COVID positive tests trend continues

| 10/06/2020 | 46 Comments
HSA’s drive-thru COVID-19 testing

(CNS): An additional four samples taken during the national screening programme were positive for COVID-19, in the latest results revealed Wednesday, which is in keeping with the trend of the daily positives over the last few weeks. The total coronavirus cases here is now 180. Once again, all four individuals who acquired the virus through community transmission are asymptomatic. Alongside the four positive results another 645 were negative.

Health officials have now tested 16,072 people, largely as a result of the screening process, as since 27 April only one person has presented with coronavirus symptoms at the hospital. No one has been admitted to the hospital with the virus since April. Just two people from 72 active cases are currently showing symptoms, while 107 people have now recovered.

Meanwhile, the Health Services Authority is expected to begin IgG antibody testing this week, officials said in a release Wednesday.

“While the PCR method is currently the most accurate test available for active COVID-19 disease, the test does not identify whether someone has previously been infected with the virus,” said HSA Medical Director Dr Delroy Jefferson. “To answer this, the HSA will begin rolling out antibody testing this week as part of Public Health monitoring.”

The antibody test can detect IgG responses in the blood indicating that the body has mounted an immune attack against the COVID-19 virus (which is called SARS-CoV-2). The presence of these antibodies can also indicate if a person has previously been infected.

“The availability of antibody testing allows us to double our efforts for COVID-19 screening and give us a holistic view of the impact of COVID-19 in our community,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez. “Both PCR and antibody testing provide different functions in relation to COVID-19 so being able to use both tests simultaneously greatly enhances our efforts.”

But Dr Williams-Rodriguez warned that the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibody does not necessarily mean a person is immune to COVID-19 and as a result people who learn they have had the virus still need to protect themselves. The scientific community is still undecided on the level of immunity those who have had the virus acquire or how long it might last.

As the HSA begins rolling out this test, officials said they will prioritise healthcare workers and individuals who previously tested positive for COVID-19. While it is clear why health workers would be tested, it is not apparent why those who have already tested positive would be a priority group. CNS has submitted questions about this issue and others to the HSA regarding the testing and we are awaiting a response.

It is understood that wider public testing will be rolled out in a similar manner to the PCR screening programme. It will be conducted across sample sized groups that will be nationally representative to give an indication on the level of infection in the community.

Testing has played a key part in government policy to manage the staged reopening of the economy social behaviour. It has also painted a picture for Cayman about the impact of the virus.

Although new cases continue to be found every day across Grand Cayman, the impact of the virus on the health of those infected has been limited. Most people who have tested positive have had little or no symptoms and only a handful of people have required hospital care.


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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    599 tested and 1 positive. We are not out of the woods yet – this just shows that the virus is prevalent in our community. We need to exercise caution and be aware that the community is still showing positive cases.
    With this in mind I am recommending to the Governor that he implement more restrictions until we can get a handle on the virus within our islands.
    1 positive out of 599 is simply unacceptable.

    Signed,

    Mo$e$ – Trump wannabee (todays chief medical officer sarcastic comments)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Biggest study yet shows at least 44% of asymptomatic patients are infectious – from the Guardian

    Almost half of asymptomatic coronavirus carriers detected in Bahrain were found to pose a risk of spreading the virus to others, according to research by the country’s coronavirus task force.

    The research, which has not been peer-reviewed, could help to shed light on what has become a hot topic this week, after the World Health Organisation’s technical lead on Covid-19, Maria van Kherkove, suggested asymptomatic transmission was “very rare”.

    Kherkove later backtracked saying that there had been a misunderstanding over her comments.

    Bahrain’s data, shared with the Guardian on Thursday, is based on 367,764 tests, and is claimed to be the first based on real cases rather than models. It suggests that 44% of cases were still infectious despite not showing any symptoms.

    Asymptomatic cases were considered infectious if contact tracing of the original patient found other cases who had not been in contact with any other known cases.

    The finding comes after the WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called for more research on the extent to which the coronavirus could be spread by people who don’t show symptoms.

    “Since early February, we have said that asymptomatic people can transmit COVID-19, but that we need more research to establish the extent of asymptomatic transmission,” Tedros said on Tuesday.

    Bahrain, which is fifth in the world for testing rates, has recorded 16,667 cases. So far 11,487 patients have recovered, and 34 have died.

  3. Anonymous says:

    From the BBC – the Isle of Man is the latest island country to have beaten the virus and fully opened its domestic economy. We can do it too.
    The Isle of Man has become the first place in the British Isles to drop social distancing.

    Social distancing measures for the general public will be scrapped from Monday – but rules will remain in place for those working in health care and care homes for the elderly.

    Chief minister Howard Quayle said the decision had been taken to “get society back to normal”.

    Quayle described it as a “bold move”, but stressed the decision could be reversed should new cases of the virus emerge.

    Twenty-four people have died from coronavirus on the island, but there have been no new cases for 22 days.

    The island’s border will remain closed, pending a decision by the Council of Ministers at a later stage.

    • Anonymous says:

      THAT is exactly the scenario, imo, that the CIG is trying to emulate. Isle of Man will have to eventually open its borders, and so will we, but once the virus is fully contained, we can open on our own terms.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Do people voluntarily get tested? Because it can’t be forced neither by Government nor by Employers.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The trend of positives/tested is actually going down. Your headline “trend continues” is incorrect. Good news for all of us. Thank you CIG for decisive policies from the start.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Do we really need to hear Dr. Lee’s observations that we had 2, 3,4 or 5 asymptomatic cases out of 500, 600, 700,800 plus cases. Blah blah blah results are good, continue with caution. Blah, blah, blah same thing. Blah, blah, blah same thing.

    I think we the Cayman public now get it. Dr. Lee may I encourage you to now face the stark reality of the plain and simple fact that the virus here is not any cause to keep restrictions/restrictions and restrictions on the public – absolute and positive nonsense at this point.

    While I personally do not know you Dr. Lee – it seems like you are in a place of power right now and you are abusing it. As more or less a government employee I am also presuming that you may be under duress by the Governor/local politicians thus you are forced to continue on with your narrative.

    Signed D(octo)r or D(ictato)r,

  7. JG says:

    Ofcourse we are all asymptomatic. Im popping vitamin c’s all damn day!

  8. Anonymous says:

    May I say, having endured painful losses abroad, in the fantastically refreshing worldwide experiment which is the Cayman Islands, I’m not afraid of Covid-19. I’m afraid of the idiots that continue to disbelieve in worldwide statistics, lay themselves vulnerable to personal infection, acquit themselves of any community responsibility (irregardless of curfew penalty), and invisibility propagate the community issue. Get your heads screwed on this ain’t over yet. You might have it and feel fine. Be careful like your life, or someone else’s depends on it. Understand that and be an abnormally-responsible human. Time’s up on half-asses, and curfew breakers.

  9. Anonymous says:

    While it is clear why health workers would be tested, it is not apparent why those who have already tested positive would be a priority group.

    It seems logical to me that everyone who tested positive should be tested for the antibodies. Not only would it be interesting to study the various levels of antibodies present during and after recovery, but blood from those people could prove useful in treating anyone who presents with very bad symptoms as experienced in other countries. I’m not a doctor, but the blood with the highest level of antibodies seems like the best one to give as treatment, and Cayman could in some small way make a contribution towards understanding Covid-19.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why is it clear to you why health workers should be tested?

      If your read comments, you should have read already about Mayo Clinic study.

      People seem to manage 3 paragraphs (max) comments then ask question what has been already covered. Including antibodies.

      “Just under 75,000 patients at Mayo Clinic hospitals in Minnesota, Arizona, and Florida were tested for COVID-19, with just over 12,000 tested multiple times and just under 12,000 tested two or three times each. There were 123 people tested four times, 70 tested five times, 48 people tested six times, and smaller numbers tested anywhere between seven and sixteen times.

      Just over 2,200 tested positive for COVID-19 at least once, of whom 39% had at least two tests and 17% tested positive at least twice.
      …….
      This shows that the presence of IgG antibodies itself does not rule out continuing presence of virus, but also shows that in most cases people test positive for IgG antibodies only after the virus is gone.”

      Read full comment here (11:13am) https://caymannewsservice.com/2020/06/about-1000-people-could-carry-virus/comment-page-1/#comments

      • Anonymous says:

        LOL. “People seem to manage 3 paragraphs (max) comments then ask question what has been already covered. Including antibodies. “. And you prove just what you said.

        If you had bothered to read the article before commenting on my comment, you would have seen that “While is it clear why health workers should be tested” was from the CNS story that you skipped over.

    • Anonymous says:

      Steady increase each report….10 plus increase each week……

    • Anonymous says:

      Then (Just under 75,000 patients at Mayo Clinic hospitals in Minnesota, Arizona, and Florida were tested) they looked at when patients had their first positive IgG antibody test. IgG antibodies typically peak later than IgM antibodies, and are expected to be present after peak viral load and generally once the virus is no longer detected. Since they most likely developed antibodies at some time before being tested, they designated this as the upper bound of the time to develop IgG antibodies. The mean was 38.1 days after the first positive COVID-19 test, but there were a few patients each who developed IgG antibodies within 10-15 days or 15-20 days, and there were over 20 patients who took more than 40 days, including a few who took between 55 and 75 days. Seven patients developed antibodies while still testing positive for COVID-19.

      This shows that the presence of IgG antibodies itself does not rule out continuing presence of virus, but also shows that in most cases people test positive for IgG antibodies only after the virus is gone.

      (11:13 comment https://caymannewsservice.com/2020/06/about-1000-people-could-carry-virus/comment-page-1/#comments)

  10. Kim says:

    #FreeMe

  11. Anonymous says:

    Yet again, less than 1% positivity and all asymptomatic. We should no longer forcibly restrict anyone from working at this point. This needs to end on Friday, and not arbitrarily until June 21st.

    Curfews and letter days should be scrapped as well as they are now pointless.

    • Anonymous says:

      Asked at the supermarket they said letter days are not in effect at kirks. Well the security guard said so. Maybe a member of the press could confirm? I wonder how long that will take?

      • Anonymous says:

        Probably because the panic buying is over, most people are tired of cooking, delivery and pickup are available until later, and outdoor dining reopened. Their greedy, greedy windfall in which they took away their rewards programme and gave no discounts or price reductions on anything, has ended. Karma will follow. They must be just choosing not to enforce the law, safe in the knowledge that nothing and no one with the mighty K will ever be prosecuted for anything.

      • Anonymous says:

        Letter days are still the law. Police enforce the law, or not. It never was supermarket employee’s job to enforce the law.

      • Anonymous says:

        Letter days are still legally in effect according to the regulations. Seems the supermarkets are not enforcing them though, and I doubt officers are checking either. However, remember that the penalty for violation would fall on you and not the supermarket.

    • Anonymous says:

      well said 4:04PM. No cases on Little Cayman and only 3 on Cayman Brac which combined is way less than 1% – not sure that equates to keeping travel between those two islands restricted. Has anyone on the Sister Islands even been hospitalized for any cases????

      Mo$e$ and the Minister for Watering Place (Juju) need to get all the civil servants back to work, get Faith hospital fully reopened and open up travel between the two Sister Islands – which includes regularly scheduled plane flights.

      Does not make sense that you are only allowing bank staff and one doctor from Faith Hospital to travel over to Little Cayman once per week. Meanwhile anyone on Cayman Brac can see people from Little Cayman out and about on Cayman Brac – mingling amongst the general population – so does your idiotic policy make sense?

      Both Mo$e$ and Juju has been practically silent within the community. Other than giving out some Mothers Day handouts and appearing once on a teleconference – hardly a word from them about things on the Sister Islands. (But that is not unusual as they have not had a public meeting together since election day!)

      Government bureaucrats (which includes politicians and Dr. Lee) seem hell bent on keeping the public locked up. It is something easy for them to do since they are all receiving their full pay checks – not sure why we cannot put a pay freeze on all of them so they can experience the stress that hundreds and thousands of locked up Caymanians are experiencing. Unna not feeling $$$ pain so your voices are hypocritical.

      Health crisis in the Cayman Islands? Really? Nearly everyone asymptomatic.

      I do look forward to the upcoming weeks and months when the masks can be tossed away, social distancing is history and Caymanians who are being forced not to work can be allowed to work once again.

      From Russia (current status of Cayman Islands) with Love,

      Comrade Peasant (I mean Caymanian) looking for corned beef and slice of harddough bread.

    • Anonymous says:

      Security guard at fosters told me no more ID yesterday also so I assume letter days no longer are being enforced.

    • Anonymous says:

      100% correct on the curfews…but the police will cling to them as a means to control the population and make their jobs easier.

  12. Anonymous says:

    If the contacts of these positives are not catching it, logic dictates that they are false positives

    • Anonymous says:

      Not sure about false positive but below is fro John Hopkins Medical last week.
      It raises the question of why would we keep people locked up for 14 day and then test after arriving in the Islands when it appears day 7 & 8 would bake more sense.
      If someone’s last contact with a person was on an aircraft coming here logic would say from the below they should be tested on day 8!

      Their analysis showed that the likelihood of a false-negative result varied depending on the time since infection.

      It appears that the virus is not detectable immediately after infection. On the first day of infection, the probability of missing a diagnosis, i.e., a false-negative result, was 100%.

      At day 4 after exposure to the virus, the probability of a false-negative result seems to reduce to 67%. By day 8, it decreases to 20%, beginning to increase again afterward. By 3 weeks postexposure, the chance of a false negative result reaches 66%, the authors estimate.

      The results indicate that the virus is difficult to detect by RT-PCR in the days immediately following infection, suggesting that this testing route offers limited value during this period (3–5 days postinfection).

      • Anonymous says:

        Nice summary.

      • Anonymous says:

        True, but after 14 days, you know with certainty they are not going to infect others. So whether they are positive or negative, it’s unlikely they are a risk at day 14.

        • Anonymous says:

          That statement is completely of false
          “True, but after 14 days, you know with certainty they are not going to infect others. So whether they are positive or negative, it’s unlikely they are a risk at day 14.”

          The incubation period is estimated to be 2 to 14 Days SO if you are infected but show no symptom you can be infections way past 14 days and in fact this has been shown in cases in Australia.

          It seems out system of testing after 14 days is NOT as good as testing after 7 or 8 days.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mayo Clinic:

        Just under 75,000 patients at Mayo Clinic hospitals in Minnesota, Arizona, and Florida were tested for COVID-19, with just over 12,000 tested multiple times and just under 12,000 tested two or three times each. There were 123 people tested four times, 70 tested five times, 48 people tested six times, and smaller numbers tested anywhere between seven and sixteen times.

        Just over 2,200 tested positive for COVID-19 at least once, of whom 39% had at least two tests and 17% tested positive at least twice.

        They took the distance between the first and last positive test as the lower bound of the infection time, and the distance between the first positive test and the second of two consecutive negative tests (provided the person didn’t flip positive after that) to represent the upper bound.

        The mean lower bound was 18.6 days and the mean higher bound was 21.2 days. In other words, on average, people remained positive for between 18.6 and 21.2 days after their first positive test.

        However, the variation was enormous.

        Of 379 patients who had two positive tests, 14% remained positive for at least four weeks after the first test, which they defined as “long-term shedders.” Most had a lower bound below 30 days and an upper bound below 35 days, but there were handfuls of people who had lower and upper bounds above that, with two patients having positive tests 64 days apart and one patient going 61 days before their second negative test.

        CONCLUSION:
        In other words, on average, people stay infected for about 20 days after their first positive test, but a sizable chunk of people remain infected for a full month, and a small number remain infected for up to two months.

        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t like Mayo. I get my medical advice from the Jon Jon Hopkins school of medicine.

        • Anonymous says:

          Remain infected, and being contagious are two different concepts that you are trying to merge into one.
          They may be positive, but not spreading.

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