(CMR) The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) said it is prepared for any reintroduction of COVID-19 in the community, which has been part of our action plan for the border reopening.
“As a healthcare facility, we regularly manage infectious diseases and have policies and practice in place to ensure the safety and of our staff and patients,” stated HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood. “It is important that our patients understand it is safe to come to the hospital. COVID protocols within the medical setting involve additional PPE, sanitation, and cleaning to ensure everyone’s safety.”
“Out of an abundance of caution, a small number of HSA Staff who had direct contact with the COVID-19 positive patient were placed in 14-day isolation as a precautionary measure,” Yearwood confirmed.
HSA has over 80% of staff vaccinated for COVID-19. Staff who are not vaccinated are required to undergo PCR testing every two weeks.
Dr. Delroy Jefferson, HSA Medical Director, noted that HSA formed a clinical COVID-19 task force that at the beginning of the pandemic implemented COVID-19 clinical guidance, which advised clinical teams how to manage hospitalized patients with severe acute respiratory infection when COVID-19 infection is suspected or confirmed.
“We are well prepared and have a treatment strategy for COVID-positive patients,” stated Dr. Jefferson. “These guidelines were developed based on recommendations from the World Health Organization, CDC, Public Health England, Health Canada, and the European CDC.”
“HSA has partnered with private health sector stakeholders to develop a coordinated health sector response strategy and ensure we all have the resources and supplies necessary to put into action this response strategy for patient care and the safety of all our staff.”
Based on the 2 positive COVID-19 cases without travel history or known contact with a traveler, HSA has moved plans up ahead of the border reopening, including resumption of the Flu Clinic and Respiratory Care Unit (RCU).
All staff, patients, and visitors are reminded that facemasks are required at ALL HSA locations and will be strictly enforced. Masks are required in all areas of the hospital (i.e., covered walkways, waiting rooms, elevators, hallways, cafeteria, atrium, blood bank, wards, etc.). Persons are asked to please bring their own masks.
HSA’s Flu Clinic will be opened Monday – Friday 8 am – 4 pm starting Monday 13th September 2021, specifically for persons experiencing flu-like symptoms. After these hours, persons with flu symptoms can also attend the Acute Care Walk-in Clinic (in the George Town General Practice Building) Monday – Friday until 8 pm, and Saturday 8:30 am – 12:00 pm.
The dedicated Flu Clinic is located in the space previously occupied by the Outpatient Mental Health Unit, on the side of the hospital facing the Seventh Day Adventist Church, to the far left of A&E. Signage on the hospital campus will direct patients to the Clinic. All persons at the flu clinic will be required to wear a face mask.
If you have flu symptoms, HSA asks that you please stay at home and contact your healthcare provider or the Flu Hotline. 947-3077, 1-800-534-8600 or [email protected]. Callers will speak with a health professional about your symptoms, screen for travel history, advise on what you should do, e.g., come to the Flu Clinic, stay home in isolation, etc.
Flu symptoms may include Fever, Sore throat, Cough, Runny nose, Muscle or body aches, Chills.
If you experience worsening symptoms such as sudden dizziness and confusion, severe or persistent vomiting, Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, or difficulty breathing, call 911:
Patients visiting the flu clinic can use the Seventh Day Adventist Church parking lot, just opposite A&E.
RESPIRATORY CARE UNIT (RCU)
The Respiratory Care Unit (RCU) at the Cayman Islands Hospital has been reactivated out of an abundance of caution. This Unit holds 6 beds and is for moderately symptomatic COVID-19 positive patients who do not require ventilation.
HSA said it has most standard medication recommended for use in the management of COVID-19 and has sourced some newer immune-modulating biologics. A total of 20 ventilators are available at the Cayman Islands Hospital should they be needed.