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How should I sit on the bus and boat?


We suggest sitting with an empty seat between someone who is not part of your family or group on all transport bus. During the duration of the boat tour, we suggest allowing each person or group space to access water or return to the vessel. Persons are asked to sit apart allowing a minimum of six feet between each group or part of the same family traveling together. Paper napkin used to wipe face should be placed in a trash can located next to vessel captain.




What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus, or the virus causing COVID-19, is a new strain of the coronavirus, which was first identified in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. The virus causing COVID-19 is a member of the coronavirus family (a group of viruses). This particular strain has never been encountered before. The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • fever

  • cough

  • shortness of breath

  • loss of Smell and Taste

These symptoms are usually mild but commonly occur within 1-10 days after a person has been exposed.



How serious is the COVID-19 outbreak?


Available evidence suggests that the majority of people who contract coronavirus will have a mild case and will recover within two weeks. However, elderly people and those with underlying health conditions are vulnerable to further complications and may require additional medical care if they contract the virus. There is no vaccine for the new strain of coronavirus at this stage. Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms and supporting bodily functions while your body fights the illness.


How long can the virus live outside the body?


If someone infected with the virus coughs onto their hand and then touches something, that surface may become contaminated. Door handles and lift buttons are a good example of a surface that might pose a risk.

It's not yet known how long the new coronavirus might be able to live on such surfaces. Experts suspect it is hours rather than days but it is best to wash your hands regularly to help reduce the risk of infection and the spread of the virus.

The coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. The virus spreads through small droplets from the nose or mouth when a person with coronavirus coughs or sneezes. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch coronavirus by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. People can also catch coronavirus if droplets land on them from a person with coronavirus. This is why it is important to stay more than 3 feet away from a person who is sick, preferably 6 feet.


In the Caribbean will warm weather kill the virus?


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is simply too soon to know how COVID-19 will react when the weather warms up in Spring and Summer.


Are tests for coronavirus being done locally?


Yes, though the first local samples were sent to the regional public health laboratory at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad.

Testing for the coronavirus (COVID-19) became available locally as of 16 March. The introduction of local testing significantly reduced the waiting period for confirmation of COVID-19 from 5-10 days to 24-48 hours.

Local testing currently takes place at the internationally accredited forensic lab at the Health Services Authority (HSA), in partnership with the HSA clinical lab. All inconclusive results and positive results are sent for cross-checking to CARPHA, along with 10% of our negative cases as part of regular quality assurance measures.

Testing capability may be expanded to include other local labs. Currently, testing for COVID-19 is free.

Testing occurs in a Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine. This is the recommended standard testing for COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and Public Health England (PHE). Facilities with patients meeting the criteria to be tested for COVID-19 will collect the sample and send it to the HSA for testing.


Do we have enough testing kits for coronavirus?


Currently, the Cayman Islands has an adequate supply of testing kits for COVID-19.

In the unlikely event that local testing is temporarily unavailable, including due to a lack of necessary reagents to conduct the tests, the Public Health Department will continue to send samples to the regional Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad.

It is also important to note that confirmation from laboratory testing that a patient has coronavirus (COVID-19) does not change the care they will receive. 80% of persons whom contract coronavirus will have mild symptoms that can be managed at home. For those who may require medical care, there is no particular treatment for this disease and patients will be provided with supportive care as required, such as oxygen to assist with breathing.


What are the criteria to be tested for coronavirus?


The guidelines for testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) are set out by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Public Health Department will test persons for coronavirus if:

  • they had contact with a person who is known to have coronavirus (COVID-19), including healthcare workers in contact with patients; or

  • they have flu-like symptoms (such as fever, cough, shortness of breath) and, in the 14 days before symptom onset, they traveled to a country that is known to have local transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19); or

  • they have a severe acute respiratory infection that has no other explanation, for example, if they have tested negative for influenza viruses ("the flu").

Following these protocols ensure we keep the population as safe as possible given the global reality that testing is limited. Testing criteria may develop further as we learn more about the virus, such as if there is evidence of community transmission, and as we see changes in the types of tests that are available globally or in our local capacity to conduct tests.

If you suspect you may have COVID-19, and present with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, please call the 24-hour Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 925-6327 (Flow) or 947-3077 (Digicel), or email


How many people are being tested in other countries?


The World Health Organization (WHO) is gathering data from around the world on confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) and deaths. These statistics and more are published in daily WHO Situation Reports. However, there is no central reporting system on the number of tests being conducted or what percentage of the population has been tested. Around the world, the number of tests and testing rates (i.e. persons tested as a percentage of the total population) varies widely for many different reasons. Not all countries and territories have official sources publishing the most up-to-date information on testing.


In the UK (which has a population of approximately 67 million), the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England, and the National Health Service work together to provide reliable and timely data, including details of testing, on their official website and other channels. Similarly, our Ministry of Health and Public Health Department work together to update our local dashboard regularly. You can always find the latest figures for the Cayman Islands on this website.





How do I dispose of household waste if I think I have or I have COVID-19?


If you or a household member’s COVID-19 test is positive or if you have been categorized as a suspected case for COVID-19 and await your test results you should follow the below Ministry of Health guidelines on how to dispose of your household waste.


You can securely store personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths within disposable garbage bags.


Household waste should be:


  • put in a garbage bag and tied when full

  • the bag should then be placed into a second bag

  • tied securely

  • kept separate from other garbage in your room and a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until your test results or the individual’s test results are known.

  • waste should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external or communal trash bin.

  • use gloves when removing garbage bags, handling, and disposing of trash if available. 

  • Always wash hands after handling or disposing of trash.


Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.


Continue to do this until you are re-tested and your results come back as negative.




When do we say someone has recovered from COVID-19?


The Public Health Department considers a person as recovered when a person who has tested positive has subsequently tested negative for the virus fourteen days after their positive test or after their symptoms have gone away (whichever is longer) in two tests done at least 24 hours apart.


Persons can be considered ‘recovered’ even if they did not present symptoms but had tested positive for COVID-19. For someone who has self-isolated with respiratory symptoms but has not been tested, they should continue with their self-isolation for fourteen days or until after their symptoms have gone away, whichever is longer. You are also asked to call the 24-hour Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 925-6327 (Flow) or 947-3077 (Digicel), or email ‘to seek further guidance regarding testing. It is important to remember that most people who acquire the virus will recover.

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