A dozen COVID-19 cases reported in travellers

| 10/05/2021 | 82 Comments
Cayman Islands health worker conducts COVID-19 test at the airport

(CNS): Public Health officials have reported 12 positive cases of COVID-19 among travellers in the latest batch of test results. After a significant decline in positive tests among the new arrivals and those ending quarantine, the chief medical officer said Monday that half of these new positive cases were in newly arrived travellers but the other half tested positive after their period of quarantine. Officials have not said where these people had travelled from, whether or not they have been vaccinated or how long the six people had stayed in isolation before they took their exit test.

This means that Cayman now has 18 active cases of the virus among the 792 people in government quarantine and home isolation but no one is reportedly suffering symptoms. The Cayman Islands has recorded a total of 560 cases of COVID-19 since testing began in March 2020.


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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (82)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    All these posts arguing for ineffective low amplification testing are ridiculous. We might as well not test at all – which is what the poster is hoping for I suspect – that and lots of people sick with Covid.

    We would make Cayman a safer place, have very few positives, and much less risk of community spread if we simply restricted border crossing in both directions to people who are fully vaccinated using approved vaccine.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There seems to be a small number of people somewhere, probably not in Cayman, who over the past year have submitted comments designed to undermine the successful public health program implemented to keep the people of Cayman safe.

    Initially, they stated that Covid was fake or nothing worse than a cold, then when that was proven to be a lie, they said that we should do what Bermuda did (we know how that turned out for Bermuda), now they are trying to convince people that there is some conspiracy involving our PCR tests (too many ‘spins’ they say confirming their lack of understanding). It was and is garbage of course.

    We need to be aware that these campaigns are global and are being encouraged by people in Eastern Europe and Asia who see Covid as a means to undermine our way of life. I suspect that they are directly involved, or are duping gullible people here who have no knowledge of science. Their campaign to damage Cayman and other countries that are successfully limiting the spread of Covid is real. We need to recognise their nonsense and pseudo-science for what it is.

  3. Anonymous says:

    For all the incredibly astute sofa virologists and epidemiologists, its a simple fact that the use of the PCR test at high amplifications (cycles/spins/call it what you may) has resulted in the case-demic phenomena we find ourselves terrorized by currently.

    Dr Lee and his team are using a veyr high amplification threshold. Thereby, we are receiving ‘positives’ that are simply not infectious. We are thus qurantining those persons AND in effect our country on false premise.

    This is simply true and cannot be argued against. The PCR test should only be used (if at all) if a patient/person is showing signs of infection, otherwise its statistically meaningless and causing devastating consequences. This isn’t tin-foil-hat-conspiracy stuff guys, its factual. Here’s a little help for you –

    In a notice written on January 13, 2021 and published on January 20, 2021, the WHO confirmed that PCR tests should not be used as the sole method of diagnosing COVID-19; they should only be used where clinical signs and symptoms are present, and they can yield false positive results at high amplification cycles.

    https://www.who.int/news/item/20-01-2021-who-information-notice-for-ivd-users-2020-05

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm – serious false premise and/or serious lack of understanding of the technology or both – the PCR tests are being used to detect the presence of Sars-CoV-2 RNA – an indicator of the virus not to diagnose Covid.

      The use of high ‘spins’ as you call them enables us to detect arriving people in the very early stages of infection before they become symptomatic or shed large amounts of virus. With a lower number of ‘spins’ the early stages of infection would not be detected. In that way we prevent people who will go on to become infectious from spreading the virus in our community.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a plea to the people who are posting on here about the number of cycles being used in PCR testing without having any idea of what they are writing about. Please stop. You are writing complete rubbish and giving me a headache.

      • Anonymous says:

        Says the person who just didnt have the capacity to open and read the WHO document. How are you people following the science when you clearly cant read anything?

    • Anonymous says:

      Your information is correct but I disagree with your conclusions. It still won’t change how positive tests are interpreted here. If there is a positive result, then the test is detecting the virus. It’s irrelevant if the cycle count is high when it was detected. This is because, as you rightly stated, the positive PCR test does not show if a person is infectious or not.

      You do bring up good points but the problem is that the positive test does show the virus is still present in the upper respiratory tract where the sample is taken. This can also happen in vaccinated people as the virus can still survive long enough to be traced. However, in vaccinated people, the Ct count is so far usually high showing a very low amount of viral load in the sample.

      Remember, there can be other factors involved in a high Ct count before viral detection. There are many different types of tests with different Ct threshold values processed in different labs on different equipment. In addition, as you mentioned, the PCR test cannot tell on a positive result alone that a person is infectious. The reason for this is that the test may be performed before a person was infectious (and may have since become infectious), or the sample could have degraded or been of poor quality due to human error.

      It would be foolish to think based on what we know now, that it would be ok to let people out of quarantine before the virus has completely cleared the body. This would apply to vaccinated as well as non vaccinated. I believe this will be the practice going forward for the near future unless the science changes on new developments. The Cayman Islands cannot risk community spread of the virus as we have not yet reached the threshold for herd immunity (75% total population).

      • Anonymous says:

        Excellent post and explanation. Thank you

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s a great post and it brings up the problem the original poster is hinting at…we’ll never stop quarantine if the amplification stays this high

        • Anonymous says:

          Not at all. Amplification as it is currently done lets us know if people are carrying the virus/viral RNA. If we only have people who are virus free crossing our border then no amount of applification will find the virus. The solution is restricting border crossing to people who are fully vaccinated using approved vaccine.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bravo – you get the Troll award of the day for the most disinformation!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Here is an idea – why don’t we arrange for people without transport to have a free taxi service to the nearest vaccination center. That is what the US is now doing and it would be far less expensive than the party at the airport on the weekend, – from the Guardian today

    “People in the US will be able to get a free ride to vaccination centres in Uber and Lyft vehicles after the companies partnered with the government as part of a new effort to boost vaccination figures.”

  5. Anonymous says:

    we have 90% vaccination of the most at risk sectors.
    everybody else with a brain has been vaccinated out of their own free will.
    under 16’s will not get seriouosly ill.
    there is minimal risk to our health service.
    why are we still enforcing quarantine on peoiple who are vaccinated?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because vaccinated people can still carry and pass on the virus. That’s why their movements are still restricted. Because naturally we are reluctant to have a potentially killer virus lose on the island and we all have to stay at home again while people come here for vacations.

      • Anonymous says:

        Evidence suggests that it is very unlikely that a vaccinated person will spread covid. Even less likely if the majority of people are also vaccinated.

        • Anonymous says:

          How many vaccinated people getting through the border and then shedding the virus does it take to cause community spread and another lock down – The answer is 1.

        • Anonymous says:

          Perhaps you should go read the HSA website

          • Anonymous says:

            HSA is not the most reliable info…..definitely always has a slant towards worst-case scenario.

        • Anonymous says:

          Show me the evidence.

          “Suggests” means nothing

      • Anonymous says:

        so you don’t believe in the statistics the rest of the world are following then?….
        or is cayman going to try and maintain a covid-free buble for the next 10 years?

  6. Anonymous says:

    The number of cycles used in our PCR testing is a giant red herring. By the logic of people arguing for fewer cycles Cayman would be fine if we reduced the number of cycles to zero and had all negative tests.

    I am beginning to think that the efforts to discredit our PCR testing system is being operated out of Eastern Europe by people who want Cayman to fail and spiral into a Covid crisis like what is happening in India.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you! One might imagine these same people are off somewhere arguing the levels of test amplification in a home pregnancy test, like there could be such a thing as trace pregnant.

    • Anonymous says:

      Least they could do is dial it down to the recommended CDC or Fauci cycles…around 28-30. I understand Cayman is following UK in using 40 cycles which is bound to deliver false positives.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:37 I am Caymanian…..many generations back at that. Dr. Lee himself said that they push the tests to the maximum number of cycles. This was part of his explanation when that student tested “positive” but no one in his house or school did. He said that because they run so many cycles it picks up even the weakest shred of ANY coronavirus including the common cold.

      Using a test beyond it’s designed number of cycles is as faulty as doing too few cycles. One results in “false positives” and the other in “false negatives”.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am also Caymanian as anyone, not that that means anything to the virus. I am pretty sure that you did not hear Dr. Lee say that our PCR test detects the common cold virus

        False positives PCR tests are an inconvenience. False negatives have the potential to cause death. I vote for pushing the number of cycles every time.

        • Anonymous says:

          The reference to being Caymanian is perfectly relevant to the person I addressed! It means that the person stating about it being folks out of Eastern Europe commenting is completely off base.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Surely the positives at the end of quarantine are more likely to be positives in younger unvaccinated Cayman residents returning from a long weekend in Miami (or wherever) where they have observed few, if any, safety protocols that are now second nature to sensible people elsewhere. They wouldn’t show up as positives on their return to Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      You absolutely numpty. What Cayman residents do you think are flitting off to Miami for a long weekend. Paying over $700 round trip then sitting in Quarantine, be it 10 or 14 days?????
      Who in the world would trade a long weekend for a 2 weeks quarantine?? I just do not believe this is what is happening.
      I can assure you that anyone ‘flitting off’ island at this point are doing so out of absolute necessity. OR!! They are the absolute numpty!

      Actually, I do know one person that did that but they had to go check on their elderly mother.

      • Anonymous says:

        You know someone. I know someone as well. And I am sure others know people too. So it is happening. Rules need to be in place that anyone boarding at ORIA need to show that they are fully vaccinated except for age or medical reasons. And not sure if quarantine is still being fully paid but this should also stop except for those that need to travel for medical reasons.

      • Anonymous says:

        Read the comments under the amber light list and other posts where many brag about going Miami partying. Parents have money they will pay for their poor restricted, entitled ‘babies’ and do not care about anybody else.

      • Candace says:

        I just had to reply to your comment, because the word “numpty” almost made me spit coffee across the room, I was laughing so hard. Thank you for that.

      • Anonymous says:

        Believe it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What PCR count/spin are we running at? Why are we never told this? And apart from Dr Lee, who else advises government on border restrictions?

    • Anonymous says:

      and was the person standing on their right foot or their left foot when reading PCR test results – that is an equally valid concern.

      Give it up already with trying to discredit our PCR testing program and our quarantine system. They are working much better than most countries.

      • Anonymous says:

        it should be known, it would help you understand whether we’re really getting close to reopening or not regardless of vax uptake. if they keep running it high, which it seems they are, then we’ll continue to receive positives that are not remotely infectious…but sure, stay funny with your left foot right foot foolery. This is serious business.

        • Anonymous says:

          I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you have no idea that prior to the point at which people become infectious and begin to shed large amounts of the virus they can test positive with high numbers of ‘spins’ as you call it. That is because people test positive with high numbers of ‘spins’ at the beginning of the infection cycle and before they test positive with lower number of ‘spins’ – get it now?????

        • Anonymous says:

          Well, sorry to report this isn’t Florida or Texas. We want that machine cranked up to the highest level of sensitivity right now to ensure any sniffable amount of virus is contained via 14 days of neutralising isolation. Anyone inbound, not wanting to spend 14 days in quarantine, needs to take those 72 hrs post-negative PCR test exposure precautions very seriously. All the adults should know what those precautions are, and what they should be doing. Anyone not knowing the game, shouldn’t be flying anywhere during a global pandemic that’s left est.200 million people dead. That’s the grimly and terminally serious business that more than offsets temporary economic discomforts.

          • Anonymous says:

            200 million?! Lordy lordy we should all hunker down forever.

            Please if you are going to use figures get your facts straight. 3.3m is horrible but is the actual number.

    • Anonymous says:

      Its not a good idea to deduce too much from CT thresholds.

      Cycle threshold (Ct) is a semi-quantitative value that can broadly categorise the concentration of viral genetic material in a patient sample following testing by RT PCR as low, medium or high – that is, it tells us approximately how much viral genetic
      material is in the sample.

      A low Ct indicates a high concentration of viral genetic material, which is typically associated with high risk of infectivity.

      A high Ct indicates a low concentration of viral genetic material which is typically associated with a lower risk of infectivity.

      In the context of an upper respiratory tract sample a high Ct may also represent scenarios where a higher risk of infection remains
      – for example, early infection, inadequately collected or degraded sample.

      A single Ct value in the absence of clinical context cannot be relied upon for decision making about a person’s infectivity.
      Ct values cannot be directly compared between assays of different types – not all laboratories use the same assay, and some may use more than one.

      In other words, Ct counts are just one part of diagnosing someone with Covid-19. Other symptoms and evidence is taken into account. For Cayman, any positive is assumed infectious out of the abundance of caution.

    • Anonymous says:

      UK

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think this actually makes sense we have less people testing positive on landing, since if you’re taking social distancing seriously, your only real chance to caught it would be at the airport or on the plane. (Meaning you’d pass the test before boarding and likely the test after landing.) I know this was the case when I flew in (though there was no pre-boarding test requirement at the time).

    I agree these cases should be looked into though. It would be extremely useful for the world if we could identify where passengers are at the most risk (or not). e.g. if nobody tested positive who sat beside the positive cases on the plane in, that’s extremely reassuring.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, and maybe scrutinise by inbound flight data and disqualify certain regions/national labs in the recurring business of submitting false reports. Follow-up: why is Cayman Airways flying to La Cieba and Kingston right now, in May 2021, during raging epidemics in those regions? What/who is this air traffic for?!?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, Your conclusion is flawed.
    Someone could have been exposed at the airport prior to departing or even on the flight down. As a result it could take up to two weeks from then to test positive. That is exactly why we need the quarantine period.
    I encourage all those who are able, please get vaccinated!

  11. Anonymous says:

    If all 12 positives are asymptomatic, was the PCR test cycle threshold closer to 30 or closer to 45?

  12. Anonymous says:

    How should testing change, according to the experts?
    Threshold should be 30 to 35, while others said a recommend setting the cycle threshold to 30 or less.

    According to CDC, data shows that it’s very difficult to detect significant loads of live coronavirus within a patient sample that tests positive at a cycle threshold above 33, meaning patients who test positive at a cycle threshold of 33 or higher likely are not carrying enough of a viral load to transmit the virus to others. Also tests with high cycle thresholds could be detecting genetic fragments of the virus or other SARS viruses, or pieces of a virus that are leftover from a previous infection that don’t pose any current transmission risk.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hopefully they are running it at at least 35+ so that we can identify people who have very recently been infected still have a small viral load and are about to start shedding virus in a few days. That is the only possibility for keeping Cayman safe.

  13. Elvis says:

    Still playing with fire i see

  14. Anonymous says:

    I’m on my way Wednesday. Got my test result just now. Wondering what fresh hell I will encounter at the airport when I arrive.

    • Anonymous says:

      First, recommend you are two weeks past fully-vaccinated. Then, suggest you bring a pack of alcohol wipes (>70%) and use them as if continuously prepping an operating theatre with OCD. Not just your hands, do your seat, armrests, air nozzle, luggage cart/baggage handles, rental car, hotel room, everything. Keep track of your hands, and everything you touch. Eating is a bad idea, as is drinking too much – do that later. Stay away from other people, and out of their passing “wake”. If you are travelling with a nail-biter or nose picker during stressful situations, bring and put on rubber gloves. Be prepared to encounter lots of people with acute gaps in situational awareness, especially in lines (non-group number boarding), and at baggage claim carousels. Expect to encounter many minutes/hours of less than 6 inches of social distance. Many people are hugging acquaintances and dropping their masks to talk to each other, which gives a visual queue to those regional case numbers. When you can, hang back, and let the pushiest clueless tailgaters past to clear a swathe of comfortable space ahead. If where you are going needs a USA-lab PCR re-test, I recommend Dolphin Mall parking lot, book test 4 days ahead via Nomi Health, and it’s free with a $40 cab each way. Best of luck.

      • Anonymous says:

        Good god you need help.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dear lord. 11:11 has lost their mind. The 14 months of nonstop fear mongering by government has driven them crazy.

      • Nox says:

        This sounds like a hilarious “Saturday Night Live” skit … lol lol…

        Btw, cases are falling off like crazy in the US, as more than 68% of all adults are now vaccinated. You can come out from under the bed now….

  15. Anonymous says:

    Why cant they disclose if they were vaccinated? Will that give away their identity? So many secrets.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Singapore and Hong Kong have recently increased quarantine to 21 days as a precaution related to the newer strains.

    When is Cayman going to start doing genome sequencing so that we will know what strains are now arriving in Cayman. It only takes 1 infected person slipping into the community to cause the large number of hospitalisations and deaths that Bermuda has recently had.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      It’s a good question. I believe HSA is sending a fixed percentage of samples off for that very purpose. I don’t have any idea what percentage, but it seems terribly important to me to know if we have any of the variants coming here, and the efficacy of the vaccines.

      • Anonymous says:

        Last I heard, sending off samples to Trinidad for sequencing was going to stop/has stopped as it is taking 6 weeks to get results back if they come back at all.

        We need to be doing our own sequencing just like Bermuda is now doing.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Need to stop people coming into these Islands, we don’t want another lock down .

    • Anonymous says:

      Need to stop locals travellibg for no essential reason, just for a jollie to go partying and shopping.

    • SSM345 says:

      8:55, The people refusing to get the vaccine don’t seem to get that fact; and if they think the last lockdown was bad; wait till it spreads throughout the community when the borders open.

      Add on the fact they won’t be able to travel anywhere for medical treatment because of international border closures once our hospitals fill up due to the limited amount of bed space / ventilator machines available and then……well you get the picture of the potential shit show coming our way.

  18. Anonymous says:

    The positives mean that it’s just plain common sense not to allow free access to the Island , without the quarantine protocols currently in place.

    • Anonymous says:

      As we get further into the pandemic and understanding of it, we are getting to the point of whether a positive result is of any significance. What we now need to know is whether a positive result can be benign, or simpler put, if these ‘positives’ can actually infect anyone, pass it on, get sick etc, or if they are just detecting dead coronavirus cells that can’t actually do any harm. There are degrees of ‘positive’, some are a problem, others aren’t.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is true. Positive results do not mean you are diagnosed with Covid 19. All the PCR test means is it has detected the virus. With most of the population now vaccinated, we should consider lowering quarantine to 5 days for vaccinated people.

      • Anonymous says:

        Great. Is there any medical evidence on how positive a person has to be to spread? Until then we will continue with our quarantine period that has kept the community Covid free. Bye

        • Anonymous says:

          We are opening up soon – bye

          • Anonymous says:

            Seriously doubt it. If PACT opens the border without herd immunity and a child gets Covid and dies they will be committing political suicide

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, but it’s not a quick test. You would need to add the coronavirus (from the positive case) to healthy cells and see if they infect other cells. The PCR test just says yes or no to the question asked, that being ‘can you detect coronavirus – dead or alive’, it’s never actually been a tool you can use to determine if someone is infectious.

    • Anonymous says:

      8:13 exactly but there are far too many stupid people here to understand that.

  19. Anonymous says:

    How hard is it to figure out if they were vaccinated?

  20. Anonymous says:

    But will we hear from Doktor Lee if any of the positives were false in error, whether intentional or not , due to testing protocols?

  21. Anonymous says:

    What does 12 cases represent as a percentage of the batch tested? Seems a bit ambiguous not to report the percentage.

  22. Anon says:

    The positives at the end of quarantine need to be investigated. It is much more likely to be postive on arrival than 72hr negative, on arrival negative, and completion of quarantine. Concern for false positive results, whether intentional or unintentional, needs to be objectively evaluated.
    Positive cases will continue to provide fuel for the argument to continue scientifically unsupported restrictions currently in place.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ding ding ding!!!

      There is NO way that many positives are slipping through. Either the tests are being faked at the originating location or testing is being done incorrectly in Cayman! If it’s an issue with pre-testing, stop using that lab and/or stop flights from that location. My guess is it’s over-testing by HSA just like in the Prospect student case.

      CNS……please inquire how many cycles these PCR tests are being run. Overamplification will guarantee “positives” and allow HSA to keep their narrative.

      CNS Note: We recently asked about this and received this reply: The PCR test that we are currently using tests for three targets simultaneously, including the Spike gene. In order to be called a positive PCR result, it has to have a result in at least two of those targets within an empirically determined limit (i.e. cut-off). If it is positive for only one target, then we repeat the test or test with a different test kit.

      This is the one we currently use routinely: https://www.fda.gov/media/136113/download<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/www.fda.gov/media/136113/download__;!!EuRrQOsPEno!PQlovdkLOanqWQ8fb_biKoAO7BsFAn0FNeNroYCLYGoTdCsfniRVSuLnCv54D0CyGRFolQ$>
      The secondary test is the one provided by PAHO, E-SarbecoV.

    • Anonymous says:

      A PCR test only shows that it can detect the Coronavirus, it can’t say that the positive person is infectious, likely to become infectious, or develop symptoms. However a positive PCR test results in the same treatment – isolation!

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