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Monday 25 May COVID 19 Update

Monday 25 May COVID 19 Update

At the Monday, 25 May 2020 COVID-19 press conference, Government leaders announced five positive COVID-19 cases out of 975 results.

The Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin provided an update regarding the phased reopening of the construction industry, while His Excellency the Governor announced the next BA air-bridge to the UK will take place in the first half of June, alongside further evacuation flights to Miami on 12 and 26 June.

Finally, the Minister for Health added that the Cuban government has agreed to provide the Cayman Islands with previously requested medical personnel.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. John Lee reported:

• Out of 975 test results conducted (including 214 performed at Doctors Hospital), there were 5 positives, all asymptomatic. One was a contact of a previous positive COVID-19 case and four from the screening programme. 970 results were negative.

• There are now 134 positive cases overall, 72 are still active cases of which 13 are symptomatic, 59 are asymptomatic, none are currently in hospital and 61 persons have recovered.

• The phased re-opening of the construction industry will continue; six positives from this sector have been reported from the screening programme and around 10% have been tested.

• There are around 1,000 tests waiting to be processed and “resulted”; the right balance must be struck between ensuring continuous samples go through the lab and ensuring the quality of the sample is not given time to degrade. The majority of these tests should be completed by the end of the week.

• Some maintenance time will be required for the laboratory testing equipment this week.

• Construction workers have been allowed to return to work based on the results of representative sampling of the sector.

• We have between nine to twelves weeks’ supply of PPE on hand, 149,000 tests and over 200,000 swabs.

• Between Monday - Friday, we are reporting over 500 results per day for the last two weeks.

Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin said:

• 65 construction projects were permitted to restart last week, where ready, to begin preparations for employees returning to work today. This encompasses about 1,670 individuals, including those working in home depots and hardware stores.

• The number of positives in this sector, while so far small, justifies the measured approach to reopening the economy.

• We will monitor the impact on testing results of the reintroduction of those 1,670 persons into the workplace. 3,200 personnel will be tested from the construction industry (which is approximately 8,000 persons strong) in order to give a representative sample of how the profile of the virus appears in that demographic.

• If the trend continues to show around 1-2% of positives out of the total number tested, we should be able to introduce the balance of that sector back into the workforce over the next few weeks.

• Work continues on the next phase of reopening and what further relaxations may be permitted, while we remain mindful of the need to maintain a controlled and careful strategy for reopening based on risk.

His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper said:

• Strong, robust and timely action from Government coupled with the cooperation of the community has led us to our current position.

• The evacuation flight to Manila, Philippines via London on Saturday, 23 May was successful. Thank you to all involved in assisting the 280 persons to leave the Cayman Islands, including the Philippines’ authorities, NEOC staff, airport staff, the UK embassy in Manila and the Governor’s Office staff.

• Two anonymous donations facilitated travel on this flight for those people who did not have sufficient funds to purchase a ticket, including those already registered with the NAU.

• Another BA flight to London is on track for the first half of June and detailed negotiations continue in terms of a flight to India and possibly more than one.

• Tribute paid to Police Commissioner Derek Byrne and his team, plus the CBC staff and special constables for their work in ensuring a stable law and order situation.

• Acts of Random Kindness, Meals on Wheels and Resilience Cayman, along with others in the charitable sector, thanked for their efforts in supporting the community.

• Two more outbound Cayman Airways flights to Miami are scheduled for 12 and 26 June, along with one flight scheduled for this Friday, 29 May.

• The BA crew involved in the prisoner transfer on Saturday, 23 May were fully quarantined overnight, along with the UK prison officers who arrived in the Cayman Islands to escort the prisoner to the UK.

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said:

• The COVID-19 pandemic has brought some unexpected opportunities with it, including the benefits of traffic-free roads and the chance for those working from home to enjoy longer sleep, which is vital to our health.

• There is a community soup kitchen at John Gray Memorial Church in West Bay, sponsored by Raoul and Kathy Nicholson-Coe, on Monday and Thursday between 11.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please call 547-4209 and wear a mask.

• Arbutus restaurant and staff thanked for donating meals to HSA employees.

• Please continue to reach out to support elderly persons and vulnerable family members, such as by collecting groceries, sanitising them and dropping them round or preparing a meal for them to reheat later.

• The Older Persons Hotline is available for those requiring assistance including free and confidential advice at 1-800-534-2222.

• The Needs Assessment Unit can also provide help at ww.nau.gov.ky and the Family Resource Centre at https://www.dcs.gov.ky/frc/

• Please continue to support Meals on Wheels through donations: https://www.mealsonwheels.ky/

• Red Cross volunteers thanked for their assistance with on-site mobile screenings.

• Cuban government will provide the requested medical personnel to the Cayman Islands.

For further information contact: Caroline James