COVID spread a ‘shock to our systems’ says Turner

| 28/10/2021 | 242 Comments
Health Minister Sabrina Turner

(CNS): People should keep calm, Health Minister Sabrina Turner said on Wednesday night in a video message to the country following news that 123 positive COVID-19 cases were recorded in the community in just 24 hours. Turner said she was sure the rising numbers came “as rather a shock to our systems” after more than 18 months in a COVID-free bubble.

Maintaining that government is prepared for the current surge, despite the evident difficulties for Public Health, she said the rate of vaccination will keep people out of hospital.

“But now we must join the rest of the world in managing community spread among our population,” she said. “It was inevitable that it would happen, and we are prepared. We have been preparing for a long time – and certainly since I took office. It is very likely that we will continue to see numbers rise as we increase testing. This is also down to the highly contagious nature of this virus, and in particular of the dominant Delta variant.”

Turner added that the country was in a good position to manage the virus because of its highly vaccinated population, with 79% having had at least one dose.

“We have a highly prepared and resourced healthcare system with the necessary medical
expertise and equipment available on island to treat severe COVID-19 cases should we see them occur,” she said, adding the population was well-versed in the protective measures, such as wearing masks, social distancing and practicing good hand hygiene.

Currently, over 60% of cases are being recorded as symptomatic but most appear to be mild to moderate and people are self-treating at home. Two of the four COVID patients currently in hospital are suffering severe symptoms of COVID-19 and require oxygen support.

But the minister said the situation was being closely monitored in order to respond to an increase in serious cases. “We are tracking this data in order to be able to respond to any changes in these trends right away,” she said.

Going forward, the daily update provided by the Public Health Department and disseminated to the public through the government communication channels will be changed, the minister said. But how this will be changed has not been revealed. Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee will be providing regular messages and periodic updates as needed, she said.

However, but following two days of delayed or missing reports of key information, Turner did not explain how the public will be informed of the number of new cases each day, the level of active infections, symptomatic or otherwise, hospitalisations, quarantine numbers or vaccination levels.

Asking people to be patient as Public Health rolls out the new process for informing people of their test results, which are now all sent by email, she said the department wanted to ensure accurate as well as timely results.

The spread of the virus to the Sister Islands was “inevitable in the current pandemic situation”, the minister said, but offered assurances that people on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman were receiving the same support as those on Grand Cayman.

“Everyone affected by COVID-19 in the Cayman Islands will have access to support in getting groceries and other supplies, as well as with getting their results in a timely fashion, and being able to apply for the ex gratia stipend if eligible,” she said. “As we are doing with schools on Grand Cayman, we will be offering lateral flow tests in Cayman Brac schools so we can quickly identify cases and advise on isolation as needed, with the intent to make the process as quick and efficient as possible.”

She said the national guidelines on COVID-19 testing for students and children will be released to the public today, Thursday. She did not say, however, when the full policy regarding lateral flow testing and its role in reducing the number of people needing to isolate and for how long would be released.

The current isolation policies could become unsustainable very quickly unless families can use the rapid home tests to allow negative members to move more freely, even when other family members are negative. The knock-on effect of spread through households can put even average sized families into isolation for more than a month, where even just one child is unvaccinated.

The burden on government and the private sector where workers are forced to quarantine for weeks on end and the disruption to education for local children will be quite significant without a change in approach to the isolation of vaccinated people who test negative for SARS-CoV-2.

See the minister’s message below:

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Category: Health, Medical

Comments (242)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Boy she mek me miss Jon-Jon yuhsee?

  2. Anonymous says:

    A system is needed in order for there to be a shock to it

  3. Anonymous says:

    The only Cabinet Minister who is more useless than Ms. Turner is Julianna Connolly……only because she’s been there longer!!

  4. Annoyed says:

    After 3 days of radio silence PACT has released the much awaited Covid Testing Guidance for schools and National Policy on Lateral Flow tests. The elephant in the room is that everything is based on use of LF tests for screening and elimination of isolation where not necessary. There are no tests available on the island and given the number of tests that each person will need, this country needs hundreds of thousands. FYI people there is a world wide shortage of these LF test kits and CIG may or may not even have some on order. Why release these documents when there are no tests available? I am so done with the the mismanagement of this pandemic since these rookies took over. Mr. Bryan you usually have a lot to say – why the silence now?

    • Anonymous says:

      I brought ten lateral flow from fosters on Friday. Are they now sold out? And stop complaining… you wouldn’t want these ridiculous 3 hour rambling less conferences like the ridiculous ones from Alden and Seymour every week would you? They were embarrassing and useless

      • Anonymous says:

        I would prefer to return to 3 hr ramblings, (as you called it) to avoid the scripted robotic punishment coming from this gang that now assaults my ears. That is when they finally come up with some nonsense to break their long spells of silence.

  5. D Sco says:

    would be interested to know how many are actually suffering or in hospital. If people are not getting sick, who cares ?

    • Anonymous says:

      2 in hospital. So we are doing just fine, and will continue to do fine due to vaccines. Island panicking unnecessarily

  6. Anonymous says:

    Nearly 18 months since this all started- HSA all that time to prepare and now saying they can’t cope ! Totally pathetic.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This ‘inevitable’ nonsense is just that. When NZ or Australia etc had a small outbreak they immediately went into a quick lockdown and it stopped things.This Govt should have done the same 10 days ago.
    Lee having taken all the plaudits and the OBE (despite the Doctors Express debacle) is now just back peddling and spouting this ‘we will sail thru this’ line- totally unbelievable .

    This Govt, Lee etc have screwed this up ( eg stupid 5 day quarantine) and are now falling back on the ‘ it was always going to happen’ narrative.

    Really appalling management of this. Total shambles.
    Per capita our infection rate is one of the highest worldwide.

    • Give credit where credit is due says:

      We are #1 for infection rate right now by a country mile.

      Dr. Lee is not the saint some hold him out to be but this outbreak isn’t necessarily his fault. The piss poor management of the situation and terrible communication, yes he is responsible for a lot of that.

      Also the 5 day quarantine started on June 23rd, so not sure how you blame a September/October outbreak on that. Failure to prosecute breaches might be a bigger issue, but laws don’t exist for many people here.

  8. Anonymous says:

    And…where is the update she promised yesterday…all these cases this week, all of these children and families and schools not knowing what to do and Public Health has a different answer for every call… and PACT…. SILENT.

    And we haven’t even opened the borders.

    Just about time for a vote of no confidence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Public Health is a darn joke..insulting how they and the HSA doctors run people around regarding Covid!
      It’s like a k General Hospital drama.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I just received this in a email from the Chamber of Commerce in regard to their Ready2Open campaign:
    “As we continue to shift from “suppression mode” to coexisting with COVID-19, we’re reminding you to make the pledge that you’re Ready2Reopen.”

    Vaxing, vax mandates, masking, social distancing, sanitising, limiting large groups, quarantines, etc, are all means of suppression of Covid.
    Any group who suggests shifting a focus from suppression of Covid to just relaxing and casually living with (and dying of) Covid are a den of fools.
    The Chamber has manifest themselves as having a focus on just one thing and it ain’t the health and well-being of the local population. The Ready2Open campaign offers abundant bits of evidence that “business first” is their driving philosophy.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I don’t care who is vaxxed or not; I keep to myself, wear my mask, keep my distance. No guests, no visiting anyone. I believe that if we get as many of our own employed according to their level of education and skill, then we can sustain our economy longer on our own if need be. It is basic human nature: you cannot care about anything else when you are focused on securing shelter, food and health care for you and yours. If most of us are employed, then we can help those close to us that are facing challenges until we get the community transmission under control once again.

  11. Anonymous says:

    That’s what everyone is missing. The fact is, we were closed. And covid got in. Not because they played with the quarentine days. The country has not opened yet. Simply because you can’t keep the common cold out, you cannot keep a flu out. It was coming. Personally pact is doing fine. But should have opened when they said they were going to open.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It would be good if CIG/Public Health started providing information again. From what I can tell everywhere in the world beside Cayman can post up to date test results and provide regulars news releases/press conferences to keep the population up to date.

    PAC – not so much

  13. Anonymous says:

    HSA site has not been updated for next week’s booster vax schedule/eligibility. The last two weeks open to 50 plus. What is the plan for next two weeks? Open to 40 plus?

    Please let us know, CIG. Information desert.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Just as we see almost everyday, people using cell phones in their cars, no seatbelts, no indications they are all signs of a careless community. Now we see unmanned sanitizing stations in stores not used by people walking in and at times the sanitizer is empty.

    Lockdowns while horrible, are the only effective way in Cayman and can be policed effectively. I don’t want it either but the majority have to pay for the few. We have another syndrome in Cayman where a great many vaccinated feel they are invincible and ignore covid protocols altogether.

  15. Daniel Johns says:

    Wow a ton of opinions here. Here is the scoop, Covid, has a 2 week incubation period, plus or minus, and when borders reopen without quarantine of any type, it will be mucccch worse for people who reside here year round. We have homes, businesses, and friends here. I got vaccinated not so much for myself, but for my community. When Gov’t said anyone on a work permit must be vaccinated, that must have been placating the uninformed. I am aware of a few here on the Brac, some in health care, some in tourism, who engage on a daily basis, who will not get vaccinated. Red Hat syndrome. Let us return to a 2 week quarantine, We the people were safer then, let Gov’t make all employees get vaccinated. That is why the fire dept is in such a state here, a gov’t employee traveled to all Islands unvaccinated and was a carrier. Math and Science folks.. Figures don’t lie, liars figure…

  16. Anonymous says:

    News Flash – PACT adopts mushroom policy – keeps public in the dark and feed them manure!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Some news regarding Covid spread in people’s homes; Guardian

    “Individuals who have had two vaccine doses can be just as infectious as those who have not been jabbed.

    Even if they have no or few symptoms, the chance of them transmitting the virus to other unvaccinated housemates is about two in five, or 38%.

    This drops to one in four, or 25%, if housemates are also fully vaccinated.

    The Lancet Infectious Diseases work shows why getting even more people vaccinated and protected is important, they say.”

    • Anonymous says:

      So we can just simply say this is not quite an ineffective vaccine!

    • Anonymous says:

      What this study fails to include is spread of covid according to time of second vaccination. There were three other separate studies done in Sweden, Qatar and Israel recently and they all showed that after 6 months from the last dose the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine is zero or negative. And the older you are the more pronounced it is. Meaning the positive vaccine effect stretches out longer in younger people.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s rubbish – if the effect is zero it can’t be either more or less pronounced! Immunity only generally STARTS to wane after 6 months, hence the need for booster jabs.

      • Anonymous says:

        the same news article shows the Pfeizer vaccine still has over 70% immunity after 7 months and the Astra Zeneca vaccine is around the same.

        Please provide references of the studies you referenced, or are they just made up by people who put on a lab coat to pretend to be a doctor and post to your anti-vax facebook group?

  18. Anonymous says:

    So no official Covid update published yesterday or today so far. Has government decided to keep us all even further in the dark if that is possible.

    The marl road has the the number of new cases over 200 and the number in hospital now about 10 with 1/2 needing oxygen to breathe. I have no idea if that is true but PACT preventing the actual data being released is not helping.

    • Anonymous says:

      This PACT government cannot handle being the government, leave alone handle COVID. Given most of them are first timers, governing in normal times would have been difficult, they are just not ready to handle the COVID challenge. They should just give up.

      I know constitutionally Alden cannot be the Premier this term, but a new role could/3 created 8n the government for him to handle COVID and bring it under control.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sandra is now in charge of CIG commms?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Can people stop saying the change to 5 day quarantine caused the spread.

    The 5 day change was announced around September 9 so the first 5 day people left quarantine on September 14.

    The first quarantine breach (which was a local person living in cayman not a tourist) broke quarantine and caused the community transmission on September 8 or 9. So it had nothing to do with change in government policy.

    Most European countries and other developed nations testing as much as we are snow about 1 in 50 have it? Which would equate to about 1500 cases here.

    It’s inevitable and to be expected – what did people think would happen? That we would never have covid here! If so that is just stupid.

    We are a highly vaccinated country hence of the few thousand positives we will likely get in the next month? Highly unlikely anyone double jabbed will die from covid.

    So why is everyone complaining and panicking? Did they think cayman was a special case and exempt from covid unlike every other country and territory on the planet? Get on with living with covid – there is nothing anyone could have done to stop community spread at some point and be grateful our spread has come at a time of 80 per cent vaccination.

    Get your booster, wear a mask, Social distance, wash your hands. These are not difficult things or life changing!

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem is many are not “getting on living with Covid” in a way that reduces the risk of transmission. “Get your booster, wear a mask, Social distance, wash your hands. These are not difficult things or life changing!” Many are simply not doing it, so now what?

    • Anonymous says:

      The change to 5 day quarantine enabled the spread.

      • No it didn't says:

        5 day QT started on June 23rd.

        Outbreak happened in September/October.

        And for any of you spouting the 14 day incubation period nonsense, we had 10 day QT for months before the switch to 5 days.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Take them to Pedro and Botanic Park where they will be safe.

    Having them in the community is a guarantee they will be torn down to build cheaply made over priced carbon copies of properties from jurisdictions where homes collapse on themselves in the middle of the night.

    • Anonymous says:

      Covid vaccines, the only vaccine in the world where its perceived ineffectiveness is blamed on those who don’t take it.

      So to make yourself feel better, you want to segregate a portion of the society that have done nothing wrong. hmm.. I wonder where the world has heard something similar.

      • STX says:

        A thousand times – Yes exactly! I would buy you dinner if I could

      • Anonymous says:

        @10:31am – I think 1:33am is referencing the article about old Caymanian homes about to be torn down. Did you just read the first sentence and the. Hit “reply”.

    • Anonymous says:

      wrong thread aah?

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