In The Isolation F.A.Qs
This section covers questions relating to isolation as a result of COVID-19 in the Cayman Islands. Click the links below to skip to the relevant questions or scroll down to read more:
- What does isolation mean?
- What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
- Why is 14 days required for isolation?
- Who should isolate?
- Does my entire family go into isolation with me?
- What if children needs to be isolated? Are they separated from their parents?
- How will isolated patients be monitored?
- Will Public Health staff check on me and my family?
- I'm finding this difficult. What do I do?
- If I have flu-like symptoms and am tested for Covid-19, should I isolate at home?
What does isolation mean?
Isolation means you need to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people for a minimum of 14 days. There are no exceptions, including to shop for groceries and other necessities.
It is important to follow this advice for the whole period, even if you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Stay at home
- Separate yourself from other people in your household – for example, try not to be in the same room as other people at the same time
- Only allow people who live with you to stay or visit
- Stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened
- Ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out errands for your such as getting groceries, medicines or other shopping
- Make sure you tell delivery drivers to leave items outside for collection
- Clean toilets and bathrooms regularly
- Think about a bathroom rotation if a separate bathroom is not available, with the isolated person using the facilities last, before thoroughly cleaning the bathroom themselves
- Use separate sheets and towels from anyone else in the household and launder at the hottest temperature possible for the material
- Wash crockery and utensils thoroughly with soap and water; dishwashers may be used to clean crockery and cutlery
- There is no evidence pets can be infected with coronavirus; however, it is good practice to wash your hands after contact
- Don't invite visitors to your home or allow visitors to enter
- Don't go to work, school or public areas
- Don't use public transport or taxis
- Don't share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with other people in your home
What's The Difference Between Isolation and Quarantine?
Isolation and quarantine are both ways to protect the public from a contagious disease but they are slightly different. Here's how:
Isolation separates potentially infected people from the community, even if they don’t have symptoms — you should isolate if you think there is a chance that you might have COVID-19.
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who may have been exposed to a communicable disease (in this case COVID-19) in a manner as designated by the Medical Officer of Health. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms at all. In the Cayman Islands, you quarantine after travelling to the Cayman Islands (see our travel information) and when told to by our Public Health Department during contact tracing. Breaches of the Public Health Act may attract penalties of up to two years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. You can report suspected breaches of quarantine here.
Why is a minimum of 14 days Generally required for isolation?
Evidence from confirmed cases suggests the incubation period for virus responsible for COVID-19 is 14 days. During this time, the patient will begin to display symptoms and will be able to transmit the virus to others if they are not isolated.
Who should isolate?
If there's a chance you could have COVID-19 you should isolate. This includes if you have symptoms, if you had contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus, or if you have travelled from an affected area.
Even if you have no symptoms of COVID-19, you should isolate for a minimum of 14 days to help reduce the possible spread of infection.
If you entered the Cayman Islands on or after Monday, 16 March 2020, you are required to quarantine along with all other members of your household.
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, such as coughing, fever, tiredness or breathing difficulties, contact the 24-hour Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 345-947-3077 to inform the Health Services Authority and seek medical advice. Alternatively, you may contact your regular General Practitioner via phone. Do not go to a hospital or other healthcare provider unless you require emergency care. In the event of an emergency, dial 911.
If you get COVID-19, you will have to remain in isolation until you test negative twice. It is best to prepare for this scenario by ensuring you have at least two weeks’ supply of pain relievers such as Tylenol or Paracetamol (acetaminophen), soap or hand sanitisers, tissues, food and other items that will ensure your comfort while you are at home.
Does my entire family go into isolation with me?
Yes. If you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, anyone who has been in contact with you, including your household, needs to go into isolation as well.
If you are quarantining due to recent travel, even if no one is displaying symptoms the entire household must go into isolation as well.
What if children needs to be isolated? Are they separated from their parents?
Families who live or have travelled together would isolate together. In most cases, a child would not be travelling alone and would therefore be quarantined with their family on arrival in the Cayman Islands since they were in close contact with each other.
If a child needed to be isolated in their own right, this would need to be considered on a case by case basis.
How will isolated patients be monitored?
The Public Health Department has extensive experience in monitoring people at home who have infectious diseases, and supporting the people affected through the period of isolation.
Will Public Health staff check on me and my family?
Yes, if you are isolating at the direction of the Public Health Department, staff will check on you daily in person or by phone.
I'm finding this difficult. What do I do?
For some people isolation can be boring or frustrating. You may find your mood and feelings being affected and you may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping.
There are simple things you can do that may help, such as staying in touch with friends and relatives on the phone or by social media and you may find it helpful to talk to them, if you want to.
Do know that it is okay to not be okay, but please try not to panic. Caring professionals are here for you. Call 1-800-534-6463 (MIND) to speak to our Mental Health Helpline from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
There is also a support line available for people in isolation, which can be reached by calling 946-3530. The Isolation Support Line is also available toll free by calling 1-800-534-3530, and by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Isolation Support Line’s operational hours are from 9a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and from 9a.m. to 1p.m. on Saturday. Calls on Saturday and Sunday will be forwarded to the Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) Duty Officer.