Update, 6.30pm, Saturday, 10 Oct.:
All 207 swab tests for COVID-19, administered in connection to the positive test result of a Red Bay Primary School Year 2 student, have come back negative.
Government officials said Saturday that due to the ‘reassuring’ test results, there will be no changes to existing school protocols when they reopen Monday.
However, all Year 2 students at Red Bay, their household members and Red Bay Year 2 teachers will remain at home in isolation for 2 weeks.
The Red Bay Primary School student who tested positive for COVID-19 was one of 6 positive tests announced during a snap government press briefing Friday. The other 5 were travelers entering or about to leave quarantine.
The Year 2 student tested “weakly positive” for COVID-19, said Chief Medical Officer John Lee, indicating a low (almost marginal) presence of the virus. However, since the student was experiencing symptoms related to respiratory illness, authorities at this time classified the result as COVID-positive.
Health officials conducted about 200 swab tests of students, parents, teachers and staff at Red Bay, plus about 30 tests of employees at the Needs Assessment Unit, where one of the family members of the COVID-positive student works.
Lee said both the father and mother of the child, as well as a sibling, have been tested for COVID and found negative, even though the sibling has some respiratory symptoms, too.
Noting that Red Bay Primary is in his political constituency, Premier Alden McLaughlin said government’s further response would depend on the results of the 230-odd COVID tests. He said if there were multiple other positives, government would be likely to call a press conference on Saturday to announce any further measures.
A Red Bay Primary School student tested positive for COVID-19 and was showing symptoms of the illness. In response, the Cayman Islands government has implemented a testing and contact-tracing programme.
All Red Bay students — and members of their household — in the Year 2 group of the COVID-positive student will be tested for COVID and ordered to isolate in their homes until Public Health authorities give them clearance.
Additionally, the Department of Sports has sent notification that no Red Bay students are being allowed in the Lions Aquatic Centre.
The following is a press release from the Ministry of Education:
Education and Health Officials Working Together to Implement Coronavirus Response Amidst Confirmed Case in a Government Schools
Today, 9 October 2020, The Ministry of Education, Youth Sports, Agriculture and Lands (MEYSAL) confirms that a student of Red Bay Primary school has tested positive for COVID-19 Coronavirus and is symptomatic. Under the advice of the Public Health authorities, the parents and staff of the school have been notified and the appropriate measures to trace, contain and prevent any further transmission of the virus are being followed. MEYSAL together with the Department of Education Services (DES) have been in close contact with Public Health. Further guidance will be provided to the parents/guardians of any further actions to be taken.
“As we are responsible for safeguarding all of our students and staff, we also have a responsibility to uphold the COVID-19 Coronavirus prevention and protection measures currently in place by the local health authorities. Since the reopening of schools all year groups were placed in containment bubbles as a safety measure. Parents of all the students in the affected year group bubble have been contacted to come to the school. Each student along with their household members will be tested and will all be required to isolate in their homes, until they receive clearance from the Public Health Authorities, “ assured the Acting Director of Education Services, Ms. Tammy Banks-DaCosta.
“We understand any concerns parents may have about their child and family at this time and would like everyone to know that we care and are proactively managing the situation with the entire school body’s health, wellness and safety as our top priority. We encourage parents to remain calm at this time,” Ms. Banks-DaCosta also added.
On 4 March 2020 all parents and guardians of government schools were provided with the attached bulletin that detailed what the infection control practices for the COVID-19 Coronavirus are and also explained the procedures that parents/guardians should adhere to should their child or ward display COVID-19 Coronavirus symptoms. Parents are asked to continue to follow and adhere to these measures.
MEYSAL remains committed to keeping schools, parents and guardians and the wider public informed of further developments as they arise. For a trusted and reliable source for the latest information visit www.gov.ky and further visit www.gov.ky/news/noticeboard for all updates. Click here to find this release online: https://www.gov.ky/news/press-release-details/officials-respond-to-confirmed-school-case
The following is a press release from the Cayman Islands government:
A student at Red Bay Primary School has tested positive for COVID-19 and is symptomatic.
The child and their family are in isolation and the Public Health Department has begun the process of contact tracing.
As part of this process the Public Health Department is attending Red Bay Primary School today to test the entire class, relevant staff and families. That process is expected to expand more widely, as full contact tracing continues.
Further results from Red Bay Primary are expected later today and will guide further decisions with respect to the school and the wider community.
Public Health will directly contact those who have come in contact with persons who may be potentially exposed. Persons who are concerned for their health and that of their families are reminded that they can make their own appointments for testing via the Health Services Authority website, www.hsa.ky.
The Cayman Islands Government will continue to provide updates on this situation as it develops.