With the phased easing of the current regulations, Government is working out details for Phase One, while continuing rigorous testing to ensure reopening can happen as planned.
At the COVID-19 press conference today, Tuesday, 28 April 2020, after prayer by Pastor Dave Tayman, public sector leaders noted that even if the virus is contained, the Cayman Islands faces a long and hard economic recovery.
It was also announced that a total of 742 persons have either departed from the Cayman Islands, or are departing this week on scheduled flights to the UK, Miami, Canada and Cancun, Mexico.
Additionally, 198 Caymanians and Permanent Residents have returned to the Cayman Islands on the flights so far.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee reported:
- Private sector companies that employ frontline personnel will be receiving emails from the Department of Commerce and Infrastructure with regards to testing of their staff.
- Three positive cases out of 187 test results revealed. One of them has a travel history, one has had contact with a previous positive case and one is assumed to be through local contact.
- Of the three positives, one is a health care worker at HSA, where patient and health care providers strictly maintain and use all required PPE protocol. Anyone sent home to recover after testing positive is monitored daily and under strict supervision. All are advised to call 911 early should they feel worse or become concerned about their condition.
- Care and monitoring are tailored to individual cases.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez said:
- HSA continues to provide emergency and urgent care and is also now considering offering elective care.
- The use of PPEs has been followed diligently for several weeks at HSA now.
Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin said:
- The positive results today underscore that the Cayman Islands cannot consider itself out of the woods yet, although it is trending in the right direction. The next few weeks are going to be critical.
- With this trend, Government is planning for easing restrictions in phases from Monday, 4 May. While the Cayman Islands is doing well in the number of tests conducted, there are still not enough to make categorical statements about the virus’ prevalence in the community. Therefore prescribed protocols including physical distancing, frequent hand washing and proper respiratory etiquette should continue to be strictly maintained.
- Problems accessing WORC’s phone 945-9672 are being addressed to ensure as the earliest that call queueing is reinstated. If people are unable to get through on this number, they should text or WhatsApp WORC at 925-7199 for customer care assistance. This number is for messaging only.
- The laws passed in the legislature last week – the National Pensions, Customs and Border Control, Labour, Immigration (Transition) and Traffic Laws — are all assented to by the Governor and are being gazetted today.
- In response to concerns about the inability of some to reach their pension providers, the entities have informed that, barring one which has a portal problem, all are operating remotely and some 6,000 queries have been received and are being attended to.
His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper said:
- The flight to Honduras that is confirmed for Monday, 4 May is completely sold out. A second flight is being worked on with details expected tomorrow, Wednesday, 29 April.
- Further details about the flights to the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica are also expected and will be released.
- The BA flight arriving later today will bring returning Caymanians and Permanent Residents as well as 12 UK security personnel, all of whom will face 14 days’ mandatory quarantine at government facilities.
- Additionally, a team going on to the Turks and Caicos who arrive today, will be in strict isolation along with the BA crew until the flight departs tomorrow.
- The rumour that the arriving BA flight was delayed to offload someone returning to the Cayman Islands after testing positive for COVID-19 is entirely untrue. A technical issue delayed the flight for 45 minutes before it took off for the Cayman Islands earlier today from London.
- HE The Governor warned that the spreading of false information by rumours is “very negative” for all in the Islands.
- Since 5 March, 408 persons have departed via one BA flight, two Miami flights and one Canada flight. This week 334 will be leaving via the one BA flight, two flights to Miami and one flight to Cancun, Mexico.
- The cancelled flight to Nicaragua is being discussed with that country’s authorities with a view to organizing another flight as well as a flight to Colombia.
- Governor issued a shout out to the staff of the Civil Aviation Authority for their help with these flights.
- The Cayman Islands’ testing is very robust, with the staff doing the testing deserving kudos.
Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said:
- A recent meeting among clinicians in the public and private sectors who are dealing with responding to the COVID-19 crisis highlighted the high quality of care being provided in the Cayman Islands.
- Those seeking urgent care should visit the HSA acute care clinic which is open Monday to Saturday. Only true emergencies should go to the A&E unit. For all flu symptoms, persons should contact the flu hotline. Persons needing to go hospital are permitted to drive to and from the hospital.
- Minister gave a shout out to all who have arrived in the Islands, and made positive impacts to taking the Cayman Islands forward, and also to Tilly’s Restaurant for providing meals to healthcare workers.
From the Commissioner of Police:
- Hard curfew begins daily at 7 pm and continues until 5 am. All, except those deemed essential staff, should operate under a strict lockdown during these hours. On Sundays, the lockdown is for the full 24 hours.
- All protocols during soft curfew are also to be practised to avoid facing penalties. This means non-essential workers may only leave the house to run essential tasks approved in the Public Health Regulations.
- All beaches remain off limits.
- Out of 187 latest test results received, 3 have tested positive. The positives respectively have a travel history, contact with a previous positive and one assumed as local transmission.
- Any easing of restrictions will be in phases with two weeks between each phase during which testing will continue rigorously to ensure the present phase is not curtailed and the next phase can start.
- Phase one is slated to commence on Monday, 4 May 2020 if test results this week are encouraging enough to allow for that to happen. Phase one is expected to allow for kerbside delivery of more goods.
- Phase two of the reopening is scheduled for Monday, 18 May and will include reopening of sectors such as construction. Details for all are still being worked on.