(CMR) The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) confirmed this afternoon that they will be able to test for COVID-19 this coming week at their internationally accredited forensic laboratory. This first of its kind local facility will allow test results to be received in 24-48 hours; significantly reducing the waiting period from 5-10 days.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Samuel Willaims said:
The reagent required to test samples with our PCR machine has now been validated in the lab. The ability for local testing is significant as it further enhances the capabilities of the HSA to not only detect COVID-19 in real-time but also provides timely intervention in the management of patients and enhances our public health surveillance and will expedite response capabilities.”
Public Health will only be testing persons with a suspected case who also meet the following criteria:
- Flu symptoms and a travel history to a country that has reported local transmission of COVID-19 during the 14 days prior to symptoms
- Acute respiratory illness and has been in contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
- Severe acute respiratory infection that requires hospitalization and no other etiology that explains the clinical presentation
PCR testing in the recommended standard for COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Public Health England. Test results from rapid test kits will not be accepted or considered by the Public Health Department.
Anyone wishing to send samples over for testing should first contact the HSA lab prior to sending the sample over.
Anyone having flu-like symptoms can contact the flu hotline at 1-800-534-8600 or [email protected]