(CMR) The government had confirmed that it will be pausing Phase 3 of the re-opening plan today and reimplementing some COVID measures, including mask mandates and re-tagging. It was revealed at today's press briefing that three children at George Town Primary have tested positive for COVID-19, with one child being symptomatic.
Premier Wayne Panton said, “We are pausing Phase Three of our reopening plan for the rest of this year. We don't want to be rushing anything. We want to remain cautious and be able to carefully consider the various step that we need to put in place to address community spread, to ensure that our people feel safe and to ensure that our children are best protected.”
It was revealed that the initial child had tested positive after presenting with flu-like symptoms. Out of 45 persons tested that are connected to George Town Primary, 28 persons have thus far received their results. This brings the total number of different households who are positive to seven in different geographical locations with no common exposure known.
Dr. John Lee confirmed that this qualifies Cayman for Level 1 of community transmission.
Contact tracing has revealed that another individual is positive, but that was discovered shortly before the press conference began. Additional details will be forthcoming.
The premier encouraged people to realize that adults being vaccinated offer a “vaccinated wall of safety” to the vulnerable children in the community.
“We need to have that solid wall of vaccinated people around our precious children to protect them,” he said.
“We have a very high vaccination rate, but we know we need it to get higher…that is the key to us being able to manage COVID in our community and provide safety to our children,” Panton explained.
He said it is imminent that there will be some changes such as mask-wearing, crowd limits, and quarantine periods. For indoors, the proposed limit is 100 persons while outdoors could be moved to 250 persons. The new regulations will be implemented by the end of the week.
Panton said the proposed quarantine period for vaccinated travelers is seven days instead of five days.
No unvaccinated visitors are to be allowed in at this time, except for Caymanians, permanent residents, and dependents on work permit holders.
Premier Panton said safety measures would also be implemented to protect the Sister Islands from any community spread.
He noted, “We have a lot of people in that community who are more vulnerable than the normal distribution demographically, and we obviously have less significant facilities there to be able to manage any difficulties.”
“We will get through this together… I want you to understand that and have the confidence that we will get through this together,” Panton assured.