Cayman ready to open despite high COVID cases

| 18/11/2021 | 125 Comments

(CNS): Premier Wayne Panton said at Thursday’s press briefing that he remains concerned about the “unprecedented levels of community transmission of COVID-19” and urged people to follow the rules to reduce the spread of the virus. As at 8am Thursday, from 1,357 PCR tests, another 206 people had tested positive for SARS-CoV2, just one of whom was a traveller.

There are now 3,673 active cases of COVID-19 with 5,098 people in isolation, a figure the premier said was difficult to bring down, even though more than 1,400 of them have not tested positive. But despite the challenges relating to the pandemic, he said Cayman was ready to open.

“The coming weeks will be pivotal,” Panton said during the press briefing held to confirm the details of Phase 4 of the border reopening plan. “We are embarking on a journey to reopen our economy and our borders to visitors after almost two years of significant closures.

“All of this while we continue to manage unprecedented levels of community transmission of COVID-19 and work to protect our healthcare and education systems so that our economy can remain open. For many, this move to Phase 4 has been eagerly awaited… There are others for whom there is anxiety.”

He said this phase moved the opening on cautiously in a responsible and informed way, but he noted there was no easy way to deal with this issue as the virus was resurging all over the world, with new waves of infections even in places with high vaccination rates.

Given this, if the government kept waiting for the right moment for Cayman to “emerge from our cocoon into a world where… COVID no longer exists, we may never again welcome tourists back to our shores”, he said.

He accepted that the risk of people becoming sick or dying was going to increase but the high vaccination rate will prevent most people from getting seriously ill if they are infected. But he urged businesses to follow the protocols, rules and regulations to contain the spread, as he was “deeply concerned about the current level of transmission” and said everyone needed to avoid high risk behaviour.

While there have been more hospitalizations he said those in need of care are able to receive it and the hospitals planning and preparations are delivering care. He added however, that people who are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic makeup the majority of cases.

The number of hospitalizations has risen in line with the significant number of people who have been infected. As of Thursday morning, there were 20 COVID-19 patients in hospital, only one of whom is on a ventilator.

However, during the press briefing Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee noted that since the “start of this crisis” when this outbreak began, more that 40 people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 have been treated and discharged.

The CMO confirmed that the health services are keeping a close eye on the impact of COVID-19 on the allocated 55 beds. Right now around 36% of that capacity is being utilized, four beds in Health City Cayman Islands and the rest in the Health Services Authority.

Dr Lee also revealed that the arsenal that doctors have to help treat patients was boosted today with the arrival of Ronapreve, a drug made up of monoclonal antibodies, which has proved to be successful in reducing hospitalization for vulnerable people who are immunosuppressed.

Meanwhile, on the Sister Islands all 52 of the current active cases are in Cayman Brac, where just one additional person was found to be positive in the most recent batch of results. To date, there had been 106 cases recorded in the Sister Islands, with 54 having recovered. Out of the total number of cases in the Sister Islands, 55 were fully vaccinated, six were partially vaccinated and 45 were unvaccinated.

The vaccination programme has now also resumed and 57,558 people (81% of the population) have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 55,352 (78%) have completed the two-dose course. In addition 8,170 people (11%) have had a booster shot.

See Thursday’s Press Briefing on CIGTV Youtube channel below:

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Category: Health, Medical, Politics

Comments (125)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world , than stand with the world to be judged by God.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Allow me to present some facts as presented by Forbes.

    1. Austria will make vaccination against Covid-19 compulsory from February 1, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said, though it is not clear what penalties will be put in place for people still refusing the jab after this point.

    2. Indonesia introduced a sweeping mandate in February in an attempt to accelerate its immunization program and residents could be denied social assistance, government services or face harsh financial penalties if they do not comply.

    3. Micronesia, a small island nation of just over 100,000 people, mandated inoculation for everyone over the age of 18 in late July, requiring anyone receiving federal funds—a large portion of the adult population—to prove their vaccination status to receive their checks.

    4. Turkmenistan—which is one of the few countries still claiming to have no Covid-19 inside its borders and faces accusations of falsifying data given to the World Health Organization—made vaccination compulsory for all eligible adults in July.

    Now let me present my opinion.
    I believe that it is only a matter of time before Martyn Roper, under instructions from the UK and in harmony with other Caribbean islands will soon announce mandatory vaccinations for the people of the Cayman Islands. There will be no exceptions bar a few rare medical ones.

    Just my opinion. Feel free to comment one way or the other.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s why we are leaving.

      Came here for less government and more freedom. Should have gone to Barbados or BVI, would have been better.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why? We are at 81%. Let the antivaxxers fend for themselves. The responsible people have done their part.

  3. Sucka Free Cayman says:

    All these wonderful facts and figures makes us feel confident and protected yet worldwide we hear that vaccines alone cannot overcome this pandemic mask, quarantine and safety protocols is the only way forward. If some who have come here don’t smarten up we are going to be in a real mess shortly. Trusting this to the open up at all cost i am so inconvenience mob to do the right thing is extremely stupid because they are not going to comply with any of these rules or requirements. The community spread will now increased ten fold .

  4. Anonymous says:

    Despicable, just despicable. Jamacia was raging with covid, yet PACT didn’t “stop” the migration back and forth. Well what is happening could detrimental. Covid + lack of sense + greed and power = 00.00

  5. Caymanian says:

    Famous last words – I want to assure you all we are ready.

    This is going to be a Class A Sh!t Show.

    If I were a betting man I would say by Christmas we are teetering on whether to close or have already closed.

    Why do I say that? Glad you asked.

    The USA and Europe are going into winter which is…..wait for it…..FLU SEASON!!!

    What does this mean for Cayman? Damn glad you asked. The virus will RAGE again and we my friends will be the destination of choice of where to come spread it.

    Ooh boy….here we go…

    Don’t worry. It will take a couple of weeks to set in good.

    • Caymanian says:

      Who was the idiot that picked WINTER as a good time to open???

      Flipping briliant. You trying to kill us right?? Good show.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am so confused right now. HSA stretched and under staffed and we are ready to welcome guests? 😳😳😳

  7. Anonymous says:

    What irritates me is that I did my duty and got vaccinated as soon as I could. Now I am faced with a boarder opening with an 8 month old vaccine and not being able to get the booster because I do not qualify yet. Everyone had their chance, boohoo they waited until the last minute.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you can get it now if you got your first shots more than 6 months ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. Boosters for those that got vaxed when we first had vaccines here should go before idiots who refused to take it at all until now

    • Anonymous says:

      Just show up. They aren’t turning anyone away for boosters. No shortage of vaccine after the last shipment.

      There are many 20 and 30 somethings in my office that got boosted weeks ago when the published threshold was 50.

      Just go. You will get the shot.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope that your child is not absorbing your lack of empathy and selfishness

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just cancelled our 12/1-12/15 trip. Too much covid floating around and too much chance of a positive on one of our four tests to risk being stuck in lockdown through Christmas. Will try again January.

    • Anonymous says:

      The testing is tipping the scale for us. Sounds like too much disruption on short trip and added expense.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Some of them “politicians” Didn’t even know the scripted PSA they came to announce before hand. Seems like the 2 know-it-alls there was even stepping on the Premiers feet and interrupting him alot, i kinda felt he was getting a bit upset. Just a circus show at this point.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree, when I watch those press conferences with Alden and Seymour and now the new guys, makes me think they wouldn’t last a week in the private sector, and it is us expats in the FS industry that pay their wages.

    • Anonymous says:

      Saunders, Sabrina and Kenneth all believe they will be the next Premier! That is yet another reason why this PACT Government must be stopped.

      • Anonymous says:

        If Saunders or Kenneth become premier, it will be the death knell of the Cayman we now take for granted.

      • Big Bobo In West Bay says:

        Don’t be silly. McKeeva believes he will be the next Premier.

        Alden is supporting him quietly and West Bay will give him their full support with turkeys coming soon.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Anything else besides COVID is happening in the Cayman Islands?

    Biden just had colonoscopy

    It is -23C in Alaska

    Florida is overrun by foreign visitors

    • Anonymous says:

      How is Florida overrun with foreign visitors when the US only reopened 2 weeks ago and there are still few flights?!

      • Orlando Bob says:

        All those damn Canadian snowbirds have been taking over Florida again for the past month. Buying up all the ice hockey tickets in Miami and Tampa Bay especially.

        Terrible people with their Canadian health insurance but we love their money.

        Don’t worry though, when Trump comes back in 2024 he will build another wall and make Trudeau pay for it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Total shambles. They have lost all control of the virus and all they is ‘it’s inevitable’.
    Ignorant, inexperienced and arrogant bunch of no-hopers.

  12. Anonymous says:


  13. Anonymous says:

    Yet we continue to shamelessly harm our own children’s development with ill conceived restrictions on their growth and development.

    • Anonymous says:

      @12:56 – I don’t follow. How is practicing safety measures against COVID affecting the growth and development of children?

      • Anonymous says:

        By shutting down classes.

        • Anonymous says:

          They’re not shutting down classes. But maybe they should. One child going to school with no teachers to teach them makes no sense. I can’t even figure out what is going on with my son’s classes. They are on Teams at school so I’m wondering where are the teachers.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hello, hello, Charles Misick ?

    Yes, Hi Charles it’s Wayne here, Wayne Panton Cayman Islands,

    Yes, yes, all good, – no, no, we’re not upset most of our tourism has been directed your way, we’ve never figured it out a way forward and now have got bigger problems than that anyway.

    Um, yes, I mean no, it’s nice of you to ask – correct, he wasn’t convicted, strange how it all works out, he’s one of us now, – yes I’ll let him know your brother sends him his regards, thank you.

    Listen, we’ve tried to copy your welcome tourism plan, but I don’t think we’ve got it quite right, would you mind running over a few things with me ? – you would ? that’s great, – um well to be honest Mr Misick I was hoping you might be available for more than just 3 or 4 hours, – how long ? um, well, um, what are you doing the rest of this week ?

    Yes, yes I did. I had a chat with Minister Wheatley at Cop 26, that’s a pretty impressive initiative there, that Mangrove bank, – no, no I haven’t really come up with anything yet, just told the people it’s time to reduce our carbon footprint, didn’t work, they just retorted with mocking my fishing boat

    No, no I didn’t, she was busy and so I didn’t get a lot of time with your tourism minister, – oh yes you’re right, she’s quite the looker, – no, no, -um yes I suppose that’s fair, can’t really compare the two I guess except for their time in the talent agencies, will keep trying however, a work shall we say in progress.

    Listen, back to this reopening plan and the debacle we’ve made of it, do you have any solid suggestions we could start working off of ?

    Really ?! is that right Mr Missick ?! considering our position the only visitors we should consider are giraffes ? yes, yes, of course I genuinely appreciate any help you can offer but,

    yes, yes, of course I’ll hang on for your Agricultural Minister, thank you, thank you Mr Missick, we’ll speak again.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can be petty sometimes too. This just stepped it up to a whole different league of pettiness. But, thank you, because we all needed a bit of comedic humor in our lives. Since Jon Jon has not been talking much at all, it’s nice to have something like this. Everything else wants to make you angry or sad.

  15. Anonymous says:

    ‘opening’ of borders will make zero difference. there is nothing to be ready for.
    a small trickle of people will come who will be lees likely to have covid than average resident in the street.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. Ending quarantine for vaccinated returning residents and their visitors who have a negative PCR test is not going to change anything. People need to look closer to home when apportioning blame.

    • Anonymous says:

      After 2 weeks vacation if tourists gets sick with the virus and has to stay weeks in hospitals and in Quarantine, and they run out of money, then who pays, the Government ? Or the Hotel that they stayed and made lots of money from them that stayed there ? The big question, does the tax/duties (Government) has to pay ?

      • Anonymous says:

        They do through travel/health insurance. Make sure you have yours if/when you travel ovrtseas.

    • watcher says:

      ….. because visitors stay in their hotel rooms and don’t go out to eat in restaurants, buy booze or shop in the stores.

      Got it.

  16. Anonymous says:

    We shall see how it goes in 24 hours or less.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Imagine asking the huge amount of selfish and entitled people that inhabit this island to ‘do the right thing.’ Never going to happen Wayne. Surely you know your constituents.

    • Anonymous says:

      As long as you follow the rules, leave others alone.

      • Anonymous says:

        11:53 am, you are one stupid idiot, ” leave the others alone” Everyone needs to do the right thing and follow the rules to keep the Virus low spread.

        • Anonymous says:

          Stupid and idiot are essentially the same thing. Do come back with better insults love.

          • Anonymous says:


            People like you are the ones who don’t give a damn and then blame the government when one of your gets infected..

            I’ll add another word to describe you…Irresponsible!

  18. Anonymous says:

    The honor system does not work so if the government’s approach to controlling the spread of the virus is to rely on people to do the right things then that is a recipe for failure.

    I appreciate that the government has limited options but I am just trying to state the facts.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Austria first country to lockdown again in Europe because it has a relatively low vaccination rate at 65%. Everyone in Cayman should be making sure they get their booster in the next month, especially those most at risk of serious COVID related illness being pregnant women, cancer/kidney disease patients etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please don’t bring Austria into this discussion.

    • Anonymous says:

      austria has only locked down the unvaxxed…which is the right thing to do.

      • Anonymous says:

        It won’t happen. You’ll see. Massive pushback, just a matter of time. Majority are not having it. You are on the wrong side of history in saying it is the right thing to do. Shame on you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Full lockdown for everyone on Monday now in Austria, and they are now making vaccinations compulsory for all to shut down the anti Vaxers. Good policy.

      • Anonymous says:

        No, Austria is going into lockdown from monday for 14 days.
        The unvaxxed are partially locked down and have to obey the govt mandate in early 2022.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Covid is like the tourism stipend, hardly anyone left to get it for the first time.

  21. Anonymous says:

    …. or go to bars, pubs and clubs.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I just hope all the unvaccinated people (especially civil servants and HSA workers who should never be unvaccinated), and the stupid people moving around island whilst positive / not practicing social distancing, mask wearing and appropriate hand washing, don’t ruin it for everyone else and cause us to bring in restrictions.

    Make no mistake – the high cayman infection rate is solely down to the stupidity of certain members of the public.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually a lot of it is down to PACT which refuses to constrain their sponsors and supporters and just increased the size of crowds at super-spreader events in order to benefit a select few.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stupidity… Or perhaps just arrogance.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just say what you mean, the Canadians.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is important we spread this as fast as possible. We need to boost up super spreader parties where we lick other people’s faces. We’ve got to openly cough in peoples faces. Make french kissing a requirement to gain entry into any public facility. After a while, the virus will get frustrated and leave this planet. This is how we will win.

    • Anonymous says:

      @7:15am – not all Civil Servants are vaccinated, but many of us are, including myself and I just got the booster. I also wear a mask, practice social distance, FLT twice weekly, and avoid large crowds. But I am also not living in fear, and am socializing with other friends that are also practicing safety measures.

      COVID has disrupted our lives for two years, and many people have suffered greatly, for a number of reasons.

      Let’s welcome back our visitors, remember they have experienced COVID also.

      Those that can get vaccinated please consider doing so, and practice safety measures.

      Remember we are ALL in this together, let’s treat our friends, neighbors and visitors with respect and empathy. Check on your neighbor or someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. See how they are doing.

      Life CAN get back to some semblance of normalcy.

      I would like to challenge everyone reading this comment, to do something kind today…..but not to someone that you like. That’s easy.

      Maybe it’s the rude cashier at a store, maybe it’s miserable looking person in your office, maybe it’s the person that sits across the office from you that you really just cannot stand.

      It doesn’t have to be big, a smile, hold the door open, maybe get them a cup of coffee when you’re getting yours, offer to grab lunch if your going out. Maybe they need some help doing a mundane task at work. Maybe have a bag of candies and randomly offer one to people that you interact with during the day. Even just a genuine smile and a kind word.

      You never know the difference that that may make to someone’s day.

      There is so much that is wrong with the world, it can feel overwhelming and that we are barely keeping our heads above water. We are all stressed, we are all hurting. Be gentle with yourselves and with each other. Please.

      Every single one of us, can help to make the world a better place. It starts with us. I believe there is good in all of us. It may be buried deep inside of a person and may not have seen the light of day in years. But it’s there.

      So I am asking everyone to please be kind to others, be kind to the earth, it’s really very simple….treat others they way that you would want them to treat you.

      If you’re having a difficult, frustrating conversation, try to imagine how you would want someone to speak to you in that particular instance. Be gentle and compassionate.

      Bring back Caymankind. We CAN do this.

      And you, I’m talking to you, that is having a rough time….you’ve got this. Believe in yourself and listen to Asia’s ‘Unstoppable’. Because you are unstoppable!

      If you’ve managed to read this epistle…thank you!

      Now go be kind and love your life. It’s the only one that we have.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sia not Asia. Sorry.

      • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

        Thank you. Bless.

      • Anonymous says:

        Most would love to do so but its kinda hard when the CIG has you locked up in quarantine.

        • Anonymous says:

          @ 9:41am So what, they should let you out to infect the tourists..the thought process of some people boggles my mind..just go ahead and breach like all of the other idiots if you want..the police are not capable of charging anyone, so what the hell.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Monitored LFTs – consistent with putting people first

    Increasing the size of permitted crowds at venues when we know that at least 5% of people in the community have Covid is a recipe for superspreader events and therefore idiotic. Only a handful of people organize these large events. Who bought who and for how much?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Yup, not gonna happen.

  25. Jen says:

    So tourists have to have negative PCR test, then flow test on days 2 and 5, and 10…. then when we leave we have to have a negative PCR to come back to the US. Thanks, love ya Cayman…. but too many rules for the flu. When the rules and testing lax, we will come back.

  26. Anonymous says:

    quit the hysteria,,doctors and medical professional are not worried….why should we be?
    at risk groups are 99% vacinated.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Case count isn’t Cayman’s problem when it comes to reopening. It’s the burdensome testing rules. We are our own worst enemy!!

  28. Anonymous says:

    PACT clearly has no concept of what ready is.

  29. Anonymous says:

    That briefing brought very little confidence with it. Listening to Sabrina scold “her people”, watching Kenneth’s sleazy fake smile and listening to Wayne read a speech that he clearly
    Did not agree with really made me wonder what we are in for. That trio is seriously lacking when it comes to leadership and I could not help but notice how the Premier avoided the question when asked how many deaths are projected to be caused by the reopening. He only said we need to keep hospitalizations down and if we stick to less than $20,000 visitors a month we should be ok. But he didn’t mention what would happen if the number of cases skyrockets and that is my worry come Nov 20th.

    Ps. To Kenneth, Wayne clearly doesn’t want a hug from you!

    • Anonymous says:

      So stay home in your house for the next 20 years then or the rest of you life.
      COVID is here longer than we will be!

    • Anonymous says:

      Visitors are not going to be the issue. It will be those in the community that do not wear masks, do not social distance and continue to gather in large groups.

      • Anonymous says:

        Until those said visitors are of the same hive that believe vaccinations make them invincible or that Covid is just a mild flu. Either way, I would wager masks and social distancing from those who spent thousands to travel goes away upon their first outing

    • Anonymous says:

      This is very serious and Honorable Alden, Honorable Seymour and Honorable Roy need to immediately take over as they are the only ones who can save us. Get the governor to tell them to take over right away!

      • Anonymous says:

        9:41 pm, What for jon Jon to talk about donkey riding , full moons, you got to be kidding, drunk or something else

      • Anonymous says:

        Bring back DuWayne the Brain we need another song contest 😬😬

    • Anonymous says:

      Great summary. What was particularly cringe-worthy was Kenneth’s fake surprise when reading the penalties being introduced. He is a member of the Cabinet that runs the country. Pretending not to know these details makes him look like a fool. Doesn’t he realise this?

      • Anonymous says:

        It takes very little for a fool to show themselves to be a fool. One of the more common ways is for them to say something.

      • Anonymous says:

        He probably did not know, so that should guide your suspicions accordingly.

      • Anonymous says:

        “fake”. I’m not totally convinced it was fake. That would imply that he actually knew anything.

      • Except says:

        He really is a fool. Kenny presents well but if you listen to what he says it is a bowl of word salad.

        The best part is that he uses certain words where it is clear he thinks the meaning is different from what it actually is.

      • Anonymous says:

        In this day and age stupidity is rewarded.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or of course he didn’t know the penalties and is a fool?

      • Anonymous says:

        5;00 am, as the saying goes, keep one mouth shut and look like a fool but open your mouth and prove it .

  30. Anonymous says:

    Florida currently has 177000 active cases (35X Cayman) and less than 1 death per day for the past 7 days. They set up monoclonal clinics throughout the state.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Covid is a strange deadly virus. Don’t affect the church or any venue our masters attend or business who made a political donation.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Sabrina got jokes through. Bout must report positive lateral flow. Not today Bobo.

    • Anonymous says:

      @8:29pm and that right there is why we are in this high community spread.Ignorance and irresponsibility is rampant amongst us Caymanians. Rather than running down the politicians if we would all get some good common sense about us and do the right thing to slow down and help prevent the virus from spending we waste our time coming on here saying we won’t abide by the rules.

      I don’t know about anybody else but I don’t need any member of government to tell me what to do to protect myself, my loved ones and friends. If I were to test positive I sure has hell would report and stay home so as not to infect anyone else.

      Your attitude is nothing short of of disrespect for your fellow man, irresponsibility to keep yourself and us around you safe and your blatant ignorance of the law shows that it doesn’t really matter what the Government or anyone else says you will continue in the same frame of mind.

      I beg of you particularly those that are younger and think they are invincible (you are not) to take this virus seriously. It has proven that it can and will kill. You may not be worried about yourself but the guilt that you will have to live with, if you give it to your child, your mother, your father or even your brother or sister will haunt you for the rest of your life.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Border opening in just a short few days. The tourists will be so happy to get back especially those seeing family and friends whom they haven’t seen in two years. They will be vaccinated and with a negative PCR. Everyone must wear masks, social distance and stay out of large groups and the case numbers will start to drop. Enjoy the outdoors and sunshine.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fantasy stuff. America has had 100,000 new cases for two consecutive days. Cayman is not insulated from the pandemic in the least.

    • Anonymous says:

      Problem is a lot of people here refuse to wear mask and social distance. They want to continue going on as normal that is why COVID is spreading like wildfire.

      • Anonymous says:

        6:29 am, at one big store on the Brac, today , the check out clerks had their masks below their nose, i ask them to pull their mask up over their nose , they said no, no one can make them do that.on the entrance door, the sign says, “if
        one has flu symptoms, we kindly ask you to wear a mask”, not saying , “face mask must worn to inter the store”

  34. Anonymous says:

    America reported 100,000 new cases today for the second day in a row, for those profit mongers who say we need to get on with it. Merry Christmas!

    • Anonymous says:

      Your a fool!

      0.027 out of 100 people in the USA tested positive today.

      0.33 out of 100 people tested positive in Cayman today.

      10 times more likely to catch it here than in the USA……. Merry Xmas Fool!

    • Anonymous says:

      Worry about Cayman Island case numbers and the community spread. All must do their part to follow the covid protocols.

  35. Anonymous says:

    You’re bluffing Mr Premier, I’ll call your straight flush and raise you, – you’re not even close to ready

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