The Cayman Islands government does not have a finalised plan for how schools will respond to future COVID-19 cases in students, Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee said in a press conference this afternoon.
April Cummings, representing Radio Cayman, asked Dr. Lee if there is a specific ‘trigger point’ where schools will be closed in the future — whether it’s one case of COVID, multiple cases, etc.
Last year, Red Bay Primary School was closed after a student tested positive for COVID. Last week, George Town Primary School was closed after a student tested positive, and remains closed while a total of 17 students have tested positive so far.
Dr. Lee said health officials, along with the public, were “a little surprised” by the presence and spread of COVID in George Town Primary after a year of no community transmission.
“It happened earlier than we thought it would,” he said. “So our concern levels were naturally heightened right across the board.”
Dr. Lee said officials are creating “more detailed plans” for how schools will respond in the future. He said, “There’s a draft that’s already being circulated. I don’t have it to share with you today, but that plan is being drawn up.”
Earlier in the briefing, Premier Wayne Panton said Cabinet is considering an array of new COVID regulations “to be dealt with and published next week”.
The current Ministry of Education guidance on COVID to schools calls for mandatory masking for all students who can wear masks independently, and also other measures such as maintaining 3 feet of social distancing. Those measures are not yet in effect, and would be subject to ‘activation’ by the ministry or public health officials.
Read our story on the Ministry’s guidance:
Ministry guidance: Masks for all school staff, students who are able to wear them unaided