Cost-U-Less worker COVID-19 positive

| 13/05/2020 | 19 Comments
Cayman News Service
Cost-U-Less, Grand Cayman

(CNS): Another supermarket worker has tested positive for COVID-19 as part of the HSA screening programme. The employee has been quarantined and the management at Cost-U-Less has confirmed that the store was sanitized last night following the result and the impacted person will be supported. During his report of the latest test results on Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee would not confirm that the single positive test result he revealed was the Cost-U-Less staff member, but it appears that they were one and the same.

Test results were again well short of the hoped for daily target of 450, which the CMO explained was due to some laboratory issues at the CTMH Doctors Hospital, but he said he expected that these would be resolved shortly. There were nevertheless and encouraging 328 negative results announced at Wednesday’s press briefing, in addition to the one positive sample from the supermarket worker.

Cayman has now tested 4,893 people and recorded 86 positive cases. So far, 54 people have formally recovered, 21 people are asymptomatic and just eight people have symptoms but none are in hospital. Although some websites showing COVID-19 global statistics say there are still three people in Cayman who are labeled critical, this is not the case, Dr Lee confirmed.

The latest positive result is a community acquired transmission that was uncovered as part of the ramped-up test screening process and is cause for concern. Although the number of positive cases remains low and no one has showed up at the hospitals with coronavirus symptoms for at least two weeks, eight weeks after lockdown was imposed and the borders were closed, community transmissions continue to pop up.

“Everybody can see that it is still in Cayman,” Dr Lee said, noting that cases that officials were not expecting are emerging through the screening.

He said he did not believe this was as a result of people failing to observe the self-isolation requirements. “I am much more concerned… that there is a hidden undercurrent of COVID that is still running through the community,” he said.

Dr Lee said he was confident that contact tracing has been successful and where there had been issues over compliance, public health officials have been able to take steps to address that. But he accepted that in some cases there may have been cases of people who had attempted to avoid being traced because they did not want to be quarantined.

“The disease is smouldering away in Cayman,” Dr Lee added.

However, he said that over the last week there had been an improvement in the numbers of people coming forward to be tested as part of the screening process because staff are now confident that they will be supported through quarantine. Dr Lee again confirmed that it is not lawful to force people to be tested.

During the briefing Premier Alden McLaughlin continued to stress the importance of the test results to government’s policy decisions, implying that he wanted to see some 10,000 test results in the next few weeks.

He said that Cayman was not like other countries, making decisions based on rising or falling death counts. The premier said the considerations here are different from other larger nations. Cayman is trying to eliminate the virus and the thrust is now on testing front-line personnel, but the screening is showing that there is still a significant amount of virus out there, he noted.

The lack of sick people turning up at the hospitals is a “very good thing, but it raises the big question of how many asymptomatic people are out there,” the premier said, noting that this is what the testing is all about.

“The more testing we do, the better idea we will have about the prevalence of the virus in the community,” he added.

The testing samples are now largely from supermarket and food delivery people, who have had the most contact with the public. So, despite the lingering presence of the virus, if the number of positives among this group remains relatively small, it will fuel confidence for the next phase of re-opening.

See Wednesday’s full press briefing on CIGTV below, set to start with Dr Lee’s address, and the notice from Cost-U-Less revealing their one positive staff member.


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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (19)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I hope they are feeling better soon. Thank you to all of our frontline workers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    as a previously loyal customer of costuless i have stopped shopping there after experiencing the worst social distancing observance on island by far.
    they dont seem to care about it at all and it is no surprise that they find infected employees there.
    .
    any explenation to how come they did not even close for 1 day to disinfect? its true that kirk employees where found positive as well, but at least they took a day to disinfect before letting people shop again.
    .
    unfortunately not everybody can afford to switch their shopping to a shop that cares about cliants health and not just making another buck by squeezing in another person in to the shop.
    .
    i wish the police would lay off individuals abd get a hold of the businesses who should observe regulations strictly

  3. Anonymous says:

    Face it, all supermarket type stores have positives, this is the new norm. Just act like everyone whether they work or shop there has it and protect yourself.

  4. Anonymous says:

    How is it possible for Cost-U-less to properly clean the store and get certified by DEH without closing the store.
    Just asking can DEH publish the guidelines and standard it uses and the international reference used to develop their standards

  5. Anonymous says:

    Still eating my 10lb bag of gummy bears same way. #dontcare

  6. Anonymous says:

    I was there last week and one women was screaming and screeching like a demon at one of the poor cashiers. She was a foul excuse for a human. No mask and she was right up in the cashiers face. I wouldn’t be surprised if spit was flying from her mouth. With despicable behaviour like that I’m not surprised that a staff member has caught the virus. It’s shameful how some people treat front line workers.

    • Anonymous says:

      @6. 43pm Did you do anything about it, did you call security….?

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow!! No one stepped in to help?

      • Anonymous says:

        6:43 and 7:06 the floor manger and another cashier were trying to help the one who was being shouted at but this women was crazy and wasn’t listening to reason. I wanted to say something but this women was not the type to be reasoned with and she would have just showered anyone who interfered with abuse. She was screaming so loud you could hear her from the back of the store which is saying something as its a big warehouse.The police were outside checking ID’s and they had security guards about. The women should have been thrown out and barred from coming back. Disgraceful behaviour.

    • Anonymous says:

      In times like this, you can really see what people are made of. It can bring out the best in people and it can bring out the worst. Just like the post-Hurricane Ivan hardship ended a number of marriages, so will this situation as spouses see the true nature of the person they married.
      Nobody is perfect and I think most of us can relate to having good days and bad days through all of this – at least I know I’ve had a few very grouchy days – but there’s no excuse for going nuts on somebody like this, especially a frontline worker who is putting themselves and their loved ones at risk to serve the public. This woman who acted this way is deplorable and if management at Cost-U-Less didn’t step in to stop the abuse, they are complicit.

      • Anonymous says:

        9:40 Exactly! These are hard times and it can take a toll on our mental health. I know i’ve been moody and snappy with my family recently but it takes a special type of awful person to go full psycho like this women was. To be fair to cost-u-less the staff were trying to help their cashier and call the crazy women down but it wasn’t doing allot of good.

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