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HSA advises the public to continue testing for COVID-19 with launch of new online booking system

Photo of a sign outside stating "COVID testing clinic, (appointment only)" with an arrow pointing towards the clinic.

Photo of a doctor giving a patient a COVID nasal swab test.

Photo of a doctor drawing blood from a patient.

 

The Health Services Authority (HSA) has launched an online appointment booking tool for the public to schedule their free COVID-19 screening test with results delivered by secure email directly to the patient. Testing is by appointment only and must be made 48 hours in advance.

A dedicated COVID-19 testing clinic is now located at the George Town General Practice Clinic.

“With the economy reopening and people interacting more regularly it is vital that we continue to screen for COVID-19 so we can safeguard our community,” said Dr. Eryka Simmons, Clinical Head of General Practice Services at the HSA. “We want to ensure that all members of the public have access to COVID-19 screening so we have been streamlining and improving our processes to make it easier and more convenient for people to book an appointment.

All persons screened will receive results via email within approximately 24 hours starting week commencing 17th August. As an added benefit, all persons being screened are also enrolled into the free MyHSA Patient Portal which provides 24 hour secure access to your health information as well as other convenient features.”

While the Cayman Islands has not recorded a positive COVID-19 test result since 13 July, HSA is advising the public of the importance of continuous testing to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and maintaining an open economy.

“We encourage people to be prudent and proactive by continuing to practice the international COVID-19 prevention measures such as social distancing, washing their hands, wearing masks, as well as taking advantage of the tests available that screens for the virus and its antibodies,” said Dr. Simmons.

The HSA uses the polymerise chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19 screenings, which is able to detect if someone is presently infected by the COVID-19 virus and the immunoglobulin (IgG) test that determines whether a person has had COVID-19 in the past and now has antibodies against the virus.

Both tests are available to members of the public at the HSA, free of cost. Anyone may register to be tested for COVID-19 or IgG antibodies as part of the ongoing national screening programme.

The HSA is also offering onsite IgG antibody testing to organisations with at least 20 persons.

“You could have had COVID-19 and not be aware of it because not everyone who gets the virus shows symptoms. The antibody test will give health officials a better idea of how common the virus has been in Cayman and will provide valuable information for informed decisions,” explained Dr. Simmons.

To self-register for the COVID-19 screening, persons can book an appointment directly online at www.hsa.ky/Appointment/. To register for antibody testing contact antibodyscreening@hsa.ky.

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