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11 minute read

A Primer on Isolation

Cayman Islands Government
Published: April 28 2020
Last Updated: May 9, 2022

Isolation FAQs

If you test positive on an LFT, you must isolate immediately and report your result on www.exploregov.ky/report-covid19-result or www.gov.ky/coronavirus.  

Public Health will advise when it is safe for you to be released from isolation.  

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.

This section covers questions relating to isolation as a result of testing positive for COVID-19 in the Cayman Islands. Click the links below to skip to the relevant questions or scroll down to read more:

  1. What does isolation mean?
  2. What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
  3. Who should isolate?
  4. How long does isolation last?
  5. Does my entire family go into isolation with me?
  6. I'm finding this difficult. What do I do?
  7. What happens after I take my exit PCR test?
  8. How do I Isolate?
  9. Who can I contact regarding my specific situation?

 

What does isolation mean?

Isolation means you need to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people. The Department of Public Health will advise when it is safe for you to be released. There are no exceptions, including to shop for groceries and other necessities.

If you are isolating, you need to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people for a set period of time as advised by the Department of Public Health.
 

It is important to follow this advice for the whole period, even if you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.

DO

  • Stay at home
  • 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

  • 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
  • As of Thursday, 15 July, 2021, you cannot remove or pass, or permit the removal or passing of, any item from quarantine or isolation.

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 COVID-19 positive individuals even if they don’t have symptoms. If there is a chance you have contracted COVID-19 and are not displaying any symptoms, you can take a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) to determine if you need to isolate. Positive LFTs must be reported to Public Health immediately. 
 
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who may have been exposed to COVID-19, such as travellers or unvaccinated close contacts of COVID-19 positive persons, in a manner as designated by the Medical Officer of Health. If a person tests positive while in quarantine, they will then isolate as directed by Public Health.
 
Whether you are in quarantine or isolation, you must remain indoors for as long as you are advised, avoiding all physical contact with other people.
 
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.

 

Who should isolate?

Persons are required to isolate if

  • you are experiencing symptoms that include:
    • coughing
    • shortness of breath
    • fever
  • you have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus
  • you have been advised to do so by the Public Health Department

 

How long does isolation last?

Vaccinated persons are required to isolate for 6 days and become eligible for an exit PCR test on Day 7

Unvaccinated persons are required to isolate for 9 days and become eligible for an exit PCR test on Day 10

Unvaccinated children 0-11 years isolate based on the vaccination status of their parent/guardian.

Note: The day of your original positive PCR test is considered Day 0.

 

Does my entire family go into isolation with me?

If you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 and have tested positive, there are protocols for all other persons in your household.

Vaccinated persons in the household must conduct daily lateral flow tests for 7 days, but may continue usual activities so long as they continue to test negative. 

Unvaccinated adults in the household of a positive must isolate for 10 days. 

Unvaccinated children under the age of 18 in the household of a positive must conduct daily lateral flow tests for 7 days, but may continue usual activities so long as they continue to test negative. 

If an individual in your household receives a positive LFT result, that individual must: 

    • stay at home and 
    • contact Public Health immediately.

You must tell Public Health about this and Public Health will advise the date of the PCR test they must take. Public Health will also confirm final approval for release.

 

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, 9 am to 5 pm.

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 isolationsupport@gov.ky

The Isolation Support Line’s operational hours are from 9 am to 4 pm from Monday to Friday, and from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday. Calls on Saturday and Sunday will be forwarded to the Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) Duty Officer.

 

what happens after I take my exit PCR test?

After testing, you must return directly home without making stops, until your PCR test result has been received with further instructions.  

 

How Do I Isolate? 

Here's the recommended process for isolating in order to prevent the transmission of coronavirus if you are in the Cayman Islands.
 
How to self isolate - Stay in your home

1. Stay at home

You should remain in your home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis. You cannot go for a walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to self isolate - Separate yourself from your family2. Separate Yourself

Minimise the time you spend in shared spaces such as bathrooms, kitchens and sitting rooms as much as possible and keep shared spaces well ventilated.

Aim to keep three feet away from people you live with and sleep in a different bed where possible. If you can, use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household. Make sure you use separate towels from other people in your house, both for drying yourself after bathing or showering and for hand-hygiene purposes. Ask your family or the people you live with to remember to use their own towels.

 

How to self isolate - use separate facilities

3. Separate Facilities

If you do share the toilet and bathroom with others, it is important that you clean them after you have used them every time (for example, wiping surfaces you have come into contact with). Another tip is to consider drawing up a rota for bathing, with you using the facilities last, before thoroughly cleaning the bath, sink and toilet yourself.

If you share a kitchen with others, avoid using it while others are present. Take your meals back to your room to eat. If you have one, use a dishwasher to clean and dry your used crockery and cutlery. If this is not possible, wash them using your usual washing up liquid and warm water and dry them thoroughly, remembering to use a separate tea towel.

We understand that it will be difficult for some people to separate themselves from others at home. You should do your very best to follow this guidance and everyone in your household should regularly wash their hands, avoid touching their face and clean frequently touched surfaces.

a. If you live alone with children

Keep following this advice to the best of your ability, however we are aware that not all these measures will be possible.

What we have seen so far is that children with COVID-19 appear to be less severely affected. It is nevertheless important to do your best to follow this guidance.

If a child develops symptoms, they need to stay at home for 14 days from the onset of their symptoms.

b. If you live with an older, vulnerable or pregnant person

If you provide care to an elderly, vulnerable or pregnant person, follow this advice to the best of your ability.

c. If you are breastfeeding while infected

There is currently no clinical evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted through breast milk. Infection can be spread to the baby in the same way as to anyone in close contact with you. The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breast milk or by being in close contact with your child, however, this will be an individual decision and can be discussed with your general practitioner. 

If you wish to breastfeed, take precautions to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 to the baby by:

  • washing your hands before touching the baby, breast pump or bottles
  • avoiding coughing or sneezing on the baby while feeding at the breast
  • cleaning any breast pump as recommended by the manufacturer after each use
  • considering asking someone who is well to feed your expressed breast milk to the baby

If you are feeding with formula or expressed milk, sterilise the equipment carefully before each use. You should not share bottles or a breast pump with someone else. You can find more information at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website.

 

Use delivery services if you are self-isolating

4. Arrange Deliveries

You will need to ask friends or relatives if you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication. You can also order your shopping online as some supermarkets offer delivery services. Make sure you tell delivery drivers to leave items outside for collection if you order online. The delivery driver should not come into your home.

 

 

 

Do not have visitors during self-isolation5. No Visitors

During your self-isolation, the household can have no visitors. There must be no movement inside or outside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avoid pets during self-isolation from COVID-19

6. Avoid pets

There is no evidence that pets can be infected with coronavirus. However, it is good practice to wash your hands after contact.

 

 

 

 

 

How Do I get Help?

There is 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 isolationsupport@gov.ky.

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.

 
 
 
If you are seeking industry-specific guidance on LFT testing and isolation, visit here.
 

Tags: FAQs, self-isolation, covid19 basics, quarantine