Cayman has zero active COVID-19 cases

| 23/07/2020 | 92 Comments
Cayman News Service
CMO Dr John Lee

(CNS): Cayman reached a significant milestone on Thursday when the only active case of COVID-19 was declared as recovered. Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee confirmed that there were no new positive cases in the latest batch of 375 test results, and with the final patient who was still carrying the virus cleared, for the first time since 7 March there are no known cases of coronavirus in the Cayman Islands.

Since the first patient was tested four months ago, Cayman has recorded 203 cases, largely as a result of a significant test screening programme that effectively helped the authorities curtail the spread of the virus. To date, 28,839 tests have been conducted, and since 1 July technicians have carried out 4,682 tests, with only two samples coming back positive, reflecting the success of the testing programme.

Despite Cayman’s success in managing the spread of the virus, its battle now will be to keep it from re-emerging by ensuring that the public continues to wear masks and follows social distancing and hygiene protocols. With plans to open the borders in around five weeks as the virus still rages around the world, officials will again be trusting in testing and the addition of technology to keep COVID-19 at bay.

The phased re-opening will be dependent on what the tourism ministry described as “groundbreaking technology for screening arrivals” and have visitors use “a wearable health-monitoring device”.

Government will be using medical-grade sensors made by BioIntelliSense, a US-based biotech company, to monitor incoming travellers for early symptoms and adherence to self-isolation, combined with testing just before arrival and five days after. The BioButton measures heart and respiratory rates as well as skin temperature to enable detection of symptoms associated with COVID-19.

While it is common for people who get infected with COVID-19 to be largely asymptomatic, Dr Lee, who has been testing the device, said last week that most people will still at some point show a slight increase in temperature or heart rate when they become infected, even if they are not unwell. This, combined with the sensor’s geo-fencing function, will help the authorities react quickly to potential cases and also enable effective contact tracing if a case emerges.

“I have been able to experience first-hand how unobtrusive it is to wear, and the accuracy of the data it provides,” Dr Lee said in a press release Thursday. “The primary advantage is the BioButton’s ability to provide an alert to any changes in vital statistics that could indicate trending towards
a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and provides Public Health the opportunity to intervene as soon as possible.”

The button communicates via Bluetooth with a smartphone app as well as BioHubs, which can be placed at the wearer’s accommodations to monitor the user’s whereabouts when a visitor is in the isolation period. Proximity and duration to other BioButton devices can be reported to enhance contact tracing programmes.

The BioButtons and the pre-clearance system will enable Cayman to ease open the borders safely to visitors and more returning residents, officials have said. Government’s Reopening Borders Committee (RBC) is finalising the details of phase one reopening protocols, and officials said that more information will be released about secure PCR testing, arrangements for self-isolation, data privacy and management and programme fees.

“As we gear up for the controlled, phased reopening, hotels and other tourism partners have been putting in place new measures to increase sanitation and support social distancing requirements, as good hygiene practices remain our first defence against the virus,” said Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell.

“At the same time, we want to ensure the guest experience is at the same high standard that visitors have come to expect from the Cayman Islands. We are confident that we are worth the wait,” he added.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (92)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If you are waiting for the vaccine, make sure you don’t already have hidden immunity to COVID19. It is appears 40-60% already immune to COVID19. scientists have recently discovered that some people can test negative for antibodies against Covid-19 and positive for T cells that can identify the virus. This has led to suspicions that some level of immunity against the disease might be twice as common as was previously thought.

    “when researchers tested blood samples taken years before the pandemic started, they found T cells which were specifically tailored to detect proteins on the surface of Covid-19. This suggests that some people already had a pre-existing degree of resistance against the virus before it ever infected a human. And it appears to be surprisingly prevalent: 40-60% of unexposed individuals had these cells.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    Its a different world now and the sooner the better we all accept that and act accordingly. As a parent if I had children going back to school they would definitely be wearing face masks and following all of the social and personal hygiene measures that we know have worked to control the spread of COVID-19.

    • Anonymous says:

      Children don’t understand social distancing and constantly touch their faces, pick their noses, hands in their mouth etc.

      We don’t have any deaths yet but just wait.

      • Anonymous says:

        some parents have common sense.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve been picking my nose for nearly 50 years. Not going to stop now.

      • Anonymous says:

        Younger children may not understand the reasons, however they all can learn good habits if we take the time to patiently teach them and be a good role model. It’s very much like potty training and don’t leave your house naked ! 😊

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yet still no plan.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a plan. Focus. You might not like the plan but it is still a plan.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can someone please give this guy a nudge. He’s skipping like a broken record and can’t seem to wrap his head around what is happening around him.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A lot of people celebrating “Cayman is officially Covid-19 free” on Facebook, but we haven’t tested the whole island, so how can this be true? It only takes one sick person for this thing to spread.

    Y’all celebrating way too soon.

    • Anonymous says:

      Doesn’t matter, with all the people still in the gov quarantine, there is no doubt someone with Covid. Remember, each plane has had covid on it…

  5. Anonymous says:

    BioButtons have to be tested somewhere. Why not Cayman? Just like modified mosquitoes. I am ready for the next episode of « Only in Cayman”.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or, you can move to Floriduh and you won’t be treated like a guinea pig. Instead you’ll be a political pawn in the U.S. version of Hunger Games.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Was worth all thw timw in lockdown

    Now all you have to do is NOT LET TOURISTS IN, ESPECIALLY FROM THE USA.




    • Anonymous says:

      To Bad!
      The plan it to do a controlled opening with multiple testing.

      Maybe you need a plan…..Go and isolate yourself.

    • Anonymous says:

      You act like you were the only one in lockdown. The whole world was in lockdown.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Great work. Can the CMO please investigate the spraying of dangerous chemicals on the populace by the Mosquito crew. Rare cancers have been showing up in the the community recently.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I do hope with the current positive situation continuing that the schools can open normally without face masks and other restrictive measures in September. There has been much emphasis on the economy, the elderly etc but little on kids.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m elderly & I haven’t noticed any emphasising, apart from people being told to stay away from me. Pretty lonely times when you live alone (& expensive paying stupid amounts for grocery deliveries). Tough when you only have a pension of $1,000 a month (& I was not eligible for any assistance including pension lump sum withdrawal).

  9. Anonymous says:

    Admittedly good work by CIG and all involved but really CIG, please let us know the actual amount of people, or percentage of population tested so far, not only amount of tests conducted. The latter number includes repeated re-tests. Also, let us know if new testing will continue until what portion of the total population is tested. Now that there are zero active cases, only new testing should be continuing – or are front-line workers being retested on a continuous basis. Some clarity please CIG!

    CNS, can you help get answers to these questions, please? The info currently released bu CIG doesn’t cover it all. Thanks.

  10. Anonymous says:

    So why are we still wearing masks that don’t prevent spread anyways?

  11. Anonymous says:

    All this sacrifice for nothing. My only hope is just as in Feb/Mar, I hope borders will be closed once we get one imported case. My other hope is schools will not be closed. And if closed, no home schooling nonsense.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Can we ditch the masks now?

  13. Anonymous says:

    If government opens our borders and reintroduces the virus I refuse to acknowledge another lockdown! They will have to throw me in northward to keep me from living my life.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Because they are not testing as much as they were. What they need to do is test retail workers, restaurant/bar workers, lawyers, accounts, etc who have all gone back to work. They are continuously testing the same people, so of course we are seeing little to no cases pop up. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be re-testing, but we need to broaden our testing samples now.

    With that being said, I am truly happy that those who previously tested positive are now recovered and well. It is wonderful news!

    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone can get a test now …. it’s just not frontline .. the batches are
      From a broad range of people

      • Anonymous says:

        Testing is open but barely anyone is going in to be tested because they do not think they are sick, or they aren’t having symptoms, or they are afraid of the test. So no, the results are not from a broad range of people.

        Even Dr. Lee mentioned that there have not been many people voluntarily coming in for testing.

        Also, construction isn’t frontline yet they have been tested more than once.

    • Anonymous says:

      But people have elected to get the test so it is happening. I love how y’all know more than the people who are being advised by experts.

      • Waiting and observing says:

        Some of us are the experts who see that barely anyone is coming in to be tested.

        You all keep following the likes of John Lee and believe everything that government is feeding you. You’ll see when these borders open what will happen. I am interested to see the change of heart many of you who have discounted the safety measures and the seriousness of this virus will have.

  15. Elvis says:

    Ok Moises your up next, September the 1st, get your gas masks and shields out and lock yourselves in your homes, the borders are opening and Covid is arriving full force.

    • Hubert says:

      Elvis, Just do not open up to America, especially Florida and Texas. Open up to European Union countries and Canada. Not the USA until they get their public health act together.
      Regret to say until Trump is gone and America has a NATIONAL health strategy things will not get better. The days of the 50 flowers bloom (states) strategy will not work.

      • Anonymous says:

        Makes no difference who you open up to.

        • Orlando Bob says:

          Nonsense. Many places are practically back to normal and have broken the curve. The problem in large parts of the U.S. is that there is very little testing and practically no contact tracing. The main exception being the Northeastern American states.

          If there is limited contact tracing in places such as Florida, Texas and Arizona they are in for many more deaths and more coronavirus cases than they already have now.

          They learned nothing from NYC and New Jersey in March and April.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I for one am concerned about this monitoring plan for visitors. After suffering through months of staggered restrictions and despite the fact we are still required to wear masks, social distance and wash our hands a million times a day we are expected to go along with this re-opening plan despite the fact that this virus is still raging beyond our border. I hope and pray we are not locked down again by Xmas. I know we have to get on with it but maybe we could relish in our success a little longer, say December. We are taking enough risk with all the private jets that have been arriving over the period. How are they dealing with these people?

    • Anonymous says:

      They cope, by denying to us the people that the private jets are coming here. Claiming they “are unaware of jets coming… if that is the case”. Yet, the vast majority of us see private jets coming and going from our airport. Those within the community who have encountered these tourists gain the full scoop when they boldly state that they arrived by private jet, “quarantined for a week,” and are now out enjoying some shopping and scenery.

      • Anonymous says:

        If the private jets have been coming and going from the airport and THESE people are out in the community and the cases are zero wouldn’t that show that tourists aren’t bringing Covid into the country by the buckets like people think?

        • Anonymous says:

          Some of them had not had a follow up test and have said as much. So we don’t know whether or not they have it! They could have very well caught it traveling here. We also wouldn’t know because they are not broadening the testing range within our community. People are refusing to go in to be tested.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fake News!

        If you know this say the names in here!
        If it’s the truth you will be fine, otherwise shut up!

        • Anonymous says:

          Shut up Trump. It isn’t fake news, and if they are tourists how are people supposed to name them? They don’t know them.

          I know of many people, myself included who have met some of these people who state that they came here by jet barely a week ago. Money talks in this island.

          • Anonymous says:

            Do you work for CNN? Their motto is…don’t let facts get in the way of a good story.

            • Anonymous says:

              Do you work for Trump? Constantly thinking that anything which doesn’t suit your agenda means it isn’t true.

          • Anonymous says:

            Again BS!

            As a person with an aircraft the process was the same as anyone that comes in on a commercial emergency flight.

            It is all Island talk.
            There is no way around the 14 days at the moment.

            • Anonymous says:

              There is a way around the 14 days – a medical certificate that you are too sick to quarantine in govt facility.

      • Anonymous says:

        So what!!!! If they get tested before leaving, fly on a plane with no random other people on the plane, then quarantine for a week and test negative WHO CARES. I just wish I was rich so I could leave and come back too.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please post details.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sit down at the airport and you will see the details.

        • Anonymous says:

          Just go to Camana Bay, you’ll see them there. I wasn’t one to believe that it was happening either until I ran into one at the coffee shop the other day. Government really needs to start testing other areas instead of frontline and construction giving us this false sense of hope. Resturant/bar and retail workers need to be tested, amongst others.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Arise… Sir John

  18. Annie says:

    Look at other Islands that opened up. They are seeing spikes. Some are closing to the States. Some are reintroducing quarantines. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to go backwards. Why risk it? We are a safe place. We have worked our butts of to get here. Several of the vaccine trials look promising, let’s just give it a few more months. Or, exclude the US. They are a viral Petri dish on steroids.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bermuda hasn’t and it has a plan most similar to ours.

    • Anonymous says:

      Grand Bahamas is in 14 days lockdown after allowing residents to go to FL and return, as well as allowing tested visitors in, both without isolation upon entry. The moment the shutdown was announced, a lot of people from GB rushed to New Providence, to further spread the virus .. thankfully the govt intervened upon arrival.
      I am so happy our Govt is taking a cautious approach!

      • Anonymous says:

        The Bahamas plan was very light touch and too easy to circumvent. Look at what Bermuda is doing instead.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Look guys, at some point someone needs to answer the question. Will late night lovers get unexpected visits? Soon cu.. Come back home. 🏡💋

    • Anonymous says:

      I would have to guess, yes. The bio button will sound the alarm when your heart/respiratory/skin temperature goes up. This could really get interesting.

    • Anonymous says:

      My wife seemed much happier once the pool guy was allowed to come back.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Talk about wearing masks, well today I went to The GT hospital and the receptionist was not wearing a mask. I asked her her why she wasn’t wearing a mask and she said the one she had had fallen on the ground!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I was in Butterfield a few days back and the woman in Customer Service was not wearing a mask “because she couldn’t breathe”!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Surely the schools can now fully reopen on time. Don’t let the most vulnerable children miss out on more education and guidance at the expense of political point scoring.

  22. Anonymous says:

    So we have more active cases of HIV than Corona. Time to ban sex?

  23. Henry Crun says:

    It would be good of the HSA to confirm what happens to someone’s data after they leave the programme.

    C19 doesn’t nullify data protection regulations, you know.

  24. Anonymous says:

    There is not a chance the bio buttons will be an effective barrier to prevent reintroduction of the virus. The proposal appears to be verging on insane. They can contact trace nor easily? What are they going to do when that contact tracing extends to a school or office near you? The risks are too great. There is no good reason why safe and effective quarantine procedures should be abandoned.

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting that the Bio-buttons, one of the major parts of the re-opening phase to the Cayman Islands, is coming from the United States.

    • Anonymous says:

      @5.50pm – so pleased that we have experts like you to advise us.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please explain how the scheme prevents an asymptomatic carrier from infecting the general public, whether through a pizza delivery guy, their shopping trip to Fosters, or their buddy stopping by for a beer?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Has everyone on island been tested? No more asymptomatic carriers?

    • Anonymous says:

      No we are instead planning to import a whole bunch of new asymptomatic carriers so that our hotels and tourism industry can open up to a less profitable than when they were closed state. 10-15% occupancy will not help. No doubt Alden will close the schools again at the first sign of a tourism caused outbreak. Have the Americans proven to be trustworthy on masks or isolation anywhere else in the world? Nope. Please reconsider this stupidity. Let our kids go to school so we have a more educated government in the future. Quit sacrificing tomorrow for a quick American dollar today.

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