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Aerial view of coastline of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (Photo: The Guardian)

Cayman surpasses 100 COVID-19 cases as island begins to reopen

Aerial view of coastline of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (Photo: The Guardian)

The number of positive coronavirus cases in the Cayman Islands rose to at least 111 on Tuesday, according to numbers reported by the island’s Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee.

Coronavirus cases in the Cayman Islands rose to at least 111 on Tuesday.

This comes just days after Premier Alden McLaughlin announced that the island was entering a new stage, level 3, in its phased reopening of the economy, with construction and other workers slated to return to work this week.

“Of those 1,182 results there are 17 positive people who were all found through the screening programme that was instituted three weeks ago,” said Lee, speaking at a COVID-19 press briefing.

“We’d like that when we come out of the lockdown completely, that we don’t have to go back there.”

– Cayman’s Premier Alden McLaughlin

“Of these 17 screening people who are positive, two were from Cayman Brac and two are from Her Majesty’s Prison Northwood,” added Lee

He also shared that the island’s daily positive rate is on average 1.44 per cent, a figure he said varies between nought and a high of 2.57 per cent.

Further, the rate was calculated by taking the number of people who are positive locally on the day and dividing that number by the number of tests performed.

The Cayman Islands has begun a phased reopening of its economy.

Governor Martyn Roper also addressed the press briefing noting that while the figures were concerning, people should bear in mind that the new positive cases were recorded over a four-day period.

“As we open up the economy, please don’t let your guard down,” stressed Roper.

The Premier noted that the economy would continue to reopen in a very controlled and managed way.

An aerial view of Grand Cayman (Photo: Visit Cayman)

“So the economy is reopening, but deliberately fairly slowly, and we want this to be a success, we do not want to suffer the setbacks that many other countries who have reopened have and have had to go back into some measure of lockdown,” said McLaughlin

“We’d like that when we come out of the lockdown completely, that we don’t have to go back there. Although, for the foreseeable future we will all have to continue to practice the social behaviours that have now become common,” added McLaughlin.

 McLaughlin on Friday, (May 15) loosened some shelter-in-place measures, allowing Caymanians to once again visit beaches and use community facilities, like pools and tennis courts, following news that nine per cent of the island’s population had been tested.

–Denieca Brown