COVID-19 Update – Wednesday, 10 November 8AM
At 8a.m. on Wednesday, 10 November Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee reported that 1,413 PCR tests had been conducted in the 24 hours since 8a.m. on Tuesday, 9 November.
The Public Health Department reported 325 positive results out of these tests, with five in travellers and 320 from the community.
These results brought the number of active cases of COVID-19 in the Cayman Islands to 2,485 as at 8a.m. on Wednesday, 10 November. The total number of cases recorded since the start of the pandemic stood at 3,752 as at the same time. The Public Health department also confirmed that up to 8a.m. on Wednesday, 10 November there had been 886 total positive lateral flow tests since the introduction of the lateral flow test programme in the Cayman Islands.
As of 8a.m. on Wednesday 10 November, Faith Hospital confirmed there were 80 active cases in the Sister Islands, with none identified in the previous 24 hours.
Up to that point, 4,806 people were in isolation either in Government isolation facilities or at home.
Dr. Lee addressed the large number of positive test results returned on Wednesday, 10 November in a video message recorded on Thursday, 11 November.
The Chief Medical Officer said, “That’s a large number of new community cases but I wanted to try and shift where we’re focusing our concerns, because as some would have been discussing, this really is more in terms of how our health care services are being used.”
He explained, “Many people with COVID will have very mild symptoms, maybe a fever, maybe a cough and will be able to take simple paracetamol, and after a few days after like just like with many viral illnesses we’ll feel quite well again.”
Dr. Lee revealed that a preparation and readiness exercise held on Monday, 8 November between the three local hospitals and relevant emergency and government services showed the Islands to be in a good position to cope with a further surge in cases.
There were 14 COVID-19 patients hospitalised in the Cayman Islands at 8a.m. on Wednesday, 10 November.
By the time Dr. Lee recorded his message on 11 November, the number had increased to 15. However, the Chief Medical Officer noted that only 27 percent of the Cayman Islands’ total available capacity for COVID-19 patients is currently being used.
Dr. Lee discussed the status of the admitted patients, revealing that 12 out of the 15 were unvaccinated and that three were in the Critical Care Unit.
“One is requiring a ventilator and two are requiring what we call non-invasive ventilation, that means they’re needing some extra respiratory support more than oxygen…So, there are three people that are needing that extra level of ventilation support and there are 12 others who are on the general wards,” he explained.
The Chief Medical Officer described the fluctuating nature of hospital admissions for COVID-19, noting that as some patients recover and get discharged, others are admitted.
He said, “From Tuesday to Wednesday (9-10 November), four people were admitted and four people were discharged and then from Wednesday to Thursday (10-11 November) five people were admitted and four people were discharged. So even though you hear the number of people that are actually admitted to hospital, this number is moving and changing at all times…which is again good news because people are getting better, they’re being well-treated and they’re going home.”
Dr. Lee explained that the national strategy is to “dampen down the infection. So, masks, distancing, hand hygiene, our very high vaccination rates and also the lateral flow test being used and the policy being rolled out, all of these things will dampen down the spread of Sars-COV-2. And that’s exactly what we want to do to make sure that the hospitals do not have too many patients at once.”
The Chief Medical Officer said, “Clearly, we are reopening and also clearly, we are managing the numbers that we have. We’ve been in this scenario with positive community cases for some nine weeks now, and you’ll be aware that in many countries around the world these so-called waves of infection, as they travel through the community and a lot of people get infected, often take around two to three months to begin to see them burning out.”
Up to 8a.m. on Wednesday, 10 November there had also been 118,923 COVID-19 vaccinations given in total in the Cayman Islands. Of these, 57,190 people (80% of 71,106) had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 54,946 individuals (77%) had completed the two-dose course.
Additionally, 6,787 people (representing 10% of the total population) had received a third or booster dose up to that point.
Dr. Lee urged residents to be safe over the upcoming holiday weekend.
He said, “If you’re going to mix with people, please do so outdoors if you can. Hold off having big parties and big gatherings, especially in indoor spaces. Please do so because that’s the wise and sensible thing to do when we have such widespread community transmission. And in particular, be careful of those who are unvaccinated, for example children, and for those who are elderly or vulnerable. Those people need particular attention with regards scrupulous hygiene and mask wearing if appropriate.”
He further encouraged unvaccinated individuals to consider getting vaccinated as soon as possible.
Since the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine has been so widely supported by the community, existing vaccine stocks were depleted on Wednesday, 10 November. Additional supplies are anticipated to arrive on Friday, 12 November on the British Airways flight.
Vaccine clinics will be closed from Thursday, 11 November through Saturday, 13 November and will resume on Tuesday, 16 November.
Please stay tuned to official channels for the revised vaccination schedule to check times and locations.
Dr. Lee’s full video message may be viewed at https://youtu.be/CQFlh06bwkM
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For further COVID-19 information and resources, visit www.gov.ky/coronavirus
Downloadable resources and guides are available at https://www.exploregov.ky/coronavirus-resources
For other help and hotlines, visit https://www.exploregov.ky/getting-assistance
For specific information on the national lateral flow test policy visit https://www.exploregov.ky/lft-policy; and to report positive lateral flow test results go to www.exploregov.ky/report-covid19-result
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. Contact Isolation Support at 946-3530, 1-800-534-3530 or email email@example.com. Operational hours 9a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 9a.m. – 1p.m. on Saturday.
For mental health support, the Mental Health Helpline can be reached on 1-800-534-6463(MIND) from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
If you have flu symptoms contact the 24-hour Flu Hotline at 1-800-534-8600, 345-947-3077 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are having difficulty breathing, please call 911.
Submitted by: Ministry of Health and Wellness (CIG)