The Ministry of Health received 6074 test results since the last update, and 192 were positive for the coronavirus, giving Bermuda a test positivity rate of 3.2%.
Because of this growing outbreak and the current volume of coronavirus testing on the island, today’s results are from testing done on Monday and Tuesday only:
· Monday: 65 positive out of 2465 results (2.6% positivity)
· Tuesday: 127 positive out of 3609 results (3.5% positivity)
16 of the new cases are classified as imported with history of travel in the previous 14 days, with details as follows:
· 1 resident who arrived via British Airways BA 159 from London on 27 August and tested positive on their day 10 test
· 2 resident who arrived via American Airlines AA 1863 from Charlotte on 28 August and tested positive on their day 10 test
· 1 resident who arrived via Jet Blue B61731 from New York on 28 August and tested positive on their day 10 test
· 3 residents who arrived via Delta Airline DL 584 from Atlanta on 28 August and tested positive on their day 10 test
· 1 resident who arrived via British Airways BA 159 from London on 29 August and tested positive on their outbound test
· 1 non-resident who arrived via Delta Airline DL 617 from New York on 29 August and tested positive on their outbound test
· 1 resident who arrived via Delta Airline DL 584 from Atlanta on 2 September and tested positive on their day 4 test
· 1 non-resident who arrived via Air Canada AC 942 from Toronto on 3 September and tested positive on their day 4 test
· 1 non-resident who arrived via British Airways BA 159 from London on 3 September and tested positive on their day 4 test
· 1 non-resident who arrived via Jet Blue B61731 from New York on 4 September and tested positive on their outbound test
· 3 residents who arrived via Jet Blue B61731 from New York on 7 September and tested positive on their arrival test
24 of the new cases are classified as local transmission with known contact as associated with known cases.
The additional 152 new cases are classified as under investigation. These cases are among residents with no currently identified link to other known cases or history of travel in the past 14 days.
Additionally, since the last update, there have been 51 recoveries and no deaths.
There are 613 active cases, of which:
· 585 are under public health monitoring and
· 28 are in hospital with 5 in intensive care
Since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 3465 confirmed coronavirus cases, out of which 2817 have recovered, and sadly 35 COVID related deaths.
The source of all active cases is as follows:
· 63 are Imported
· 192 are classified as local transmission of which:
· 192 are Local transmission with known contact/source and
· 0 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source
· 358 are Under Investigation
Active cases by vaccination status, transmission, and type:
· Imported cases: 50 (79%) are fully vaccinated and 13 (21%) are not vaccinated
· Local/Under Investigation cases: 141 (26%) are fully vaccinated and 409 (74%) are not vaccinated
· 0 are Alpha, 0 are Beta, 49 (8%) are Delta, 0 are Gamma, 0 are wildtype, 10 (2%) are not able to be determined and 554 (90%) are not available
The source of all confirmed cases is as follows:
· 511 are Imported
· 2553 are classified as local transmission of which:
o 2040 are Local transmission with known contact/source and
o 513 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source
· 401 are Under Investigation
As investigations proceed, transmission categories may change. For information regarding age distributions and overall transmission categories, please refer to https://www.gov.bm/coronavirus-covid19-update.
The seven-day average of our real-time reproduction number is above 1. Local data indicates that Bermuda currently meets the criteria for Community Transmission. Community transmission is characterised by an increased incidence of locally acquired, widely dispersed cases, with many of the cases not linked to specific clusters.
“If this outbreak continues to spread at this rate, the consequences are dire,” said Kim Wilson, JP, MP, Minister of Health. “We know that the less mixing and movement there is in the community, the less the virus will spread. We would rather not increase restrictions as the reality is that Bermuda cannot afford to go back into lockdown. However, it depends on all of us taking responsibility for our own actions. I would encourage all persons for the next 2 weeks to minimise their movements and keep to their family bubbles.”
“At the risk of sounding like a broken record, everyone must follow all Public Health Regulations and guidance and take measures to ensure that they protect themselves and their family from exposure to the coronavirus.”
“Stay at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with you. Masks must be worn indoors, except when eating or drinking. Wear a mask outdoors if physical distancing is not possible or if it is a crowded place. Do not touch your face or cough or sneeze in your hands. Sanitise your hands before touching shared utensils at family gatherings. Wash hands or use hand sanitiser thoroughly and frequently.”
“COVID-19 can seem like a mild cold or allergies. If you or anyone in your household has any symptoms, stay home, isolate and contact your doctor. Potential COVID-19 symptoms include sore throat, headache, stuffy/runny nose, sneezing, cough, diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, muscle/body aches, shortness of breath, or the loss of taste and smell.”
If you test positive for COVID-19, you will need to isolate (separate from others) for 14 days. You must get tested on your Day 14 to ensure you are not still infected.
Additionally, due to the sheer number of cases we are asking for assistance in contacting close contacts to reduce further spread. If you receive a positive result, please immediately contact anyone you had close contact with (closer than 6 feet) from 2 days before your test date or 2 days before your symptoms started.
Tell your close contacts that they need to quarantine for 14 days and test on day 14 to exit quarantine. After creating a list of “close contacts,” send the list to the case management team at the Ministry of Health at (email@example.com). Please provide name, phone number and email address of close contacts. The case management team will then send letters with quarantine guidance to those identified close contacts.
Minister Wilson added, “I must also remind restaurants, bars and clubs that in addition to SafeKey there is still a requirement to collect contact tracing information. This information is an essential part of controlling outbreaks and is the main way to stop further spread.”
“Patrons must provide accurate and legible contact tracing information including full name, phone number, home address, email address, date and time of arrival. This also applies to all large group gatherings; contact details of attendees must be recorded.”
“Establishments that are required to use SafeKey, must verify the validity of the SafeKey by going to verify.gov.bm and must compare the details to the customer’s identification.”
“Also, given the current outbreak, those people who require time-sensitive outbound travel tests should use the services of one of the private labs, Helix Genetic and Scientific Solutions, helixbermuda.bm, or C & S West Limited, cswest.bm. Both of these labs are certified to carry out COVID-19 testing and diagnostics. The MDL is processing thousands of tests each day, and for those who must travel, a private lab may be a quicker option at this time.”
“The vaccine against Covid-19 is our best chance of protecting ourselves from serious illness and keeping our community safe. The United States Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval to Pfizer's vaccine. It has been proven safe and I strongly encourage people who have not been vaccinated to do so now. The more people vaccinated the better chance we stand at reducing the spread of this outbreak.”
The vaccine clinic at the King Edward Memorial Hospital is open for appointments and walk-ins, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 pm – 7 pm, and Saturdays from 8 am – 4 pm.
Each of us has a role to play in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Follow Public Health guidelines, wear a mask, practice good hand hygiene, maintain physical distance and download the WeHealth Bermuda app.
Never forget to avoid the 3Cs: closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings.