Monday 25 May, 2020

HSA is preparing for widespread community transmission of COVID-19

“As the national healthcare system of the Cayman Islands, the Health Services Authority has the primary role of ensuring the health and well-being of the nation, our preparedness and response in this global public health emergency,” said Minister of Health, the Honourable Dwayne Seymour at yesterday's press briefing.

The HSA is planning and preparing its resources and capabilities to ensure the sustainability of the healthcare delivery system in the event of widespread community transmission in the Cayman Islands.

According to the Minister of Health, HSA is taking all the necessary steps in order to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. One of the major initiatives has been to upgrade local testing capabilities. 480 testing kits were received on Saturday, bringing the total to 520 and the HSA is expecting more from the UK this week.

The HSA is also reinforcing its stock and supplies to ensure preparedness for a worst-case scenario. There are 219,000 gloves currently on hand with 938,000 on order; there are over 106,000 surgical masks on hand with 83,000 on order; there are over 3,500 N95 masks on hand with over 300,000 on order; there are over 2,000 isolation gowns on hand with 71,000 on order; there are over 360 face shields with and without masks with 52,000 on order; there are 500 goggles on hand with over 5,000 on order.

Other actions taken, as articulated by the Minister of Health, are as follows.

The HSA has:

Developed a COVID-19 Action Plan which sets out a comprehensive step by step approach to ensure effective coordination of resources, response and clinical outcomes

Established a multi-disciplinary taskforce of clinicians (physicians, nurses, allied health professionals) from a broad range of specialties who meet daily to review and monitor global trends, relevant clinical data and guidance, develop best practices, policies and procedures and strategies for patient management and effective clinical decision making.

Established a COVID-19 hospital operations team – with representation from across the organization, including clinical, operational, finance, human resources, supply chain management, facilities which also meets daily bringing together the clinical and operational perspective to drive a coordinated response plan to ensure our operations are aligned with efficient clinical delivery. This includes representation from the Sister Islands.

Set up a Flu Hotline which has been very effective and we continue to encourage people with flu symptoms to contact the flu hotline at 1-800-534-8600 or 947-3077 or email flu@hsa.ky.  Medical professions are answering calls and will either direct callers to stay home or come to the Flu Clinic.  It is important that persons call the hotline first before showing up at the Flu Clinic, as this is important in the event that an individual is a suspected COVID case.  Since the hotline started on March 15 the team has handled 1,434 calls, with the lowest record volume of daily calls at 50.  The Flu Hotline also handles calls from the Sister Islands.

Set up the dedicated Flu Clinic which is among the significant initiatives at containment started on March 16. It is open from 8 am – 4 pm seven days per week in Grand Cayman and Monday to Friday in Cayman Brac at the Aston Rutty Centre. Since it commenced the clinic has seen 228 patients in Grand Cayman and 19 in the Brac.

Beyond those initial preparedness activities and as the HSA monitors the global situation and the challenges of other countries and healthcare systems the priority is on ensuring the availability of resources and to keep healthcare workers safe as they care for the public.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: