Dr Brink reassured that four cases are in cluster

THE source of the four known cases of Covid-19 in the island has not yet been discovered, but the positive tests are from individuals who are all linked to each other and there are no plans at this stage to step back towards lockdown.

Dr Nicola Brink, the Director of Public Health, spoke out last night in order to allay some of the fears in the community.

‘If I’d had four cases that were spread across the island and were unrelated then I would be really concerned because you’d have four independent events occurring, but because we’ve got the four cases that are linked closely in a cluster, that is reassuring to us.

‘There are no plans at this stage to take a step back. What we want to do at the moment is thoroughly investigate what we’ve got and precisely define what the extent of it is, because we’ve done a lot of testing but there’s still more testing to do.’

In March the island went into lockdown soon after a single case of so-called ‘community seeding’ with no travel history was discovered.

However, Dr Brink stressed that the situation now was completely different.

Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink with the latest Covid-19 information. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28831364)

For instance, the island no longer sends its samples to the UK, where the swab to result time used to take around four to five days.

The local testing capacity is over 500 per day, and very soon it will be over 2,000 per day.

On Tuesday, 188 people were tested, and yesterday around 300 people gave samples, with 200 test results due to come out of the laboratory late last night.

Dr Brink sounded calm and confident that the cluster was under control.

‘We have a greatly enhanced testing capacity, we can test as much as we need to.

‘The cluster that we’re looking at now are clearly linked, we’ve tested around that, so we’ve tested businesses, we’ve tested family members, and we’ve found the three new cases but no other cases at all.

‘The process is working, it’s what we’re trained and drilled to do, and we’ve gone back into our operational activity seamlessly.’

Investigations to discover the origin of the new cluster are ongoing.

The so-called ‘index case’ of this cluster was found when the individual requested a test prior to travel, and the team of contact tracers discovered the three subsequent positives.

Speculation on social media that the cluster was linked to a large event last Friday night has been ruled as false by Dr Brink.

A live Covid-19 press conference will take place at 1pm today, and it is likely to involve the newly-elected members of the Civil Contingencies Authority.

Guernsey Press comment on Page 14 of today's paper.

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