we are to continue saving lives. However this means our borders will remain shut or those coming in must be going into quarantine unless their country also is using the same strategy where everyone is tested. Cayman is a small country with a small population, all should have been tested already and local economy looking to reopen.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    i am a native caymanian with pre existing ….i think government doing excellent job…keep up good work….as i certainly dont wat catch it….😊😇

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Rapid IgM and IgG immunity testing will be one of the main tools we’ll need to screen passengers wanting to come to the Cayman Islands, whenever that decision is eventually made. Can the Health City and Dr Shetty help HSA source the rapid and affordable IgG ELISA Antigen test kits from Zydus Cadilla for evaluation? Let’s be thinking outside the box and evaluating ALL the products in that category please. There are many, and some will be better than others.

    • Anonymous says:

      It may be too soon to trust those tests. Unreliable and we still don’t know how long one has immunity if already exposed.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Kudos to Dr Williams-Rodriguez; you were clear in your presentation and answered questions very well. Hope to see you more often.

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    • Anonymous says:

      His accent is quite heavy tho, so a bit difficult to understand, just like accents from some British people, with the heavy accent from wherever part they are from.
      But he speaks at least two languages.

      • Anonymous says:

        Speaks two languages? The health minister tries several every day. Not a skill that is necessary.
        English spoken clearly is all that us required in an English OTT

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  10. Anonymous says:

    ICELAND has gone from 1801 cases, down to 15 Active, and they are looking at their reopen plan. They are also looking for bi-lateral discussion with other tourism islands (following similar full suppression model), for consensus on what traveller testing standards/methodology to use in advance of a future re-open.

    Iceland’s Foreign Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson: “Neither Icelanders nor other nations will experience a full economic recovery unless borders reopen. In order to be able to open the door to some travel, all sorts of precautions must be taken”.

    He stressed that he asked Iceland’s embassies to informally investigate whether there is interest in bilateral communication in countries that have fared the best in their fight against the virus.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Rather than complaining about the lockdown, why not use this time to improve the immune system. It takes weeks, if not months, for immune system to get stronger. So start now, if you haven’t already, so that when the local economy reopens fully, you have a better immune system to fight COVID-19, should you contract it when you return t work later. Ask your physician or do a search for how to improve your immune system. There are several ways. Choose the one that best suits you and agrees with your body.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Shut up.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. I’ve already taken up cigarettes again.

    • Anonymous says:

      It starts with the Dump gone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ask your doctor if sexual activity is right for you.
      Ask your doctor about this and that medicine.
      Ask your doctor how to improve immune system?

      Are you kidding?
      Granted, emergency medicine and doctors are excellent, except during C19 epidemic 80% of people on ventilators died. Well, they admitted they didn’t know what they were doing.

      Physical examination is a history replaced by computer screens and scanners. Doctors have become robots. They have no idea how immune system works and neither do you or anybody else.

      Human body is a magnificently engineered piece of “machinery”. It was designed to withstand and recover from many assaults on its own. Every cell of our bodies programmed to survive many assaults given it has access to sun, clean air and water. It doesn’t need supplements, excessive workouts and doctor’s advices as long as it lives in a health promoting environment.

      Recent Compass article has demonstrated what kind of air people breathe in Grand Cayman. So immune system improvements start with the Dump being gone and air quality improvements, not with a doctor visit.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dunno not going anywhere for a long time, perhaps you should relocate till it is. Choices, you do have choices.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    It’s all very well you keyboard jocks shouting about reopening now, but there are clear dangers in doing so in a wholesale manner; the most obvious being that every person going back to work is thereby exposing him/herself to a killer disease to a far greater extent than if he/she had stayed home.

    I’m not talking about those in the office/financial sector, who by and large can still work safely from home. It’s the low income construction, manual and retail workers, “encouraged” to go back to work by employers as soon as possible, who are being put in harm’s way.

    Until the danger has passed, their return to work should be optional: they should have a statutory right to decline to do so and be protected from dismissal or discrimination if they do. Failing that, if by chance they catch the disease in the workplace as a result of being obliged to come in or of their employer’s failure to maintain safety protocols when they do, they (or, heaven forbid, their estate) should have a right of action for exemplary compensation against that employer.

    I know you’ll reply that those workers have no income at present and are desperate to get back to work, and I’m sure that in many cases that’s right. All I’m saying is make return to work at this point voluntary and not under duress from employers. It’s the only humane approach.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you. Return to work should be with the willingness of the employees without any punishment or letting go in case of unwillingness at this time. Better still, get every returning employee tested for Vitamin D, the crucial vitamin for surviving this virus, and not ask them to return to work until theirVitamin D levels are 40 at the least.

      Those who are hell bent on pressurizing for an early reopening of the economy, have not read the research about what are the after-effects of surviving COVID-19 is, even if the person had only mild symptoms. Please spend a few minutes to search and read about it. Even some children who are affected could end up with some rare disease. Just search and find for yourself.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If it continues Cayman in a year will be one of many failed, Blacklisted, Bankrupt, corrupt, dysfunctional, unsafe to live in but safe from covid island nations in the world. In other words situation normal. But less expats.

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    • Anonymous says:

      But those are the ones that need to be paid most and if they don’t work they don’t get paid.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Cancel all curfews but keep shelter in place.

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  14. anonymous says:

    I think that our government has done a good job so far BUT (big but).
    Why can’t we

    Go to the beach and abide by the 2 meter rule (OK make the distance 5 meter) , yes some people are going to breach the rules but we also have some people in the world breach laws everyday.

    Boating, fishing and diving a bug one, surely if you only go with a family member or someone who lives with you is safer than going to the supermarket.
    You could make a rule that boats have to be 30ft away from each other, oh wait most boats do that anyway.

    Sunday curfew, WTF. Even so we’re enjoying our time at home but be honest it’s not putting a strain on the police, they are out there anyway checking. BS explanation.

    Outdoor sports can be done as long as social distancing is in place.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because you are to be treated like a criminal as that is the way they(Government) see’s you. Get used to it. It’s not gonna change soon.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I know someone who was out on their own private dock at their own private residence. The police helicopter flew over and then hovered over them until police in a car came onto to their property to issue them a ticket. The helicopter costs what,$5k or $6k per hour to operate? Great use of the tax payers money. And for what? To stop someone from being on their own property by themselves. Tell me all you Alden sheeple, who are they saving?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    What exactly is level 3? What exactly is level 2? What exactly is “all clear” level 1?

    What triggers are needed to move up and down between these levels?

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Nobody dying, nobody sick.

    I am not discounting the fact that the virus under certain circumstances can be deadly but…

    Perhaps there is something different in the medium the virus is transmitted here vs. Northern Italy in January, or New York in March?

    Unfortunately no studies have been made about the transmission or mutation of the virus in warm, humid, sea air vs cold, dry air and it’s effects on the lungs.

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    • Anonymous says:

      There are anecdotal accounts, but that’s it at this point. Scientists are scrambling to connect the dots, but there are so many variables – climate, age, pre-existing conditions, vitamin deficiencies even gender. And it’s not just lungs – covid is affecting other organs as well, including the heart, liver, skin and brain. They just don’t know yet what this disease is all about and that’s frustrating for us. It will be interesting to see if there’s a big spike of cases in the US now, or if because it’s warming up, it’s not so bad.

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      • Anonymous says:

        @9:27am Exactly, this virus is and can cause lot of health issues and death, yet many people are not taking it seriously. I read that there have been at least 10 mutations 9f this virus already, may be that’s the reason more symptoms have been added and more body organs are being affected. Even when a vaccine comes, it may be effective against only 1 of the many strains, so those who get vaccinated might still be susceptible to other strains of this virus, unless a special vaccine is made available that can target all the strains. Even the, those who are high risk, would their immune system be strong enough even for the vaccine?

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    • Anonymous says:

      South America would seem to provide the natural counterpoint to the ‘hope’ that COVID is a ‘cold weather’ disease.

  17. Anonymous says:

    1 nightclub opened 1 night too soon in South Korea…100 positive cases.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    this virus is well below seasonal flu levels and yet we are still destroying the economy peoples livelihoods???
    nothing makes sense anymore and i just wish the lawyers on island would get together and stop many of the illegal and nonsensical restrcictions on our basic rights

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    • Anonymous says:

      ” i just wish the lawyers on island would get together and stop many of the illegal and nonsensical restrcictions on our basic rights”

      All you have to do is hire them, they only advocate the things they have been paid to advocate. If you want everything locked down tighter, fully opened, or anywhere in between, I’m sure you can get quite a few lawyers to passionately argue your position.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    The leaders were face with two options: Herd immunity or Lockdown.

    A percentage of the population will meet their demise but the death toll will be catastrophic. The UK started off with the Herd then Fear set in and they went into lockdown but not totally. This indecision is creating confusion and fear as they are about preparing for exit. This is not looking good as neither strategy was chosen.

    the lockdown approach – is to sacrifice the economy and saved lives. With the economies going into free fall this is the ultimate sacrifice But did the economy crash or it’s still falling or the sacrifice is only being borne by some? What will happen next?

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  20. Anonymous says:

    The leaders were face with two options: Herd immunity or Lockdown.
    Herd immunity:
    A percentage of the population will meet their demise but the death toll will be catastrophic. The UK started off with the Herd then Fear set in and they went into lockdown but not totally. This indecision is creating confusion and fear as they are about preparing for exit. This is not looking good as neither strategy was chosen.
    Lockdown:
    The lockdown approach – which is to sacrifice the economy and saved lives and I am in agreement. The economy collapsing is the ultimate sacrifice. Did the economy collapse or we are still in free fall? What will happen next?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Why didn’t he say when the supermarket workers were confirmed as positives?

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    • Anonymous says:

      The results reported on Monday were the results run on Friday. (as per the opening paragraph. At most there could be a ‘Thursday to Saturday’ window.) – Why do you think it even matters?

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Mr Premier, I’m tuned out now.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Bit late to the party. The people gave up on his tyranny about 3 weeks ago

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      • Anonymous says:

        “The people”. Right.

        Every single person I’ve spoken to thinks government is doing as good a job on this as they can. The ONLY voices of dissent I’ve encountered are you lot online, and probably amount to no more than fifty of the usual suspects, full-time grumblers with too much time on their hands. Presumably those are “the people” you refer to?

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        • Anonymous says:

          you know what they say about squeaky wheels…

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        • Anonymous says:

          Obviously you’re entitled like everyone else to your view, and I’m sure it’s true that the ONLY voices of dissent you’ve heard are online. But I’m part of a large Caymanian family who have done several zoom meetings in the last several weeks (Mothers Day, significant birthdays etc) and to a person everyone has had enough. Everyone agreed that the initial phase of lockdown was necessary but now the Government is overreaching and things have to start changing more quickly. There is no reason to not open the beaches for instance – note to PoPo – Easter has come and gone long time. But you know they’ll use next Monday’s holiday to keep them shut another 2 weeks. SMH.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good!

      That means you probably tired of complaining😂

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Can government tell me why I am more likely to catch COVID-19 on a Sunday compared to any other day of the week? Is it something to do with God?

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    • Anonymous says:

      You are asking the wrong people.

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    • Anonymous says:

      ask the commisioner….
      the real answer(that you won’t hear)…is that it makes police job easier.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Commissioner is a bit out of touch, given his recent proclamation of a “return to almost pre-covid levels of traffic”. If people were breaking the rules at the beach they could have tried enforcing them instead of saying this is just too hard.

        Take a picture of the people and start ticketing them. They all have phone and they could have blocked people’s cars in until they were done dealing with the issue. When you don’t enforce laws and regulations you end up with problems, but that has always been an issue here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Here’s something to think about……. Why did “God” bless us with this disease?

      • Anonymous says:

        God gives grace to the humble and resists the proud. This has nothing to do with God. Your overlords have inflicted this upon you, the same people you trust to keep you safe.
        When you wake up, you will understand.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    This is a joke. Even they don’t believe anymore that this virus is as dangerous as we believed at the beginning. If they thought it was really that contagious they for sure would wear masks at the briefings and sit widely apart. Or even better – have those briefings via zoom. Even they are saying that we don’t have to be worried if we were in a contact with an infected person if it was not close contact for more then 15 minutes. Probably we could work around that with less limitations. They are just so lucky they are the government in the country where majority of people is blindly following their leaders and don’t ask relevant questions. I’m sure if Alden said everyone should spit 3 times per day to wash corona away, they would listen and still support everything. And that is why we are ok with the fact we are not allowed to take a walk at 8pm or on Sundays, because it’s too dangerous? I even understand that we needed this for police officers not to be too much under pressure, but my understanding was for two weeks. My understanding stops after 2 months and with still not knowing when it will end. Why the whole country has to be in a hard curfew because they can’t solve their staff shortages. And all this talking about saving lives…how many exactly are we saving here? Do we have new worse caae acenario numbers? But nobody is talking about how many they are destroying with that – what about families who were poor already before all that, or people who need health treatments abroad or people who have mental issues. So what, we have just decided their life is worth less then the life of those we are MAYBE saving from corona?

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Let me guess. 2 more weeks?

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  26. Anonymous says:

    do you realize those who are negative today can be poaitive in a few daya

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Jokers. Bush still speaker, Jon Jon being investigated but has the audacity to tell us to stay home, Alden takes a jab at James Austin-Smith…. no plan presented again.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    So let’s at least open sundays!

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  29. Anonymous says:

    I see that Bermuda today registered one new case, bringing the total to 119. Unfortunately, also, there was one new death for Bermuda, bringing total deaths to 8.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Yet still no plan

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s finally dawned on my why we aren’t even allowed slingshots. Guess they learned the hard way from the Yanks.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Getting Active Cases to zero is the goal of many tiny islands living in isolation. There are around 15 already at zero and more than a couple dozen others below 5 cases and poised to join that club. That’s the goal for now. The bulk of inconvenience is largely behind us now, and will soon be in the top ten of testing per capita. Be glad Cayman!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh stop it with techno-government-babble speech. Phase 2 outbreak will be announced soon. Back to the houses.

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