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Chief Minister's statement on COVID-19 - 6 September 2020

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Well good morning everyone.

I am back at the podium a little sooner than I had expected.

I am sure that given the short notice of this briefing and the fact that we are doing it at all on a Sunday, you know what I am about to tell you.

Late yesterday evening, a case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the Isle of Man.

First and foremost I would like to emphasise that there is no cause for concern.

The positive test result came from a resident who was in self-isolation, having recently returned to the Island. 

This individual has been self-isolating alone at home for seven days. The individual concerned has not been outside of their home during that time. They have told us that they have complied with all of the instructions issued to them on their return. They will now continue their self-isolation until we know they pose no risk to others.

It was – sadly - inevitable that COVID-19 would return to the Island at some stage.  We have said so on a number of occasions now. We should not be disheartened by this.

The robust processes and procedures we have in place have worked precisely as they were designed to, meaning that this single case is contained and the risk to our community is extremely low.

Our contact tracing team will of course work to ensure that there are no loose ends. But knowing what we know at this moment, the situation is as positive as we may have hoped.

Work is now underway, through our contact tracing protocol, to identify and reach anyone who may have come in to close contact with this person.  Only those at high risk of exposure – that is someone who has been in close proximity to this person for longer than fifteen minutes with no PPE – will be asked to self-isolate, and even then only as a precaution.

While we can no longer say we have no cases on the Island, we have no reason at present to think that we have COVID in our community.

I want to make clear that there will be no change in our approach to coronavirus at this stage.  You are free to continue going about your daily lives as normal and schools will resume on Wednesday.  The roll-out of optional “Day 7” testing for returning residents - which I announced on Thursday - will still go live tomorrow as planned.

The compassion and solidarity everyone on our Island has shown throughout this pandemic has been an outstanding quality of our community’s response.

Today, one of our own is at home with the knowledge that they have tested positive for COVID, and they will undoubtedly be concerned.

I am sure you will join me in wishing them the very best over the coming days and in thanking them for acting responsibly.

It is by doing the right thing and following the rules in place that we will protect our community from the impact of a return of the virus.

I will now hand over to Minister Ashford, who will say a few words.


Thank you David.  I am now happy to take questions from the media.

Thank you for those questions.

Throughout this pandemic our community has done everything that has been asked of it in order to protect our Island.  Whilst today’s announcement should not cause concern, it serves as a reminder that we cannot let down our guard, and that we all have a duty to be responsible by sticking to the basics. I know you know what they are, but please bear with me if I say them one more time.

  • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 – a temperature, a cough, or a loss of taste or smell – then you must self-isolate immediately and call 111 between 8am and 8pm for advice and to arrange a test.
  • If you cough or sneeze – catch it in a tissue or the crook of your elbow; kill it by using hand sanitiser, washing your hands and sanitising surfaces; and remember to bin used tissues.
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for at least twenty seconds.

I know this news is not what any of us would have wanted.  But in true Manx fashion, we will pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and move forward resiliently as an Island.

That’s all for this morning – my thanks for your time and I hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday.