Sadly, tonight I am reporting another COVID related death,” said Minister of Health, Kim Wilson, JP, MP. “I extend heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. Our thoughts and prayers remain with you at this time”
The Ministry of Health received 3543 test results since the last update, and 191 were positive for the coronavirus, giving a test positivity rate of 5.4%.
These results are from testing done on Tuesday, September 14.
10 of the new cases are classified as imported with a history of travel in the previous 14 days.
The additional 181 new cases are classified as either local transmission or remain under investigation.
Additionally, since the last update, there have been 35 recoveries and one death.
There are 1238 active cases, of which:
● 1187 are under public health monitoring and
● 51 are in hospital, with 13 in intensive care
Since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 4218 confirmed coronavirus cases, out of which 2942 have recovered, and sadly 38 COVID related deaths.
The source of all active cases is as follows:
● 88 are Imported
● 213 are classified as local transmission of which:
o 213 are Local transmission with known contact/source and
o 0 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source
● 937 are Under Investigation
Active cases by vaccination status, transmission, and type:
• Imported cases: 84% are fully vaccinated, and 16% are not vaccinated
• Local/Under Investigation cases: 27% are fully vaccinated, and 73% are not vaccinated
• Variant typing is not available at this time due to the prioritisation of test results.
The source of all confirmed cases is as follows:
• 549 are Imported
• 2648 are classified as local transmission of which:
o 2121 are Local transmission with known contact/source and
o 528 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source
• 1021 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 1.38. Bermuda’s current country status is Clusters of Cases. However, local data continues to indicate that Bermuda meets the criteria for Community Transmission. Community transmission is characterised by an increased incidence of locally acquired, widely dispersed cases, with many cases not linked to specific clusters.
“Our situation is critical,” said Minister of Health, Kim Wilson, JP, MP. “This outbreak continues to spread fast, it is everywhere in our community and, at the risk of causing panic, it is only a matter of time before the situation is unmanageable.”
“The hospital, public and private labs, contact tracers, testers, indeed, our entire healthcare sector, are all under tremendous pressure. They are doing a fabulous job, and I cannot commend them enough. But we must all do our part to help ease this pressure.”
“To be exceptionally clear, please take individual responsibility for your health and safety. I cannot stress enough how important it is to follow all public health guidance. Wear a mask at all times when you are within 6 ft of other people. Avoid crowded places and closed spaces. Please Bermuda, minimise your movements and keep to your family bubbles.”
The Bermuda Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices (BACIP) met yesterday and agreed that booster vaccines be recommended for Bermuda.
“This is great news,” added Minister of Health, Kim Wilson, JP, MP. “The recommended target groups for booster vaccines are persons who have immunosuppressing conditions and Chronic Health Diseases, health care workers, essential workers and persons older than 50.”
“Boosters will be an mRNA vaccine, such as the Pfizer, and will be given six months from the primary course of vaccination. The Ministry of Health is currently working out the delivery details.”
BACIP provides guidance on the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine. BACIP, in its evidence-based, advisory role, will provide transparency and credibility to the decision-making process and contribute to building public confidence in the vaccination program.
“I am also pleased to announce that over the weekend we are launching a new automated process for notifying COVID positive patients and named close contacts of their status and their need to isolate or quarantine,” added Minister Wilson.
“When a test result comes back positive, persons will be notified via the email address provided on their test booking. The notification email will include necessary information on the steps the person who tested must take with respect to isolation and other matters. It will also include a link to an online form that allows the positive person to list off their close contacts, so they can be notified as well about their exposure, without disclosing who the positive person is. This new automated process replaces a manual process of phone calls and emails that the contact tracing team was using to notify positives and close contacts. The automatic email notification will replace the many calls contact tracers must make to ensure residents know they are positive and their close contacts know they have been exposed.”
“This is a great tool to assist our contact tracers who are overwhelmed due to the sheer number of cases. Please provide an email address on your test booking if you want to benefit from this speedier notification process. If you test positive, please read the entire letter carefully and provide the contact details that are requested. We all must work together to help stop the spread of the virus in our community.”
“Please take note, if you or anyone in your household is feeling ill, even slightly ill, stay home. I cannot stress this enough. We are seeing far too many cases appear because people are either going to work ill, or sending their children to school or camps with symptoms. Remember the 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.”
“Also, please take your medically fit for discharge family members home. The hospital is under tremendous pressure, and they need the space for additional admissions, not all of which are COVID related. An overwhelmed hospital with no available beds puts critically ill patients at risk. Anyone who can be discharged must leave the hospital to free up much-needed bed space.”
Minister Wilson concluded, “Bermuda please remember, we are our brother’s keeper. We must act responsibly and adhere to the public health guidelines. Bermuda, we are in a very serious situation and in order to get through this, we must take responsibility for ourselves and others in our community”.
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.
The WeHealth app is designed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by anonymously notifying other app users of potential exposure to COVID-19. WeHealth has sent many notifications since the beginning of this outbreak that have aided in people protecting themselves and their families. We urge all Bermudians and visitors to the island to download the app now from the App Store or Google Play
If a person tests positive for the coronavirus, they will receive a randomised verification code from the Ministry of Health by eMail. If they are already a WeHealth App user, they should enter that code into the app, and it will then enable other WeHealth app users to discover that they were in close proximity to an infected person, even if they do not know that person. Because WeHealth Bermuda does not use or collect personal information or track users’ locations, these notifications will be completely anonymous.
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