Officials reveal COVID-19 isolation risk

| 28/01/2021 | 90 Comments

(CNS): Travel Cayman has said a system software error enabled a traveller to quarantine at home instead of in government quarantine, raising questions about the risk the individual, who is approaching the end of the 14 days in isolation, posed to the community. Few details were given by officials, who said in a brief statement that a mistake allowed the person to isolate at a residence that did not meet the approved criteria.

The traveller’s request to quarantine at a private residence was denied on an arrival and the person should have gone to a government facility. However, they were taken instead to the uncleared address, which had been denied because it appears, though it has not been confirmed, that there were others living at the location.

No one has explained what happened, how it happened or why the residence was unsuitable, but Travel Cayman simply said the matter had been investigated and software engineers are rectifying the issue.

“Additional verification protocols have been put in place and manual checks are being carried out in tandem,” officials said. “All residents at the dwelling have been tested and public health has confirmed that there is no cause for concern or risk of community transmission.”

The traveller was due to complete their quarantine period Thursday. However, officials did not say when the problem was identified, raising numerous questions about potential risk and exposing further chinks in Cayman’s defences against COVID-19 and the more infectious strains, at least one of which is already present here among those in quarantine.

CNS has posed a number of questions regarding the issue and we are awaiting a response.

Meanwhile, despite the pre-testing requirement, passengers are still testing positive for the virus on arrival. On Thursday Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee reported two more positive cases of COVID-19 among a batch of 157 results. While the two travellers are currently asymptomatic, there are now 28 active cases of the virus, with six people suffering symptoms.

The number of people in isolation, either at a government facility or in their homes, is now 910. No vaccination results have yet been released today.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (90)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If Government isn’t providing stimulus cheques like every other country then there should be another big pension withdrawal. Need this money to survive!!!

  2. Anonymous says:


    Take a mental health break this weekend. You seem stressed.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you mean 6:42. Mental health breaks are important especially during this stressful time.

      6:42 please take a break.

    • Anonymous says:

      on another note sandra sounded like a complete idiot. the man is only 62. all.she could say the old man this the old man tht he is so old he probably don’t know what going on. for God sakes he is only 62 not to.elderly.

      • Linda says:

        9:18 there is a reason I don’t have anything to do with CMR.

        I think CIG has a whole as done a super job managing the Pandemic.

        I see great leadership from our Politicians and the Civil Service.

    • Angus says:

      4:58. So true. We have much to be thankful for. It has been a great team effort.

      Thank you to the entire CIG, Elected Officials Civil Service, the SAGC’S and the community.

      Together we have achievement what few countries could not.

      Let’s stop the attacks and thank the God Lord for our blessings.

    • Anonymous says:

      4:42 Joel Osteen says ” If you can’t be positive, then at least be quiet”.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The pretesting results for people testing positive on arrival should be reviewed to determine if the pretesting results are false negatives or otherwise not valid.

    • Anonymous says:

      I went to the normal ticketing section of the departure hall at the Owen Robert’s Airport today to get my second Covid vaccination.

      The person who came up with the idea of using the departure hall for vaccinations should get a medal.

      And kudos to the HSA for the fabulous organization.

      When I visited the procedure went like clockwork and I was in and out in about 15 minutes, including the post vaccination precautionary wait. And what courtesy, friendliness and professionalism.

      They even distributed water to the seniors.

      We live in an amazing place. So grateful for all the government is doing to keep us safe and protected.

      Be thankful.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am just so happy the private sector is not involved in this operation.

      If the Government had listened to the private sector we would have opened the lock down too early. Allowed visitors to enter months ago and we would be in total lock down again.

      I wish to commended everyone involved in reopening our borders. You have some a stellar job.

      Mistakes happen and you obviously learn from those mistakes.

      I for one is grateful that I live in Cayman.

      I know it’s hard for the PPM haters and the PR refusals folks to admit that the Government has performed at a world class level.

      But you should and get used to it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Credit to CIG, much deserved but enough of this foolishness about the private sector; who do you think is paying for it?

        • Angus says:

          12:25. Doesn’t feel good to be criticised eh. Well then stop doing the same to our Public Service.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lockdowns are not mandatory. It is our authoritarian government implementing these idiotic measures. A lot of old people our dying of complications in caymans hotels right now due to them isolating for two weeks, government never reveals that now do they

        • Anonymous says:

          Cayman is not under “lockdown “. Get your terms right.

          People who meet the criteria to visit must follow procedures practised worldwide.

          Otherwise we might have to indeed have to institute a lockdown.

        • Anonymous says:

          Firstly Cayman isn’t in any kind of lockdown. Secondly your little conspiracy theory is so dumb it’s painful. Everyone travelling to Cayman right now is related to or has strong connections to the community, if a single one died we’d all know about it. You’re so obviously not in Cayman, in fact I’ll wager you’ve never even been here. Now head back to Qanon they’re missing one of their idiots.

        • Anonymous says:

          What a load of BS!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Canada just banned travel to the Caribbean and other areas due to the new variants. According to their Prime Minister:

    “International travel brought the variants to Canada, from locales including United Kingdom, Denmark, South Africa and Brazil.

    “Just one case of the variant that comes in could cause significant challenges,” Trudeau said, referencing the outbreak of B.1.1.7 coronavirus at a Barrie long-term care home that has so far killed at least 50 people.”

    I wonder if anyone at CIG thinks about things like that?

    • Anonymous says:

      These negative comments are a travesty.

      Don’t you understand that you are living in paradise. You not wearing a mask. You are not social distancing not rubbing your hands dry with hand sanitiser! You can go to the supermarket market,To the beach to the night clubs and cinema. You can visit your loves ones and friends. All without fear. Yet you complain and offer criticism of the very people that has fostered this tranquility.

      Shame on all of you. As I write this comment. I am locked down at home, hundreds are dying each day. In my country I am living in fear.

      The Cayman Islands is in a setting the standard in the fight again COVID-19.

      Why can’t you understand that. Offer constructive criticism if you may. But make it constructive.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am sorry for your situation and I agree that Cayman has done very well – so far. You will understand that many countries that did well up until recently are now suffering because of administrative errors or lax protocols or because they did not adapt policies to the new variants. What you may not understand is that Cayman is at risk of joining those countries that are now in trouble as we do not adequately restrict the inflow of people from countries with high infection rates and we still have minimally enforced home isolation. For many weeks we have had more than 1% of our population returning from overseas trips and then supposedly isolating at home. Questions regarding our current policies are not only justified, they are absolutely necessary.

  5. Anonymous says:

    and this is happening in such a small underdeveloped island…
    lack of control;
    population again government ;
    violent man being treated basically as a normal person (hello, who has the video release it!) ;
    and they say, “covid free” LOL

  6. Anonymous says:

    so many questions and so few answers…
    now you know why cig does not do press briefings anymore.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The high rate of positives at arrival suggests that something about the pretesting program is not working. We are getting the same rate of positives on arrival now that we had before.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It merely exposes the fact that anyone at anytime could go wherever they wanted for lockdown. As long as, once you get inside you activate the wristband/geofencing/phone deal and you remain in that location.
    They came to me 2x during my lockdown. Once to loosen the armband (but not too loose) and once for a welfare check (which I appreciated!).
    I was asked 3 times where I was located… Even though I know they knew the address. So, it didn’t instil a feeling of being geofenced.

    There was also conflicting info given about whether or not I could take my trash out. I was told both yes and no. (I ended up taking it myself) I think it depends on your location/situation. So they DO check out the address in question.

    At the airport they put me on the wrong bus even though I stated twice that I live in GT not Prospect. Just FYI, from the airport to Prospect you do not travel via GT… Unless you want to add 15 min to your travel time.
    I felt bad that the entire busload (going to Prospect and BT) had to deviate to take me to town. People were anxious to get home.
    I was dropped a block away from my home with 2 very heavy suitcases and a carry on (I was away 4wks). That was a fun walk. (I paid the driver $5 to take one of the bags to my door)
    All in all every team member I dealt with were VERY kind and pleasant. Up until the end when the people in Gov Q were released by 330P but the people in residences were not advised until 830P. WTF??!?!?!?! I don’t care how many people you have to advise. Send a text or an email!!! There are ways to contact people in bulk and I know you’re not waiting for each result one at a time! Grrrrr

    • Very impressed recent traveller says:

      9:43. So your taxi dropped you a block from your residence. But you managed to get the taxi driver to help you get the bag to the door. Sounds funny to me.

      You mean the taxi would drop you a block away from your residence and then walk a block with your bag.

      Also the email from Travel Cayman provided clear instructions on how to take out the garbage.

      Get help!! You can’t get anything right.

  9. Anonymous says:

    and there is no community’s transmission.

    • Anonymous says:

      Another poster asked on what basis was Mack allowed to travel to Cayman in the first place?

      I understand that the boyfriend is a resident. So are residents allowed to invite visitors to the Cayman Islands?

      Can I invite my friend in US to visit?

      What exactly are criteria that persons travelling to Cayman must meet?

    • Anonymous says:

      Human error. Must likely carelessness—People letting guard down—complacency in doing their job in an increasingly risky situation with the new variant.

      Things could suddenly change here for all of us—look at what has happened to Bermuda.

      As far as the visitor and his family are concerned, they should be liable for some penalty, instead of complaining to Marl Road for having to quarantine.

      You all knew the deal. Your residence was not approved. Call 911 if you don’t know who to contact for reporting violations. Use your head.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just the person who left here and tested positive upon arrival in Cuba….

  10. Anonymous says:

    “system software error” is typically a stand-in for human incompetence. If there was a “system software error” I would expect to see more instances of the same problem.

    Maybe it is time to give the Travel Cayman leadership team national awards for their creativity.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s Cayman Airways after all, they are well-conditioned to bend reality.

    • Anonymous says:

      CIG, they are just a poor excuse for world class administration and they seem to have deep pockets when is comes to excuses. Next I suppose it’s the software consultant’s fault.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The DG will be sure to support his cronies as he has already said Travel Cayman is World Class. Is the DG doing a World Class job at running the Civil Service? CNS should poll this. Also should the DG position be for a maximum term and elected by fellow Civil Servants instead of nepotism?

    • Anonymous says:

      6:42. I think our DG is doing an excellent job. Could you do better?

      As a recent traveller I can say without hesitation that the experience from applying for permission to enter, to arrivaln quarantine at residence and 15 day test was world class.

      Don’t be jealous of our DG. He is a rock star!

    • Anonymous says:

      6:42 Leave our DG alone. He is doing a great job.

      Sorry employees don’t get to chose their leader. Not even in the private sector does that happen.

      Frankly your thought process is frightening.

      The DG, civil servants, public servants and elected officials having been keeping you safe for almost a year now and yet your complain.

      When I see comments like this I know the DG is doing his thing. Which means he must upset some people.

      As far as a poll is concerned read the 2020 civil service engagement survey. I did. I am a proud civil servant.

    • Anonymous says:

      6:42 what’s wrong with you. Leave our DG alone. While he is supporting Caymanians you are tearing them down.

      Proud civil servant.

    • Proudcivilservant says:

      6:42 with thoughts like that I am worried about you.

      Stop it! You are clearly out of touch with reality.

  12. Anonymous says:

    People is breaking the quarantine and nothing is did about it, like the 19 year old man, he will go free, because his mother is high up in Government, sad and very bad

  13. Anonymous says:

    In every other country that has implemented pretesting the rate of positives on arrival has fallen dramatically. The fact that in Cayman the rate of positive tests on arrival is the same post implementation of pretesting as it was before the introduction of pretesting suggests either that fake negative reports are being submitted or that the testing results are not worth the paper that they are written on. Hopefully someone is taking a second look at all of the negative pretesting results submitted by people testing positive on arrival to ensure that the same labs are not to blame for false negative tests and to ensure that fake pretesting results are not being submitted.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or when you have such small numbers travelling/testing you’re not going to see any significant change.

      You’re assuming the numbers are wrong. If the numbers are right what they indicate is that pre-testing doesn’t matter when you have this level of travel all going into quarantine anyway. (And why they should.)

      • Anonymous says:

        The numbers are not small. Hundreds are arriving each week and the percentage of positives is between 1 and 2 %, just like it was with the hundreds arriving per week before pretesting was implemented.

    • Anonymous says:

      ……….OR the tests in Cayman are being over-amplified due to an excessive number of cycles. . This makes them supersensitive and will then count things like the cold virus as Covid. That is exactly what happened in the “positive” case at prospect Primary. That kid had a cold.

      If you dispute the above and believe that was Covid, then you should still breathe easy!! If that was Covid, it’s obviously not the highly transmissible demon the government is making it out to be. ZERO contacts caught it despite no masks at school.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Some of the decisions and actions being made by Travel Cayman appear to be putting the country at increased risk. Has Travel Cayman explained why Skylar Mack and the so-called online fiancé were allowed entry into the country during a pandemic? It is time for some accountability at Travel Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seems like Travel Cayman needs to be held more accountable for a lot of the issues. However, why in the world wouldn’t the so-called online fiance (a Caymanian) be allowed to come home?

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        My understanding is that Ms. Mack’s travel itinerary was for a total of two weeks, which presumably she would spend in quarantine. If so, why would they approve such a doomed venture?

    • Anonymous says:

      What an ungrateful set of people you are.

      Since September Travel Cayman has been doing a stellar job. I think close to 5,000 persons have entered Cayman and we have had zero community transmission.

      We have had about 6 breaches of isolation by some really irresponsible persons.

      what this means is that Cayman had implemented one of the most successful border opening program in the world.

      Kudos to the Travel Cayman Team.

      Reading these ungrateful comments makes me sick.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes it should make you sick that this lacklustre oversight might make us all sick.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unfortunately people are being authorized to go on shopping holidays and other no see which increases both risk and cost

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree. CIG’s virus response has been shockingly competent from lockdown till now. Of course there will be hiccups and it might still end badly but still CIG has got it right a lot more than wrong. Very well done to all involved and thank you!

      • Anonymous says:

        We are dealing with a highly transmissible and deadly virus. This is not about somebody missing their taxi to the airport.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agree. That so few people chose to and/or were able to have disregard for public health stands in contrast to nearly half of the US which willfully disregards precautions to prevent the spread of Covid and have watched over 400,000 die. I know of many younger people who have recovered from Covid and still party on and may still transmit the disease. People over 70 in the US may have to wait until April to get vaccinated. Cayman, New Zealand, your able to do what needed to be done to spare your elder population and it cost you economically dearly, but your humanity rocks!–good on you!

      • Say it like it is says:

        9.04am More than half the population have not been tested and almost all that were and were positive had no symptoms, so you cannot say there has been zero community transmission.

  15. Anonymous says:

    obvious question but info is not stated….did this person test negative on arrival?

  16. Anonymous says:

    cig letting too many people travel to and from one of the worst infected countries…..
    why are they doing this??…this is criminal level of negligence.

  17. Anonymous says:

    putting the health of the population in the hands of the civil service…..
    yep…its only a matter of time.

  18. Anonymous says:

    just od away with honesty system of home quarantine…its a recipe for disaster.
    government facilities/hotels or nothing.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Travel Cayman being run by Cayman Airways is all you need to know.

  20. Anonymous says:

    So this is the latest..blame it on software..

    Software can only spit out what the operator puts in..

    When will someone be held accountable at Travel Cayman? Are we waiting for the next breach with the UK variant..

    Will someone just stand up and say they made a mistake instead of all of these excuses.

    Furthermore this man knew he wasn’t supposed to be going home so all he had to do was tell the driver to call into Travel Cayman to let them know they had made a mistake. his family obviously knew as well. It also sounds like had this incident not happened this would never have come to light..

    How many more screw ups like this is happening?

    • Anonymous says:

      Blame in the national pastime. Major error that could lead to deaths and Lockdown 2.0? Blame it on software. Airport way over budget? Blame it on the consultants. Speaker of the House violently attacks a woman in public? Blame it the victim. Caymanian can’t keep a job for any number of reasons? Blame it on the expat. Kids can’t learn in school? Blame in on the teachers. Blame, blame, blame… The name of the game is blame!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Worrying human oversight failure. Was the traveler at any point Covid positive?

  22. Anonymous says:

    So their bracelet wasn’t indicating that they were in the wrong place? How did the bus even know where to take them if they were meant to be going to a hotel? This goes to show that they aren’t actually paying attention to people’s geographical location as this should have flagged immediately when their bracelet didn’t register them at the hotel.

    • Anonymous says:

      I stand to be corrected, but I don’t think people at hotels are required to be tagged. He must have been dropped off without a tag, or he was tagged and fenced to be at this address.

      • Anonymous says:

        No from what I understand the tag was programmed for this location. They caught it because the phone they are given to stay with the tracking bracelet wasnt being charged.

    • Anonymous says:

      “How did the bus even know where to take them if they were meant to be going to a hotel?”

      The traveller hollered out “One stop!” as they were about to pass the house.

    • Jotnar says:

      But he was in the “right” place. They basically put down the address he had requested in the system as authorized even though they decided he should go to the hotel. From that point on everything goes wrong. At the airport he isn’t in the government quarantine queue because he is on the list for private address. He is taken to the address because it’s on the list given to the bus driver. And no one from monitoring realizes because – guess what, the tag and phone shows he is at the address on the system.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Bullshit. Someone from their team set the geofence by visiting the property. Otherwise, it would have been pinging from the minute the man got off the bus. Pull the other one “Dr” Tasha.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I’m wondering two things. Firstly, will this person be fined for knowingly (he/she had been told they could not quarantine in a private residence) staying where they should not have done? Secondly, who are all these people coming onto or back to the island? I can’t believe there can be that many residents choosing to leave for whatever reason and coming back. Especially when the rest of the world is in lockdown. This isn’t a criticism – it’s just something that I’m interested to know.

    • Anonymous says:

      The rest of the world is far from lockdown , The U.S. as an example. People are free to move about as the directives & protocols permit. Many countries , islands and territories are open & managing the pandemic by living with the threat of the virus. Something Cayman has not demonstrated .

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe not when you know what you’ve been told is wrong, having failed earlier inspection.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Blame the consultants.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Sick of blaming the computer. So no one is held accountable and Franz will say they all doing a good job

  27. Anonymous says:

    Travel Cayman and Tasha Ebanks are two big jokes. Totally incompetent. Its only a matter of time before we get an outbreak of the virus locally again. And you can bet that it will be caused by the inefficiencies of both of them.

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