Health Minister Shares Upgrades
Minister for Health and Wellness, Hon. Sabrina Turner, shared a number of upcoming and already completed upgrades to Public Health and Health Services Authority resources in the fight against COVID-19 at the press briefing on Thursday 18 November.
- The Flu Hotline has been expanded with additional staff and is operating from a new location. Waiting time can be up to five minutes given high demand.
- The Health Services Authority plans to expand the operating hours of its dedicated Flu Clinic.
- Additional isolation rooms have been stood up in the Accident & Emergency Department, to isolate and safely manage the care of persons who are confirmed to be COVID positive, while caring for other patients.
- The hospital has also converted significant portions of in-patient rooms to negative pressure for the safe management of COVID admissions.
- HSA is working to stand-up a field hospital at the Family Life Centre, which will be operational within the next few weeks. This facility has the capacity for 80 beds, but will be set-up in phases, with initial beds ready by mid-December. This will facilitate the care of less-severe COVID patients and enable the HSA to continue its elective work without interruptions. More severe COVID patients will continue to be cared for at the hospital.
- HSA is working locally and overseas to recruit individuals to staff the field hospital. Over 30 nurses will be starting in the next two months with more job offers and interviews still in progress.
- Fifty-two temporary positions have already been added to COVID response within the HSA and Public Health.
- The self-reporting of positive cases via lateral flow testing has been automated. To report positive results, individuals must use Public Health’s secure form at exploregov.ky/report-covid19-result.
- Work is underway to address the backlog of isolation letters. Within a few days Public Health will launch a new isolation request and release form which will expedite these requests. Persons with a positive PCR result from the lab can use this as an isolation letter for an employer and or to request the government stipend.
- Individuals previously positive, who test negative via PCR, can also use this as a release letter. Persons testing positive on LFT and unvaccinated household members of positives may still require letters and these will be addressed through the form.
- Due to the increasing number of community positive cases, public health is contacting persons the day before the exit test is due to be completed. Vaccinated individuals will be tested on day 11 and unvaccinated individuals on day 15.
- Over the past two weeks, Public Health has opened three exit testing centres across Grand Cayman. These are open seven days a week, 11am – 1pm at Ed Bush Sports Complex, South Sound Community Centre and Bodden Town Civic Centre. Persons without transport should contact the flu hotline to arrange for in-home testing.
- To accommodate increased demand for vaccination data, administrative staff are being redeployed to input this promptly. Individuals are encouraged to go to hsa.ky to sign up for the online patient portal or visit the dedicated patient portal officer in the atrium at the Cayman Islands Hospital Monday – Friday 8:30am-5pm.
- Meanwhile, Public Health continues to roll out its booster programme to persons over the age of 40, healthcare providers, teachers, uniform services and those who are extremely vulnerable. This initiative was recently enhanced by the arrival of nearly 12,000 additional vaccine doses from the United Kingdom.