(CMR) The Public Health Department has reported that between Monday, 29 August and Friday, 2 September, a total of sixty-seven (67) cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Cayman Brac. However, the Department said the cases are not alarming.
Thirty-seven (37) of those cases were confirmed within the first two days of the week (29 and 30 August). Twenty-three (23) of the 37 are most likely linked to the restart of school activity, the Public Health Department has said.
“It is expected that there will be peaks in the number of positive cases, such as at the start of the academic year,” Interim Chief Medical Officer Dr. Autilia Newton explained.
“Thus, we continue to encourage the population to get vaccinated and boosted, which is of great help in reducing the risk of severe disease and death, and to adhere to Public Health guidelines,” she added.
Dr. Newton also reminded the public of the changes in COVID-19 monitoring and reporting. COVID-19 will now be monitored as part of winter respiratory infections via sentinel surveillance site notifications, sub-set testing of samples taken from patients presenting at the surveillance sites and genome sequencing of positive samples.
Sentinel surveillance is the monitoring of the occurrence of respiratory infections (such as influenza, COVID, Respiratory Syncytial Virus) through clinical diagnosis from selected sites of health care providers, aimed at assessing the presence of respiratory viruses in the country. Genome sequencing will then provide additional data on the variants of the identified virus in circulation in the community.
The surveillance, testing, and sequencing work will be undertaken as part of the greater epidemiological data collection, and will be shared as such periodically. Moving forward, key COVID data that will be reported monthly to the community will be limited to hospital admissions and mortality. Notable increases in hospitalizations and any deaths will be reported to the public immediately.