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Sunday COVID 19 Update

Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin speaks at the press conference Sunday, 29 March 2020.

At the press conference today Sunday, 29 March 2020, which started with a prayer led by Pastor Terrence Bobb of the Cayman's Ministers Association, Cayman Islands' leaders asked all to continue to shelter in place and obey the curfew.

More stringent policing including roadblocks and checks will carry on especially from Monday during the soft curfew to ensure that no one is out and about in breach of soft curfew (SHELTER IN PLACE) provisions.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee said:

  • Of 18 newest test results in, four have tested positive. Of the four, two were actual travellers and two were in contact with travellers. All are isolated.
  • Of the eight positive cases so far, the age range is 21 to 83 years; five are males and seven females. Also four of these are older persons with underlying health issues.
  • With the 18 today announced, the total tested in Cayman now is 207 with overall 194 persons testing negative so far.
  • Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne said:

    • The hard curfew last night worked well, overall. Police had no breaches to report on Little Cayman; on Cayman Brac, 11 were intercepted, with two in one vehicle in breach of curfew order and were warned for prosecution but no arrests; on Grand Cayman, there were 66 interceptions and one person was in breach.
    • In other crime, there was one domestic violence case, two disorderly conducts and one person found driving considerably under the influence.
    • The soft curfew today was going well. There were no marine patrol breaches and when congregations occurred on the beaches, they were being dealt with by Police patrolling on ATVs.
    • Traffic concerns remain for tomorrow and decisions will be made accordingly.
    • Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin said:

      • Global figures for COVID-19 remain grim. Some notables are: US - total135,627 with 12,049 overnight cases, 2,385 deaths up by 165 overnight; Italy: total 97,689 cases, with 5,217 overnight, deaths - 10,779, up 756 overnight; Spain - 78,799 total, 5,564 overnight, deaths 6,606, up 624 overnight.
      • Supermarket rules have changed. Supermarkets will allows only shoppers from Monday to Saturday as follows: Those with last names starting A-K will be allowed to shop for essential supplies on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; those with last names starting L-Z will be allowed to shop on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. These rules apply to ALL. Children are strongly discouraged from attending supermarkets.
      • Senior citizens, disabled persons and pregnant women will have one special hour daily set aside exclusively for them to shop. Outside of these hours, there will also be one designated check-out line for these persons. Essential government personnel will also have a designated check-out line.
      • Opening hours for the various supermarkets and large shops are as follows:

      1. Fosters all locations and Priced Right - 6 am to 6 pm; one hour of operation from 6-7 am solely dedicated to senior citizens, disabled persons and pregnant women. Essential government staff will have a dedicated line from 5-6 pm each day.
      2. Hurley's Marketplace - opening from 7 am to 6 pm with first hour from 7am to 8 am exclusively for seniors, disabled persons and pregnant women; dedicated line for essential government staff will be from 5 am -6 pm daily.
      3. Cost-u-Less - open from 7 am to 6 pm daily; with 7 am -8 am dedicated to senior citizens, disabled persons and pregnant women; a dedicated line for essential government staff from 5 pm - 6 pm daily.
      4. Kirk Market - open from 6 am to 6 pm.
      5. All locations have arranged for a front of line service for senior citizens, disabled persons and pregnant women during normal hours of operation.

      • These rules come into force tomorrow, Monday, 30 March 2020 until further notice.
      • He thanked those strictly adhering to the soft and hard curfew requirements today.
      • Premier cautioned all non-essential persons to refrain from making unnecessary trips; so stay off the roads and stay home, as per curfew rules, unless for supermarket shopping or the other limited number of stores that are allowed to be open, gas stations, banks, health care facilities or for 1.5 hours for exercise or walking the dog.
      • Otherwise if stopped, they risk being charged with breach of curfew provisions of Shelter in Place.
      • Police have stepped up surveillance; daily road blocks and checks will continue for the duration of the soft curfew.
      • Premier reiterated that especially with the increase in number of positive cases announced today, persons should stay off roads and stay at home.
      • Plans to combat the virus will continue to be adjusted as things evolve.

      His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper said:

      • The sobering fact is that now 2.3 billion or a third of the world's population are now in lockdown. This underlines the gravity of the situation.
      • Thanks to those complying, which will greatly help curbing community spread.
      • All seeking urgent travel for emergency and compassionate needs should continue to call the Emergency Hotline 244-3333 Monday - Friday.
      • Discussions are seriously underway for BA flight to London.
      • While the plans for the Defence Regiment are on hold, those currently in the Regiment are co-opted to assist with other government essential operations.
      • Regarding other Overseas Territories, there are 93 cases in total with 55 in Gibraltar (in close proximity to Spain), 17 in Bermuda, five in Montserrat, two each in Turks and Caicos, Anguilla and British Virgin Islands. There are no fatalities in the other OTs.
      • The UK is in the forefront of funding for the ongoing search for a COVID-19 vaccine for which it has provided 210 million, the single largest contribution in the world today.

      Health Minister Hon. Dwayne Seymour's had a number of pronouncements today. See separate release.


      For further information contact: Bina Mani