Thursday 26 November, 2020

Cayman: 'Student’s COVID-19 test is weakly positive'

Government called for an emergency press briefing today, Friday October 9, after it was announced that a child at Red Bay Primary School tested positive for COVID-19.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) test on the Year 2 Red Bay Primary School student is showing the child is 'weakly positive' although having mild respiratory symptoms. The sibling of the child is also exhibiting some mild respiratory symptoms but tested negative for COVID-19.

This is according to Chief Medical Officer of the Cayman Islands Dr John Lee, who at the same time said a confirmatory test was negative. He said that the authorities are conducting further investigations.

According to Dr Lee, the weak positive is one that ultimately requires medical personnel to verify as the traces are very low. He said that given evidence of symptoms, it was more prudent to declare that it was positive. He said that people should "relax" that Public Health have taken all of the appropriate measures.

"We are treating this like a COVID case," he said.

Dr Lee said that 200 tests have so far been conducted on schoolmates (year 2 students), teachers and other staff members at the institution, as well as 30 at the Needs Assessment Unit where a family member of the child works. The school's Monday reopening will be contingent on the test results. 

All students were placed in containment bubbles as a safety measure.

"It could be that we ask the entire class to isolate," said Dr Lee of the possible way forward. 

According to Lee, tests were conducted on the mother, father and sibling of the child. These have returned negative results.

Lee said investigations are still early and more information will be provided as the results are known. He said the government will continue to ensure the safety of the public.

The child tested positive Friday morning and the family were placed in isolation as contact tracing continues to be performed.

The premier indicated that another press briefing may be required tomorrow, once the results have been confirmed.

This is the second case of suspected community transmission in the past two months.

Persons who are concerned for their health and that of their families are reminded that they can make their own appointments for testing via the Health Services Authority website, 

— Job Nelson

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