Two additional Health City samples test positive for COVID-19, bringing total to four positives

CAYMAN ISLANDS (March 23, 2020) – Health City Cayman Islands is confirming that two out of six additional samples submitted for COVID-19 testing are positive for the virus.

This brings the new total of COVID-19 infections among Health City samples to four, with 43 samples being negative.

The Health City  samples were sent for testing following the confirmation of the Cayman Islands’ first COVID-19 positive patient. That patient, a 68-year-old cruise traveler, was an emergency patient being treated for cardiac arrest at the tertiary care hospital. He later developed symptoms of COVID-19, was tested and found to be positive. He subsequently passed away from complications of the virus and underlying health issues.

The initial patient tested positive on March 12, and 41 samples from Health City were sent for testing at that time. The additional six were sent in a subsequent batch very shortly after.

The results of the additional tests run by the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) were announced at Cayman Islands Government press conferences held on Monday, March 23 by Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee.

These 47 individuals, which included medical staff members, their family members and other individuals considered to be  at risk for infection  were  immediately quarantined as part of the hospital’s efforts to contain the virus.

All will remain in quarantine until their test results are confirmed by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

Since the tests were performed for the first time in the Cayman Islands, the samples were sent to CARPHA as a quality control measure, and confirmation of the initial results was received within a few days.

“We are of course disappointed that two out of the additional six samples  tested returned positive results. Please rest assured that these individuals have been quarantined and have received the highest level of care. All are doing well.  Additionally, the infection rate remains low with four out of 47 samples sent being positive. And we are secure in the knowledge that we took the appropriate and correct steps to contain the virus, which is actually still borne out by the final test results,” Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil, Clinical Director of Health City Cayman Islands said.

Dr. Chattuparambil confirmed that the hospital remains committed to the containment of the virus, and is continuing its vigilance.

“Please rest assured that we are abiding by the highest standards of infection control and have also taken expert advice on the containment of COVID-19. I would like to continue to urge everyone to follow standard precautionary measures against contracting the virus, including regular hand-washing and practicing good respiratory hygiene,” he said.

He further explained that that any person who has had potential infectious contact with a quarantined individual at Health City has already been notified and has been followed up with by the Public Health Department for evaluation and potential testing.

Dr. Chattuparambil advised that Health City is continuing to work closely with Cayman Islands Government health officials on regular updates regarding the local COVID-19 situation and will issue further updates as soon as any new information is available.

Individuals who develop any flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose etc., are advised to contact the Cayman Islands Public Health Department at [email protected] or via the flu hotline at 1-800-534-8600.

For more information about how to protect yourself from acquiring COVID-19, visit www.hsa.ky/coronavirus and www.gov.ky/coronavirus

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