Criteria for COVID isolation release relaxed

| 27/11/2021 | 43 Comments

(CNS): In an effort to reduce the number of people in extended quarantine, Public Health is relaxing the criteria for release for people who still get a positive result after a full period of isolation if they have a low viral load and are asymptomatic. Even though this community outbreak of COVID-19 shows no significant signs of having peaked yet, people will be saved from excessive periods in lockdown provided they are no longer likely to be contagious.

Anyone who has isolated for 11 if they are vaccinated or 15 days if they are not, and has been asymptomatic for three days, and has a CT value of 32 or over on a PCR test (a low viral load) can be released.

“The new criteria for isolation release will allow some persons to get back to work and school, though still testing positive via PCR but not contagious and therefore not a public health risk to the community,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez.

A CT value represents the viral load of COVID-19, or the prevalence of the virus is in an individual’s system. The lower the CT value, the higher the viral load, meaning an individual is more infectious and likely to transmit the disease to others. The higher the CT value, the less infectious.

According to the latest statistics released by Public Health as of 8am Friday morning, 4,607 people in the Cayman Islands were in isolation.

Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee reported another 139 new positive cases of the virus, with just one in a traveller from a batch of 991 PCR tests conducted since 8 am Thursday. There are now 4,184 active cases of the virus. Since the start of the pandemic here last March, Cayman has recorded a total of 6,738 cases of this coronavirus but over 6,000 of them have been recorded since 8 September.

The situation at the hospital remains stable, with 25 COVID-19 patients currently admitted, but officials have not updated the country on the condition of these patients since Monday. At least one is believed to still be on a ventilator and several more are being given additional oxygen.

On the Sister Islands, just one case has been recorded in the last 24 hours and there are currently just 17 active cases.

According to the latest figures regarding vaccination 57,952 (82% of the estimated population of 71,106) have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 55,829 individuals (79%) have had two doses, and more than 10,000 people have had a booster shot.

See the full details regarding the new testing criteria here.

CIG COVID-19 information and resources

Other help and hotlines

Report positive lateral flow test results

See current vaccine schedule

An Isolation Support Line is available to help by delivering groceries or other essential supplies for people required to isolate suddenly, and who do not have other resources and support.

For Isolation Support call 946-3530 or 1-800-534-3530 or email

Operational hours 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am-1pm on Saturday.

For mental health support, the Mental Health Helpline can be reached on
1-800-534-6463(MIND) from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm

If you have flu symptoms contact the 24-hour Flu Hotline at 1-800-534-8600 or 947-3077
or email

If you are having difficulty breathing, call 911

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Category: Health, Medical

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Allowing people to come out of quarantine even if they are positive but “low viral load “ how is it safe fo all of us on top of that the new variant is causing havoc. To be honest I really don’t think the government has any idea what to do. Yes we need to open boarders but with a perfect and logical plan. Many people here are not ready and probably will not be ever to get vaccinated. So the country is already ata vulnerable stage and now cherry on the top we will
    Let positive cases out. How and who really does all the thinking and planning or do they play who gets the shortest stick. We have elderly, children, sick, and some who can even take the vaccine how can they be around anyone who is positive and roaming around among us. Please think and rethink as this is now a completion between which government did the best, public safety. This is a tome for both parties to sit together and come with a much better plan emphasis on both parties to sit ans solve it together. Cayman is your home and we all want to keep our home safe. So cayman government for God sake please wake up , work together ans come up with a better plan. So many of us are confused by every minute the plans change.

    • Anonymous says:

      Many people are not vaccinated and are not ready to be vaccinated/ really – against the statistics showing the vast majority of adults are vaccinated? I appreciate you may not want to feel that you are the outsider here, but really. Juat because you and a small minority of people dont want to get vaccinated is not a reason that policies governing the vast majority need to be adjusted.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lol, more updated science. So if viral load is low enough, its now safe to be in public whereas up until now asymptomatic (which COULDNT possibly happen with a high viral load) was “deadly” and warranted you being locked up….cant make this bs up…

  2. Anonymous says:


  3. Anonymous says:

    The exit tests should be dropped altogether .

  4. 001 says:

    The tell you 86% of hospitalized are unvaccinated they don’t tell you how many have pre existing conditions or that there’s only 14 people out of a population of 60k+ hospitalized! It’s not what they tell you it’s what they’re not!

    • Anonymous says:

      They stress unvaccinated, but dont say how many are children, or even what is the definition of unvaccinated… it that they have had both shots, but it hasnt been the 14 days after the second dose? or is it that they have not had the booster??…..

  5. Elvis says:

    I just cant keep up any more.
    Im serious.
    Please. Hold a govt press briefing asap and talk to everyone directly?

  6. AZM says:

    These people/this gov is out of their f***ing minds. They can’t even control the current variant, let alone the new one that CDC claims is very problematic. So, what do our wise leaders do?, they loosen the restrictions for quarantine.

    Yes, yes, I know that they have restricted flights from The Africa’s, yet nothing for the UK or USA. Do they really think it has landed there.

    I think this Gov is either ignorant, or not caring, or just outright greedy.

    • Truth says:

      Maybe your government thinks your either ignorant, or not caring, or just out right greedy and totally self serving. I know I do. Maybe they are treating you like you treat everyone else?

  7. Anonymous says:

    How ignorant! Just as the news of a new variant has been announced with more control being exercised globally, we are relaxing measures here. Smh

    • Anonymous says:

      Canadian news. Delayed health care during pandemic may have led to thousands of excess deaths.

      • Anonymous says:

        Big fat I told you so. Many health practioners pointed out that lockdowns would cause more harm than the virus. But did the politicians listen….nope

  8. Anonymous says:

    Tell the people in the Hospital fighting for their lives that covid is manageable.

    • Anonymous says:

      86% of those in hospital are unvaccinated. I don’t know if you’ve met anyone who has refused the jab, you can’t tell them anything.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most of them are unvaccinated. No sympathy.

    • Joe B says:

      Tell it to the more than 6,000 on island since April that have managed it. No one yet has died of Covid here. Many people like to only think of death and have no patience with the living. Many think only of life and wait patiently for inevitable death. It’s a choice.

  9. watcher says:

    There are several folk I know which are positive and managing at home. They are SICK. I would do the same in their shoes — treat it like the seasonal flu, and only engage the hospital if they become critical. The half-dozen I know of are all family, and they will use LFTs until they are clear for three days before reemerging into society.

    I think this is the way we will have to go, at least until the more difficult variants arrive here.

    I still think it’s a great mistake to allow visitors at a time when our own population’s viral status is such a great unknown.

    • Anonymous says:

      “clear for three days” – how did they settle upon that being the criteria?

      • watcher says:

        In the absence of proper direction, one is forced to choose their own.

        In this case, it was partially inspired by CBC’s criteria for employees who were exposed to infected individuals.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not the visitors you need to worry about.

  10. Anonymous says:

    There is more to it than hospitalizations. A colleague has been off work for weeks now, and although not counted in the hospital admissions, has required hospital treatment 3 times now for breathing difficulties which come on strongly in the night, and she is released again the following evening after treatment as an outpatient. She’s been told that she likely will have some permanent lung damage from her covid infection. Life for her will never be the same again. So she will have to ‘learn to live with covid’ forever. There is more going on, and more that we need to be concerned about than just those on a ventilator.

    • Anonymous says:

      Was she vaccinated? If not, hard to have any sympathy

      • Anonymous says:

        Your lack of empathy for your fellow man is quite problematic. Have you always hated those who don’t agree with your worldview?

        • Anonymous says:

          What’s your view on drunk drivers – people who despite knowing the risks take a course of action that not only endangers them but others? Do you think having scorn and lack of sympathy for drunk drivers is problematic?

    • Anonymous says:

      Vaccination status?

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s called long Covid and it affects kids, adults and elderly. It’s no joke.

      This is why people should consider the vaccine to give you a chance of reducing symptoms.

      Was your colleague fully vaxxed?

  11. Anon says:

    The frustrating bit here is that this information was available to Cayman long ago – but rather than using it, to avoid unnecessarily restricting people for ridiculously long terms in many instances – Cayman adopted its own massively over zealous standards. In any event – glad that this has been adopted now. Next step will be to eliminate the exit PCR test. Better late than never.

    • Anonymous says:

      1:24pm Exactly! This lockdown and exit test stupidity is against all scientific practices followed elsewhere.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why not just follow the CDC, UK Canada?
    14 days and let them out.

    Also the pre arrival PCR should not apply to recovered people for 90 days after infection.

    I hope all here realize that if you leave Cayman and want to come home and you have had a after catching Covid you maybe stuck for 90 days trying to get a negative PCR test!

  13. Anonymous says:

    This government just makes decisions based on people whining. The more people whine, the government gives in to them. It’s the equal ant of parents with a two year old throwing a temper tantrum for candy. We have community spread out of control…let’s bring teh tourists and give them Covid and add to the community spread. Government makes decisions and blames the people here when it gets out of control. I think they did it on purpose. Relax controls and then we can blame it on the locals. Don’t enforce any regulations. Don’t bring in regulations to control the spread. Just blame it on the locals. I wonder what will happen when a tourist sues them for getting Covid here. This is the worst government we have ever had. We would be better off if the cats, dogs, parrots, chickens, and iguanas were in charge.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Two worlds in Cayman. Those detained and those clogging the roads, shopping in droves, dining without masks, sitting at bars without masks, partying. Yet hospital numbers are under control – and way more than two weeks have passed. Because of the high vaccination rate, when do we learn Covid is manageable?

    • Anonymous says:

      Imagine having this mindset during past pandemics. Getting on with it would have resulted in millions of more deaths

    • Miami Dave says:

      Omicron is coming. As long as enough people don’t get vaccinated COVID is going to be around a long, long time. Simply because the virus will keep on mutating. Scientists said that earlier this year when they were asked in the U.S. what would happen if not enough people got vaccinated.

      In America today only 60% of society is vaccinated.

      If you think COVID is manageable you are dreaming at current rates of vaccinations. Hell, here even a good number of health care workers still are not vaccinated. Friggin incredible.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ask the Moderna CEO how their vaccine works against Omicron. Actually, the instant global panic about Omicron is a healthy thing. Even though the South African doctors clearly stated it’s too early to be concerned. That the symptoms are even milder than delta, many persons like you are advocating fear. It can only mean Covid is waning.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a mutating threat, not static. Public health policy needs to be much more responsive to changing realities (in both directions). Vaccines help, until they wane. Admissions are manageable right up until they aren’t. In Cayman, we don’t have oxygenated beds and staff for a real lives capacity test. Bending policy and regulations to fit public ambivalence and conflicted millionaire agendas, isn’t a public safety strategy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Soon, not yet

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