Home test pilot begins with negative households

| 14/10/2021 | 49 Comments
CMO Dr Lee shows CIGTV host Donna Bush how to take the rapid COVID test

(CNS): Families currently in isolation in connection with outbreaks at the schools where no member of the household is positive for COVID-19 will be invited to take part in a pilot programme at the weekend. This will release those who are still negative from quarantine early based on daily home testing. Premier Wayne Panton explained that the families involved in the pilot will be invited to a testing centre where they will get tested, be shown how to use the home tests and if negative sent away with a batch of tests.

Government is hoping that the introduction of these lateral flow test will transform the management of the spread of the disease in the community, especially for schools where the outbreaks are currently centred.

Speaking at the press briefing on Thursday, Panton said the pilot programme will help officials establish how they can manage the reporting process and get the families to call in each day with their results, which they will do until the end of what would have been their isolation, allowing them to go about their lives provided no one in the household becomes positive.

The premier said that this pilot will help Public Health evaluate how the tests are used and bring “much needed relief” for those families that have been impacted by the spread in the schools.

“This approach is going to be a real, significant game changer for how we manage and deal with this going forward,” he said, adding that the tests offered potential benefits and would “reduce the inconvenience families have been experiencing”.

However, the broader rollout of the use of the test kits is still more than a week away. Panton said the details of the policy and regulations surrounding the use of test will be revealed at another press conference next week, but he confirmed that the test kits that will be used in relation to the school testing will be free.

The Programme Board is meeting tomorrow where the outline of the process around the tests will be confirmed. The premier noted that people are going to be testing at home so government needs to ensure that people report results properly. “When this is all rolled out, we are going to have one of the best lateral flow tests processes that any country has,” he added.

Isolation periods have being cut for positive families and households where families are fully vaccinated, and the humanitarian support around isolation is also being beefed up. But in some cases household are trapped in what seems like endless isolation when a member of the family comes up positive at the end of two weeks quarantine, forcing them back into lockdown again.

This is proving very difficulty for lower paid workers or the self-employed with small businesses, and Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee indicated that these people may be involved in an extension of the pilot test next week.

Government has increased the public health team dealing with people in isolation by 30 new recruits. More people are now manning the phones and doing welfare checks to help families who need groceries and financial support. Anyone needing help is urged to call the flu hotline if they have not heard from public health officials.

Panton accepted that there have been some problems managing the issue of isolation and the system was overwhelmed but it is being beefed up and things are going to get better.

“We recognise… there have been difficulties,” he said, adding that people are not getting the type of contact and calls they need from Public Health, checking in on their welfare.

Panton said he has been putting pressure on the deputy governor to get this right. “If you promise someone you are going to call and check on them every day, then call and check on them every day, and if you can’t do it, find a way to fix that problem,” Panton said, as he outlined the message he has had for the administrative arm of government.

He committed to making sure the system was properly resourced and said he and other representatives were doing what they can to help their constituents.

“We are very concerned about making sure that when people are going through difficult circumstances… and uncertainties that there is someone who is a lifeline who can respond to them and check in with them,” the premier said. “We are pushing to get Public Health resilience built up.”

Public Health staff are working their fingers to the bone but they have been overwhelmed, Panton said, as he apologised for the times when the ball has been dropped.

There are currently 1,247 individuals in isolation involving hundreds of households.

See press briefing on CIGTV below:

Anyone with flu symptoms is urged to stay at home in the first instance and contact the 24 hour Flu Hotline or your general practitioner to speak to a health professional about those symptoms before visiting the flu or testing clinic.

Flu Hotline: 1-800-534-8600 or 345-947-3077 or 345-925- 6327 or email flu@hsa.ky
Callers will be screened for travel history and advised on what to do next.

See the vaccine schedule on the HSA website here.

For more information on vaccines contact the HSA Communications team at

See here for more information on securely verifiable vaccination records.

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Category: Health, Medical

Comments (49)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Lateral flo tests help in getting quick results.ok if health officials do testing.if individuals are permitted as home test then the test result should have online automatic transmission of the result to public health. If not no use except personal safety feeling.
    We are in a state now test close contacts of positives and isolate positives. No need of quarantine at this stage although possibilities of more transmission as we cant stop transmission
    USA is opening in Nov for vaxed tourists without quarantine.it doesnt stop transmission but definitely low risk as they will have low viralload even infected.
    Imagining that we will stop transmission fully is euphoria .

  2. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again. Do we all remember the magic buttons as a way to ‘safely re-open’?

    Our politicians and their advisors have an irresistible attraction to tech that they have little or no understanding of. That was true of the traffic CCTV systems they bought and the HSA software they were conned into, and the magic buttons that supposedly could detect Covid that they almost deployed in the last wave of intense pressure from the same special interests a few months ago.

    Government’s attraction to little understood tech is even greater when they are confronted by complex problems that they do not understand. In that context any straw that they are offered looks like the solution.

    In the current situation in which government is under intense pressure from a powerful special interest group to open the borders no matter the consequences, government needs a ‘pacifier’ or ‘babies dummy’ analogue that they hope will silence the public and in particular those pointing out the risks.

    The fact is that some lateral flow testing tech is very good when used appropriately in specific SUPERVISED situations.

    However, unsupervised self-testing in the manner government is proposing is both expensive and virtually useless. What government is proposing will not decrease the spread of Covid when they drop quarantine. It’s only purpose is to distract and pacify those who will suffer when Covid is welcomed to Cayman.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What an excellent idea!

    It is an absolute certainty that no one will submit false results to avoid some inconvenience or gain some advantage. What could possibly go wrong. That is clear from the fact that there were zero quarantine breaches.

    CIG should extend this approach. Let everyone simply declare whether they have paid for things in stores, broken other laws, showed up for work…..

  4. Anonymous says:

    The science has nothing to do with policy. Insisting on quarantining everyone who may be exposed is following the science – moderated by a policy to eliminate or minimize infection by extending quarantine beyond incubation time. Letting people out are after 10 days is follow the science – allowing more risk. Not quarantining vaccinated at all – also following the science, just accepting that you will have increased transmission. Saying follow the science and hoping it proves you are right and the other guy is wrong is like quoting the bible to a Muslim. Same God, different interpretations.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mark Twain once said that ‘to someone with a hammer, everything looks like a nail’

    That’s what we’ve got here. Your freedoms have gone (willingly, btw!). Your health privacy gone (willingly). Your ability to rationally think, gone (unwittingly, though willingly).

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      My ability to disagree with you without rancor (willingly in tact and accounted for). Your right to judge anyone (missing, though with intent). Your ability to adapt (abashedly absent, however willing). Human compassion (hanging on by a thread, apparently by intention).

  6. Anonymous says:

    This press briefing was another train wreck.

    Sabrina Turner was underprepared as usual, and most of what she said was nonsensical. She inspires zero confidence that the HSA is equipped to handle any kind of serious outbreak.

    The Premier also rambled on with no clarity on anything. He seemed to find it amusing that people had tuned in with the hope of a reopening date and then fobbed them off with a vague statement about telling us at some future press briefing.

    Meanwhile, thousands of people are in isolation although fully vaccinated and testing negative. A positive covid test is seemingly being counted as the same thing as a symptomatic covid case, which goes against any sane protocols for testing and isolation. People’s mental health is taking a battering from the uncertainty and not being able to plan anything.

    The government is way out of its depth and is still in reaction mode. They are creating panic and fear where there does not need to be any. Decisive leadership, reassurances and a clear plan with a timeline are all severely lacking.

    No one is in hospital. Almost everyone is vaccinated. The rest of the world has moved on. Open the borders and stop this madness.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Would have been hilarious if she tested positive on live tv. Have to quarantine everyone there lol. What makes me think that wasn’t the first test she had that day 😉

    • Anonymous says:

      To be honest, I think you’re giving them too much credit to have had that level of foresight.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like we are making positive steps towards dropping quarantine requirements and welcoming tourists back.

    T&C has not had a single vaccinated person die since opening their borders. The vaccinated people that died in Bermuda were already very sick according to their chief medical officer – “Dr Oyinloye added: “People who are dying have serious organ compromise and were already teetering … because of their organ failure…”


    • Anonymous says:

      Or more like failed to make good nutritional choices in the first place. Fast food is not a good nutritional food group. Most of the people with real health issues the world over consume far too much sugar and salt, and carbs at times when they have no hope of burning them before they are stored as fat.

      • Anonymous says:

        do you have scientific statistics on Covid deaths of fast food eater vs non fast food eaters? Just asking!

      • Anonymous says:

        Mayonnaise, a key component of the food pyramid. – Yum😁😁😁

  9. Anonymous says:

    And now open the border!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Reducing quarantine for vaccinated persons and not unvaccinated is the highest form of blatant it and discrimination and the gov and all related bodies should be sued. Its been acknowledged by CDC, by Cayman Parliament, UK Parliament, everywhere that being vax’d or not makes no difference regarding your ability to transmit or contract the virus. The UK hopsitals admissions are now approx 70% fully vac’d (whatever that means) as opposed to non-vax/d

    It makes absolutely no sense.

    *CNS: This explains it – BMJ (a highly regarded medical journal) – Significant proportions of people admitted to hospital, or dying from covid-19 in England are vaccinated—this doesn’t mean the vaccines don’t work

    Further, to ignore natural immunity (Which most of us have), and to ignore acquired immunity (which many of us have) is a scandal.

    *CNS: It’s not being ignored. Studies are ongoing. Here’s recommended reading – How good is natural immunity?

    People need to stop and think for a moment as to what is happening. We have 1,500 people locked up, mostly for zero reason. We have discrimination in practice. We have given up freedoms without any justification.

    This is an endemic virus with a fatality rate now no worse than common flu (as admitted in UK parliament). Where are the lawyers? Where are the testicles?

    *CNS: I think you’re talking about this, which may well have been quoted in parliament. – Covid will eventually become like the common cold, says Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert
    Note the word “eventually”, not “now”. Everyone hopes she is correct.

    • Anonymous says:

      The government is only pushing the vaccines and the majority is just following along.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is absolute nonsense. The UK have consistently made clear bein vaxed reduce the chances of catching and transmitting it. Also the UK have a policy in place whereby you quarantine if unvaxed arriving from abroad, and do not quarantine if vaxed. Same in USA and Europe.

    • Anonymous says:

      You say ‘The UK hospitals admissions are now approx 70% fully vac’d (whatever that means) as opposed to non-vax/d’. You do realise the Uk has an 80% vaccination arte – the more people vaccinated, the higher the proportion of total cases will be avxed vs unvaxed!!!!! It’s basic maths.

      • Anonymous says:

        And the virus has burned through most of the unvaxed leaving them with natural immunity or dead. So after many deaths all that is left are the vaxxed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Vaccinated people are far less likely to get covid in the first place. So they are less likely to have covid and therefore spread it. You can’t spread what you don’t have. So right now it is more likely that you have covid than I do. You are a greater risk. This is why we have had so many cases in unvaccinated children in comparison to the general population.

      Maybe try reading this.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Governor Martyn Roper, noting Cayman’s high vaccination rate, said if Cayman can’t open up, “nobody can”.

    Thank you governor. A voice of balanced reason.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Gov is correct…

      Except literally nothing has changed since the first local case was found. Hopefully Premier Panicton and his gang that can’t shoot straight are comign to their senses.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Another week to wait but st least then we will get an idea of when we will reopen and can go on holiday vaxed and not have to quarantine on return at last. Cayman slowly catching up with the real world.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CNS. This information in writing is presented in a better way than the briefing.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Can the person who always comments on Bermuda, just not? We get your obsession but you can’t seem to see a difference between how Bermuda opened up and Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yesterday, Bermuda extended their 12am to 5am curfew until at least end of month, in an attempt to slow the spread and clear the hospitals. Unfortunately, the main form of clearing hospitals in the last 5 weeks has been 65 people in ICU who died. Still almost 40 COVID patients in hospital (doctors and nurses are exhausted as COVID patients require around the clock attention).


      • Anonymous says:

        Please stop. All these Bermuda comments are not relevant to Cayman. All the Bermuda deaths are unvaccinated or vaccinated with serious organ issues and illnesses already.

        • Anonymous says:

          And you expect that we don’t have similar patient profiles here?

          So callous, the likes of you…

      • Anonymous says:

        Thankfully Cayman is waiting until we not only have access to vaccines but a very high vaccination rate. We are also planning to require unvaccinated travellers to quarantine. And now they’ve brought in all these rapid tests to help identify cases and reduce the amount of people in quarantine. It seems Cayman is prepared to open as safely as possible.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is dumb. The people will test themselves and call in the results. What’s to stop them telling public health whatever they want to?

  16. Anonymous says:

    For too many people in our society, this “initiative” will be like putting a loaded gun in the hands of a child on the playground!

  17. Anonymous says:

    It only appears insane to the nutters who follow the money NOT the science.

  18. Anonymous says:

    If they didn’t have hundreds of NEGATIVE persons in quarantine, the health workers wouldn’t be so overwhelmed. Keeping people in quarantine after they test negative is just stupid. Keeping people in quarantine for more than 10 days after a positive test is just stupid.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Oh ok “ Public Health staff are working their fingers to the bone but they have been overwhelmed, Panton said, as he apologised for the times when the ball has been dropped.”

    They na overwhelmed yet, why you don’t put the place on a lock down you waiting for people to start dying!!

    Take a look at Bermuda the vax and unvaccinated are dying.

    You are a joke Panton, please let Alden back in as Premier he had way more sense than you at least it was not in our community!!!!! I am a parent I have no faith in you what so ever I am in more fear not just for me but for my children and the future.

    • Anonymous says:

      Umm. – Alden was going to open up even earlier. But he lost the election.

    • Anonymous says:

      Look at Turks and Caicos and you will feel better.
      OR just lock your self away for the next 5 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden would be doing the exact same thing because CIG can’t afford to stay closed indefinitely. At one point PPM was criticizing Panton for not opening earlier but they did an about face when they thought it’d be politically advantageous for them advocate staying closed.

      The vaccinated people that died in Bermuda were unfortunately very sick and dying already.

  20. Anonymous says:

    why isn’t everyone wearing a mask???oh yea caymanians dojt get covid. 🤔

  21. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like we are moving in the right direction from the press conference today. Self lateral flow tests to avoid quarantine if a close contact of a positive, now allowing any renowned vaccination cards to enter, and an announcement next week that we will drop vaccinated quarantine requirement a month later. Excellent news. This high season through April 2022 is gone but at least we can all travel with our Pfizer jabs and not have to do the ridiculous 7 days quarantine from December.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This will help, but that many people in quarantine is insane! Follow the science!

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