Viral loads in positive travellers high

| 15/10/2020 | 104 Comments
Cayman News Service
COVID-19 screening at the HSA

(CNS): Public health officials have raised the alarm about the high viral loads they are now seeing in travellers testing positive on arrival. In Wednesday’s test update, Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee said there were four positive results from 463 tests carried out over the previous day. All of these individuals were travellers who will remain in isolation until they recover, with one suffering mild symptoms.

But Dr Lee also noted that these and other travellers have high viral load counts which have not been evident here for many months. 

Dr Lee did not reveal where the infected people had travelled from but British Airways and Cayman Airways, the only commercial airliners currently allowed into the Cayman Islands, are bringing passengers largely from the UK, the US and Jamaica, all of which are now hot spots for the virus and seeing significant increases in infections. And while private jets are also landing in Cayman, most are coming via the US.

So far most people who tested positive at the end of their quarantine period have remain asymptomatic, but the number of active cases in travellers where people are showing symptoms is increasing. In addition to this latest symptomatic case in a traveller, another person in quarantine who previously tested positive but was not ill is now showing symptoms. Another individual who was hospitalized earlier this month remains in intensive care on a ventilator.

While all of these individuals are isolating in some way, the number of infected people with greater virus loads poses an increased threat to healthcare and public health workers here who come into contact with them, as well as the staff involved in the airport clearance process and their transfer to quarantine. These front-line workers are, however, being regularly tested.

The total number of people in isolation has not been confirmed this week, but according to figures released at the weekend, it is around 400.

There are currently twelve active cases of the virus in Cayman, four of which are symptomatic. Cayman’s total positive tally since testing begun is 225. Public officials are also encouraging people to register for testing.

A surge in people coming forward for testing following the suspected community case at Rad Bay Primary School and the brief re-opening of the drive-thru service at the Cayman Islands Hospital has increased the total number of tests to 42,800.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (104)

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  1. World Citizen says:

    Is Mother England insulting Grand Cayman by referring to Navanut as the place in North America that is free of the Chinese virus?
    Navanut is a beautiful part of northern Canada with many similarities to Grand Cayman. Restoring tourism could begin with safe bubble flights between Georgetown and Navanut. We can learn salmon fishing, and we can teach Navanuts how to open a coconut with a machete. The increased cultural diversity would be wholesome for both populations, and we would be comfortably COVID safe.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So someone hospitalized earlier this month remains in intensive care on a ventilator? That is not a good sign…

  3. Anonymous says:

    For those who dare to read: The PCR Test Fraud


    CNS: Fact check: Inventor of method used to test for COVID-19 didn’t say it can’t be used in virus detection – Reuters. It’s not a question of daring to read, it’s a question of getting suckered into all the bs on social media.

    • Anonymous says:

      The actual statement from Nobel Prize winner Mullis is that the test can not diagnose disease.
      The implication of a fact checking article implies that the person writing the article is educated on the subject to some extent. Either this author is retarded, or is intentionally misleading people on this important topic.

      CNS: It’s definitely true that someone is intentionally misleading people. The Reuters article states: The post begins with the words “COVID-19 TEST a FRAUD?”, then introduces the alleged quote from Mullis, who invented the PCR method in 1985 and was recognized for this achievement by being awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1993 (here).

      However, the quote is actually from an article written by John Lauritsen in December 1996 about HIV and AIDS, not COVID-19 (and gives the link to the relevant article)….


      False. The quote undermining PCR tests is misattributed to Mullis and taken out of context. PCR tests are being used widely in England to show that SARS-CoV-2 viral genetic material is present in the patient.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cayman it’s time for some positive thinking. It’s like people are more happy being negative than positive.
    1. The understanding of the virus increases everyday
    2. The understanding of how to treat the virus increases daily
    3. We know the at risk persons and they know what needs to be done to protect themselves

  5. Crab Claw says:

    We really should be informed where the Positive testing traveller has travelled from time for CIG to stop all this smoke and mirrors BS.

    • Anonymous says:

      who is “we”? And why “we” should be informed?

    • Anonymous says:

      And these positive persons have the nerve to complain because CIG is taking time to ensure that they can isolate properly. Shame on all of you. Your focus should on keeping your self and others safe.

      Thank you CIG. Let the traveller wait.

      • Anonymous says:

        You’re just making things up. Where have any cv19 positive travellers complained about being quarantined? Grow up.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is more interesting to me is that all these people tested negative before the flight. Could it be that the positive test has something to do with being exposed to radiation from flying at high altitude over a long period of time?

  6. Anonymous says:

    You don’t have to be to tested before boarding a flight. It’s at your own risk to be in a tiny confined space with the potential that someone on the plane with you is sick.

    We are too comfortable here because no WE know has it.

  7. Reality Check says:

    The public needs to process information/data on Covid19 (or any virus) reasonably and realistically. The panic the media has caused with highlighting the number of reported daily Covid19 CASES and not the rest of the data is irresponsible. Most people will recover without any problems. There are treatments available and vulnerable groups are now well known.

    Those waiting for a vaccine should know a vaccine will not have 100% effectiveness. Data on yearly flu shots prove this. Among other factors, the number of viruses and mutations that affect humans make this impossible.

    You don’t hide in your house or stop normal life during flu season. You protect yourself if your immune system is compromised from another illness or medical condition.

    Use good judgement by staying home if you’re ill, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, isolate anyone in your home that is sick, stay away from coughing people in public, etc…

    If you get sick, go to the doctor if necessary. The hospitals were never overrun with Covid19 patients. There are medications for those who require them.
    The statistics show this virus isn’t nearly as dangerous as was first predicted.

    Life must go on.

    Or continue to hide and wait for the ALL CLEAR that is never coming.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for the common sense, but it seems this government would rather pretend we haven’t learned anything since March

    • Anonymous says:

      Finally, somebody with a clear mind. Where in the world is a self claimed virologist running the country? 70 – 85% of the world population will be infected with this virus and Cayman is part of it. Use your judgement, sanitize and monitor your social distancing. What is wrong to continue wearing a mask while shopping?

  8. Anon says:

    4 out of 463 tests is less than 1 percent
    Can we please not have this hysteria. It’s really is mind boggling

    • Anonymous says:

      idiot…it only takes one person to have serious community outbreak

      • Anonymous says:

        Idiot all it takes is pre testing and then isolation for 7 days max and a test to be safe NOT this 14 to 16 day BS….Bermuda and others are open and can do it why cant we?

        • Anonymous says:

          That’s why people are testing positive after their 14 days right? What we are doing is protecting our community and I am certainly grateful.

          Who gives a fck about what Bermuda is doing. We are two vastly different places, if you like it so much, take your holly jolly ass over there.

    • Anonymous says:

      Only 1%?

      This is well within the false positive range of 1-4%*

      CIG should be providing these follow up numbers. I suspect they aren’t as it doesn’t support the narrative they are using to justify keeping the border shut.

      Pre PCR test 72hrs before boarding and then upon landing and again a few days later. Not rocket science and would let you reopen the border. Barbados has been doing this for a while and have not had a single COVID-19 related death in over 6 months!

      Meanwhile we are running a 30 million monthly deficit and the CIG is congratulating themselves on the good job they are doing.

      It’s a farce…

      *Source: Lancet Sep 29, 2020
      The current rate of operational false-positive swab tests in the UK is unknown; preliminary estimates show it could be somewhere between 0·8% and 4·0%

  9. Anonymous says:

    Rapid Testing in departure airport would catch some of these cases before they even board the plane. Even a negative PCR test with 72 hours of travel would be better than nothing.

  10. Anonymous says:

    STOP the incoming travel!!! People going and coming just because they can. I’ve got my laptop warming up ready for another lockdown!! It will happen if you continue to let people in.

    • Anonymous says:

      Paranoid somewhat?

    • Anonymous says:

      Your an idiot!

    • Anonymous says:

      It has not been established that the virus is actually causally associated with disease. Literally, there does not exist a study where a scientist came to that conclusion based on the data in a proper experiment.
      The vast majority of people that test positive don’t even have any symptoms. There is no evidence that the virus is actually killing anyone. People are dying from the things they always die from, and the virus is being blamed. The CDC diagnostic criteria is a fraud.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Get a grip people! The virus is here to stay so we just need to buckle up and deal with it for Christ sake! Trying to keep The Cayman Islands in a damn bubble is utter stupidity and severely affecting the people who are already out of work.

    What sense does it make to purchase thousands of testing kits, masks, invest in training and not put that to use like all other countries that have opened their borders to tourists? Preparation for NOTHING! Do we have a lockdown when someone has the damn flu? NO! Coronavirus is a strain of the Flu and no vaccine can cure the damn flu! Utter bullshit going on here!

    • Anonymous says:

      Especially when you consider we are given the fact that rubbing soap & splashing water on your hands kills the virus cells.

  12. mouse says:

    That was changed, no test required before arriving. Fact is that in many countries you are not able to get a test &result within 48 hours prior to departure and other countries have tried this obligation and received a lot of fraudulent test results.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then maybe don’t have flights from those countries right now. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Flights are currently only coming from UK, US, Jamaica and Honduras. This testing is definitely available in the US and probably the UK.

      Our government should definitely be asking persons to test before boarding…..the closer to boarding the better.

      We would have more protection than we have now and still allow for travel.

    • Anonymous says:

      BS…Tests are easy done in 24 hours all over the USA and Caribbean. If you cam out of your bubble and traveled you would see.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I live in Red Bay and I agree, it’s totally Rad.

  14. Anonymous says:

    too many people traveling to and from cayman for nonsense reasons….like dropping their teenage children to boarding school…..

    • Anonymous says:

      That is definitely so!!! There should be more scrutinizing of the reason to go or come to Cayman. At the end of the day it is government (or tax payers) who take the brunt as the cost to quarantine Caymanians is covered by government.

    • Anonymous says:

      So! Even a teenager needs their parents support especially if this is their first year abroad. Wow, some people really are thick.

    • Anonymous says:

      I dropped my kid to boarding school. I quarantined in the Holiday Inn with two other Caymanians who returned from their third shopping trip since Covid. May have gone and come again since then. Not a bad gig. Buy plane tickets. Not likely to pay duties and stay for free in the Holiday Inn for two weeks. Come out, sell goods, rinse and repeat. And people like you criticize me. Quite amazing.

    • Anonymous says:

      poor little rich kids….

    • Anonymous says:

      I think people are missing the sarcasm……

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for your ignorance of basic parenting. No-one’s doing this for fun – ticket prices are ridiculously high. People are doing it because they’re caring for their kids and teens.

  15. Anonymous says:

    WHY did they drop the requirement to have a negative test before flying? This seems like the most basic of preventative measures to reduce the chances of nitrifying the virus back into the community. While not perfect, it seems pretty logical….oh wait, that’s why it’s not happening. Logical.

    • Anonymous says:

      nitrifying = reintroducing. Not sure what happened when I posted this initially. But I think everyone gets my point here!

    • Anonymous says:

      Good word! I gotta try using that in a sentence sometime

  16. Suzy Q says:

    Yea! keep that fear a comin! Love it!

  17. Anonymous says:

    With our existing community practices the virus will spread so fast you won’t know how it happened.

    Continue to open, but please use masks, maintain social distancing and reduce the gathering numbers. This is the new norm. You can’t have both.

    Just wait and see who gets the blame when things go South. We praise science when it is convenient and will blame you when science does not work in according to their plans.

  18. Anon says:

    Great, now lets add another potentially confusing metric, “high load.” This metric again depends on the validity of your testing method, and as we see with other metrics is not 100% accurate. Reporting this metric really only serves to put further fear in the public needlessly. The basic measure is whether someone is positive as that triggers action, not whether they low, medium, or high viral load. I implore our officials to be more responsible with their reporting of information, there is enough fear out there as is.

    • Anonymous says:

      High viral load is associated with increased infectivity. It is relevant and I am glad that it is reported>

      • anonymous says:

        It doesnt change what needs to be done. Positive means isolation and repeat testing whether it is high or low load. A low load positive person with a bad cough, talking loudly, laughing and being around people is just as much a concern as a high low person not coughing not talking not being around people.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I do like a high viral load myself, not gonna lie.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Thumbs up if you plan to return to the UK this winter?

    • Anonymous says:

      I would if I could teleport to my fully stocked bunker over there.

    • Anonymous says:

      May be new forming tropical depression would force you to return to the UK, the US, etc. this winter? Or Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue? Or uncontrollable Dump fire?
      Don’t be so cocky.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why not? Better to take your chances with the ‘rona than the certainty of dump cancer which awaits you here.

  21. Vinnie says:

    How is it people are positive when they get off the plane? I thought they had to be negative before they were allowed to fly?
    Is it the virus is hanging around at 33,000 feet? WTH ?

    • Anonymous says:

      A pre-test is not required. If you have physical symptoms, you cant fly. But a test is not required.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just because you test negative on 72 hours prior to departure does not mean you don’t have the virus. The level of virus might be too low to detect but still be replicating in your body. Once the virus reaches a threshold level (I would like to know how this differs from one PCR machine to another) then it becomes detectable by the test. So when you disembark your test may come up positive.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good question. People should have an ability to get re-tested in a different, not HSA run facility.

    • Anonymous says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong but I remember reading that you had to get a covid test 48 hours before the flight, which leaves significant time to contract it before your flight. Maybe someone can let us know about their experience.

  22. J. A. Roy Bodden says:

    This pandemic seems like something out of the Apocalypse . An amateur , I have made a habit of tracking its resurgence worldwide .The scientists predicted accurately . I fear the worst and I can only hope that we in these Cayman Islands are not headed for an Orwellian nightmare . I have to admit , the situation here is not without challenge as our international connections are all with high risk jurisdictions.

    • Anonymous says:

      I do not understand why persons are not required to provide results before travelling. 72 hours before travel. Why are we allowing this? Why? WHY?

      • Anonymous says:

        Dr Lee, et al needs to wake the heck up and start thinking this through. Especially after we have now had 12 positive cases in the last week in people flying into the country (and with these so-called “heavy viral loads”).

    • Anonymous says:

      I have made a habit of tracking its resurgence worldwide = I developed an OCD.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh no! Better cower in the corner of your closet! Make sure that mask is on tight.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you entirely, Mr Bodden, but why did you use the word Orwellian? It doesn’t seem to fit the Covid situation ( except when one thinks of Trump’s denials and bending of the truth).

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh, I think if you spend some time exploring the definitions of doublethink, thought crime and memoryhole (fitness trainer, anyone?) you can find all sorts of interesting Orwellian analogies.

    • Jack Sloper says:

      “Orwellian nightmare ” surely is a bit extreme a description?States have been very careful regarding democratic rights in lockdown regulations and they are often ignored.
      But perhaps the success of China’s pandemic recovery
      has a lot to do with its more totalitarian approach?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Defiantly not BA as results out on Thursday and Friday

  24. Anonymous says:

    Why are people not tested before flying to Cayman? Would that not reduce the need to quarantine for so long and help protect the front line workers at the airport?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Do not open the borders more than they are now please.

  26. Elvis says:

    we inviting this killer here every flight. we wont stop until its loose in the community then everyone panics again.

    all for a dalla

  27. Anonymous says:

    More and more arrivals with high viral loads is not a good thing. It increases the likelihood of the virus finding its way into the community and requiring another full lock down. That we cannot afford.

    To help the public understand the current trends in Cayman it would be useful for public health to publish graphs showing the number of imported cases and the total number of active cases over time.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Sounds worse than it is.

    • COVID Apathy Kills People says:

      What an ignorant remark, have you had it? Maybe you need to get it again if you weren’t severely stricken the first time.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Can a number range be attributed to the virus load? We’ve heard of “low” and “high” Means absolutely nothing without some context! The Red Bay student was “low positive” and then “negative”. Is there a “medium”? Or is the doctor just making descriptions up based on his feelings?

  30. Bonnie says:

    Are the travelers tested before boarding the plane or just after arrival in Cayman?

    • Anonymous says:

      Just after arrival.

    • Anonymous says:

      When they get to Cayman…So they where on the plane with everyone.

      If this was a Bermuda system chances are they would not have been allowed on the plane due to the pre test requirement.

      WAKE UP CIG….There is a better way!

      • anon says:

        3.22pm On today’s BA flight there were 2 passengers in the rear cabin which had 160 seats.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not required to be tested prior to travel right now.

  31. Reality Check says:

    Questions for Dr. Lee –

    How long do you hide from a virus before it’s “safe” to resume normal life?

    Covid19 will now be added to the always increasing list of viruses that affect humans. It is far from being the most dangerous but you’d never know that from all the hysterical media coverage.

    Please tell the public how “safe” they are since immune systems have been suppressed over the past 7 months with isolation and over sanitizing.

    How did the Red Bay student get the virus? A virus is going to virus, you can’t hide from it.

    Isn’t it true that a tried and tested way to gain control of a virus is to let it burnout?

    Cayman is a perfect place for a virus to burnout having a high temperature and humidity and lots of sunlight.

    How can Covid burnout in Cayman when the fire was never lit?

    Stay safe. Zero exposure- Keep the borders shut forever and test, test, test!

    Truth be told, there is no end to this manmade madness.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman doesn’t have enough ICU beds to allow that. It would kill about 0.1% of the population in the first wave (so 65 people) based on developed European countries and US death rates… but likely a lot more as we don’t have the medical infrastructure for all the the others who would need oxygen and/or ICU to get through it. Reasonable estimate – 500 deaths maximum. The question is are you happy for that to happen to the elderly and those with severe kidney/heart/lung disease etc (ie bring their death forward a year or two?). Personally I wouldn’t allow that if I was in charge of policy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman has more ICU beds than it needs.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes. Yes I would.

        Average age of death in cayman is lower than the average age of covid death worldwide.

        Not all lives are worth the cost to save

        • Anonymous says:

          4:11 Not all lives are worth the cost to save?!!

          You must truly be an awful person to know. Feel sorry for your friends and family.

          EVERY life is with saving, your life is not more valuable than anyone else’s.

      • Anonymous says:

        Gibraltar has a similar population as Cayman, shares a border with Spain and has not shutdown its borders, imposed mandatory quarantines, or done obligatory tests on arrivals.

        Guess how many COVID deaths there has been.

        Also ZERO!

        Just people taking reasonable precautions for their own health and a competent government which doesn’t infantilise its populace.

        Maybe instead of hysteria Caymanians should try it out?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Most likely jamaica.

  33. Anonymous says:


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