It’s everyone’s responsibility to help fight and contain the spread of COVID-19 in our community and now with more widespread testing available, this has become much more achievable.
Two types of COVID-19 tests have been introduced as part of the Cayman Islands Government’s aim to prevent and control the spread of the virus. These include Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) that are usually performed at home and have up to 99.9% accuracy when performed correctly, and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests that are performed under medical supervision with high accuracy and are tested in a laboratory.
Here’s why testing is a key part of living with COVID-19 in the Cayman Islands community.
Protects Valuable Communities
According to the NHS, 1 in 3 people don’t have COVID-19 symptoms even when they are infected (also known as asymptomatic). This means they can infect vulnerable people like the elderly or immunocompromised without realising it.
Both tests work to detect the virus even if you don’t have symptoms, so you can isolate early and reduce the chances of infecting others, particularly vulnerable communities.
Even those who will start to show symptoms have an incubation period of 2-14 days. This means during this time you are infected and infectious and can spread the virus (pre-symptomatic). From essential and frontline workers, to multi-generational homes, anyone who naturally comes into contact with a lot of people day-to-day could be a super spreader of the COVID-19 virus without knowing it.
Performing routine lateral flow tests gives you an early indication of infection and lets you know when to isolate as soon as possible. Regular testing can prevent high-spread situations, like attending events, work, school, or situations where you’ll be meeting in groups or crowded indoor places.
In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic there was no global capacity for testing because healthcare workers were busy focusing on the influx of patients. Now, there is increased capacity and the development of PCR and rapid tests like the LFT means you can get results as quickly as 15-30 minutes. With these fast results you can receive early treatment which reduces the severity and long-term effects of the virus, particularly for vulnerable groups like the elderly.
Testing can help you get the treatment you need to fight the virus in the beginning before it does lasting damage or becomes fatal.
It’s a requirement to report your positive lateral flow test, and your PCR test results are logged by the healthcare facility that tests you.
Testing and having the ability to identify areas that have a wider spread of the infection like high-touchpoint areas can help see where the risk can be reduced and act accordingly to protect people. Getting clear information also leads to quicker reaction times from the Cayman Islands Government when rolling out policies to keep you safe and protect both lives and our economy.
COVID-19 testing plays a key role in helping us prevent, protect, and detect COVID-19 in our community as well as reduce the spread of infections caused by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals. But, ultimately, it requires the efforts of the entire Cayman community to keep us all safe.
Lateral Flow Testing General Guidance: https://www.exploregov.ky/lft-policy/lft-general-guidance
Testing policy: https://www.exploregov.ky/lft-policy
Report a positive test result: https://www.exploregov.ky/report-covid19-result
Book a PCR test: https://www.hsa.ky/appointment/