(CMR) During the emergency COVID-19 press briefing today Dr. John Lee confirmed that there are now six positive COVID-19 results to report today which include the child at Red Bay Primary School.
Three are returning travelers, two were being tested as part of their exit screening process and the final positive was the child. Two are symptomatic including the child and one person remains admitted.
The child he described as “weakly positive” but the child has symptoms related to a respiratory illness but they have one negative test result. However, given the child's high-risk location in a public school, the government is counting it as a positive out of an abundance of caution.
The child has some mild flu-like symptoms and was taken to the hospital for assessment and was then swabbed for COVID-19.
He explained that this may be at the trailing edge of the child's infection. He was not willing to speculate on how the child may have acquired the virus at this early stage. Dr. Lee does not believe this is a false positive.
About 230 persons have been tested so far as a result of the Red Bay Primary School infection. 200 are connected to the primary school and about 30 at the Needs Assessment Unit Office.
The parents of the child and a sibling have all tested negative. There contact tracing is continuing as the CMO confirms they are in the early days of investigating this infection.
The premier also confirmed that the NAU offices would be closing for a pre-scheduled deep cleaning and the rumor that was in circulation that it was closing because of this infection are not 100 percent accurate. Somewhat understanding the source of the rumor he shared, “coincidence has not been kind to us today at all.”
However, he did confirm that a family member of the child does work at NAU but it was merely coincidental that this deep cleaning had been scheduled by the landlord of the NAU offices. Ironically the closure of the NAU office was not previously disclosed.
He said NAU does not open on Fridays as they work on processing applications and all staff there have now been swabbed.
Concerned parents should be advised that the Health Services Authority will be opening up a drive-through COVID-19 testing centre Saturday that does not require any pre-bookings.
Premier McLaughlin indicated that all year groups have been operating in bubble groups as a safety measure. At this time there will be no changes to the current COVID-19 restrictions. However, if there are more positives out of the 230 this could very well change the existing protocols in place.
As it related to Travel Cayman, he confirmed that the October inbound travel numbers are at capacity and no more applications will be granted for this month. However, they have already submitted applications that are being reviewed for future approval.
Those who have not yet applied but intend to travel in the future are being asked NOT to submit an application at this time so that the October travelers can be prioritized.
A new portal is being launched in the coming weeks with a view to speeding up the application process. Eric Bush will continue with oversight of Travel Cayman despite returning his chief officer post.