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TCI still at Level 4 COVID risk, but why?



#TurksandCaicos, May 19, 2021 – This morning the Turks and Caicos Islands remain at Level 4 alert on the Centers for Disease Control’s rating which informs:  ‘Travelers should avoid all travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands, because of the current situation … that even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and Americans should avoid all travel to the TCI.’

It has long been stated the classification for the Turks and Caicos is too harsh and today, with active cases down to three and hospitalisations at three, it makes one wonder what it takes to be considered a safe destination, from the CDC’s vantage point.

TCI Ministry of Health data reveals that from the start of May to now, only 13 positives for Covid-19 have been found out of 1,159, gold standard PCR tests performed by the National Public Health Laboratory. 

The Minister of Health has informed that the infection rate is below the three per cent threshold and even lower when the antigen tests are factored in. 

In roughly 18 days, which is from start of the month to now, there have been 15,434 antigen tests performed; this is largely of guests to the Turks and Caicos and carried out by any one of 15 authorised testing centers which includes some resorts. 

Yet new infections remained low at 13. 

Aside from a new Covid-19 case in South Caicos, captured on yesterday’s dashboard, all virus patients had been restricted to the most populated island of Providenciales, which started the month at 26 and is now down to two. 

Deaths have thankfully remained at 17 and when it comes to the uptake of the vaccine; the jump in seven days was 1,583 when you compare the May 2nd and May 9th vaccination dashboards.  This put the Turks and Caicos a mere 5,485 people off the goal of 70 per cent or 25,000 adults (fully) vaccinated in order to achieve the so called, ‘herd immunity’. 

The Level 4 travel warning is hurtful to tourism, the #1 industry; there have been cancellations and concerns about the safety of the destination.

When former Premier, Sharlene Robinson announced on January 12, 2021 the country had returned to the CDC’s Level 4 high-risk-list; the Turks and Caicos was experiencing a surge in new cases and fresh outbreaks in the islands.  Active cases were 185, with double digit growth almost daily.

At the start of his journey in February as the minster for health, Hon E Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier of the TCI said the goal would be to increase testing, increase vaccinations and hopefully see a lower infection rate due to the various restrictions and protocols in place.

It appears the goals are met and being met, yet the Turks and Caicos – with the dramatic changes, sees no change, at least not yet. 


Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.


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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Vassel Johnson, received the honour in 1994; he was Cayman’s first Financial Secretary; he died in November 2008 at the age of 86.

Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”

Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.

Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour.  Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands.  In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”

Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.


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