COVID field hospital put to bed

| 15/03/2021 | 27 Comments
The HSA field hospital is packed up

(CNS): The Health Service Authority has packed up and stored all of the equipment it acquired to create an emergency field hospital in the event that Cayman had faced a serious surge of community transmission of COVID-19. The hospital, which was established at the Family Life Centre in George Town in May, cost around $400,000 and was decommissioned at the end of last month. But the assets of the 60-bed facility have been placed into storage by Hazard Management to be remobilised or reallocated for any other national and potentially regional disaster if needed. Some of the equipment has been circulated into the HSA.

Fortunately, the Cayman Islands did not need the facility, given the very low level of community spread of the virus even at its peak, when there were only a handful of cases where the patients were hospitalized.

“Sustainability was the key word throughout the design and mobilisation stages of the field hospital,” explained Public Works Department Senior Project Manager Simon Griffiths. “Everything was done with the objective of its remobilisation as a whole or in part in the Family Life Centre or in other locations.”

He also said some of the assets have already been chosen for relocation within the authority now the hospital has been demobilised, including the standby generator, which has been sent to Faith Hospital in Cayman Brac. The mobile hand wash basins are going to be used at various district clinics, the Airport COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic and the COVID-19 testing district clinics.

The bed partitions and fully demountable electrical system will be stored in a warehouse with other equipment from the temporary facility and may be utilised by HMCI for emergency sheltering purposes. “It’s pleasing to report that this attention to sustainable ethic has worked as even the plastic sheeting used to shield certain parts has been saved and will be used elsewhere,” Griffiths said.

Coordinated by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) in collaboration with the government, charities and the private sector, the emergency field hospital was set-up in May 2020 to accommodate an overflow of COVID-19 patients should local healthcare facilities reach capacity. With effective implementation of precautionary measures such as social distancing, hand washing and the wearing of masks, the Cayman Islands was able to avoid an outbreak of COVID-19 and the need to use the field hospital.


“The NEOC and supporting organisations initiated this project with the single-minded focus of saving lives.”said HSA Chief Executive Officer Lizzette Yearwood. “We wanted to ensure we had the infrastructure in place to handle the very worst scenario. If the field hospital was ever to be utilised it would mean that all the beds of the local hospitals have been filled and we are now in a national emergency situation…it has always been our hope that the facility would not have to be used, but if needed, it can always be remobilised in a relatively short time.”

The UK Association for Project Management awarded the Cayman Islands Government winner of the social project of the year category for the cross-sector project management approach taken for the construction and delivery of the field hospital.


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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (27)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Ok, the answer is still the same. Not everyone has been vaccinated. Most of the population won’t get a second dose until sometime next month. After that it probably takes a couple weeks for full efficacy to be achieved. So realistically it’s not a good idea to open the border until 1st of May at the earliest. When we hit that point, if they don’t allow vaccinated people to come and go without quarantine (I could probably live with requiring a negative test before and on arrival) then I will agree with you. I don’t think there will be justification in maintaining the quarantine requirements once we hit summer.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not like there are travelers beating down anyone’s doors right now. DoT (still) has no clue.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Maybe a bit premature to be packing this up as we ease into North America’s third/fourth waves, this time with new strains that nobody has been vaccinated against – and held at bay only by weak and variable honour codes. What could go wrong?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Any chance we can put all our current cabinet members in it before it’s packed up?

    • Anonymous says:

      And potential politicians. Most of them are just as sickening.

      I am really depressed about the state of this territory. Several decent candidates in a sea of absolutely dire options.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am glad this was planned for and not needed.

  5. Anonymous says:

    will keep asking the same question:
    if through vaccination, the risk to the general population of death and serious illness has been reduced to that of seasonal flu….why are our borders still closed?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because it’s not a flu, and nobody is at that point of vaccination yet, not even us.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not True….There is a country that has over 70% done and is open to vaccinated tourist and children under 16 with no isolation.

    • Anon says:

      Have a look at the rest of the world, most places have restrictions/border closures. You can’t go to the US unless you are a citizen, you can’t even leave the UK unless legitimate reasons. Let’s stop putting pressure on us to open so you can have a jolly in the sun. You can come to the islands, you just have to adhere to our restrictions

      • Anonymous says:

        Check the rules – ANY ONE that has not been in the UK,EU and South Africa can go to the USA. Our planes go there twice a week!
        There is no reason you can not leave the UK it is easy done!

        Have a look around the caribbean some places have been open since July!

        You speak BS!

        • Anon says:

          So by your own comment you have agreed that the US borders are “restricted” as such they don’t have open borders as there are a lot of countries who can not enter the US.

          With regards to the uK, maybe you should check your facts – COVID-19 Travel – Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays. Do not travel unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so.

          So, NO, I am not talking BS

      • Anonymous says:

        Not true about the US. All that’s required to enter the US is a negative test…..doesn’t even have to be PCR. 🙌

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well that was a waste of money!

    • Anonymous says:

      How were we to know that? In the early days, we didn’t know how bad the virus would be here. Better safe than sorry and have space and facilities to deal with the sick. There’s always one who has to criticize..

      • Anonymous says:

        I think your missing the point of the poster.
        Was it good value for money? No.
        Is there any ROI? No.
        Just because it might have been needed doesn’t mean it wasn’t a waste of money.

        I carry flares on my boat. They expire. I dispose of them. They were a waste of money but I still replace them even though they were a waste of money.

        • Anonymous says:

          We are not disposing of it. We are storing the field hospital in the vent that it is needed at a later date.

        • Anonymous says:

          Or you could just wear your flares to any good 70s disco themed evening.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe or maybe not! Consider if another virus comes along and we’re not so fortunate. Variables exist in our responses, e.g. change of Govt could mean a change of approach). Bear in mind that in the last 45 years we’ve had at least the following major deadly viruses, some causing pandemics; AIDS, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, MERS, SARS, Ebola and now Covid 19. So guess what…..?

      Also, everyone hopes to get the island open again, including flights…yeah? All these years there’s never been a major air accident here (or other mass-casualty event, thank God) but all these years we’ve never had any one medical facility to accommodate one. A field hospital is at least one available option……just saying.

      Trust me, this Govt has its share of white elephant money–wasters – just look at that horrid spectacle of a parking lot for the West Bay cemetery beach!! WTF? But the field hospital may not be one just yet.

    • Anonymous says:

      Throw it on top of the Ebola facility they bought a few years back!

    • Anonymous says:

      It was by no means a waste of money! The entire world was faced with a pandemic and not prepared for Covid19. Thankfully, our government took steps early on to secure our borders and the HSA and HMCI took the quick steps of securing a facility, should the worst case scenario happen.
      We are very fortunate that we did not have people needing to occupy the beds there, because that would have meant our loved ones would be fighting for their lives. Let’s be thankful instead of being negative because I’m sure if people were sick and needing additional hospital beds you would then say government didn’t make necessary provisions.

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess you have comprehension problems or you didn’t read the article before commenting

    • Dexter Layman Ebanks says:

      I am reluctant to reply to 7:35am but feel I should =
      What a STUPID COMMENT =
      May I ask you one Question if the Cayman Island Authority had not been preppaired for the Covid19 and it turned out that we were hit with the Pandemic as most other countries
      are and still is “What Then” =
      Before putting your Mouth and Pen in motion PLEASE PLEASE use your BRAINS
      Dexter L Ebanks

    • _||) says:

      And if wasn’t set up and ready for a time of need you’d be complaining same way

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope you are right but will wait and see what happens when we open the border first.

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