15 New Positive Coronavirus Cases Identified Today

The Ministry of Health received 8455 test results since the last update, and 15 were positive for COVID-19. This gives a test positivity rate of 0.2%.
These results are from testing done on the following dates:

·         Thursday, July 22nd: 4 positive out of 2622 results (0.2% positivity)
·         Friday, July 23rd: 3 positive out of 2151 results (0.1% positivity)
·         Saturday, July 24th: 6 positive out of 1945 results (0.3% positivity)
·         Sunday, July 25th: 2 positive out of 1737 results (0.1% positivity)

Nine (9) of the new cases are classified as imported with details as follows:
• 3 non-residents who arrived on American Airlines AA 825 from Philadelphia on 17 July 2021 of which 2 tested positive on their outbound tests and 1 tested positive on their Day 8 test
•1 non-resident who arrived on British Airways BA 159 from London on 22 July 2021 and tested positive on their arrival test
• 1 resident who arrived on British Airways BA 159 from London on 15 July 2021 and tested positive on their Day 8 test
• 1 resident who arrived on American Airlines AA 2044 from Charlotte on 20 July 2021 and tested positive on their Day 4 test
• 2 residents who arrived on American Airlines AA 914 from Miami on 24 July 2021 and tested positive on their arrival test
1 resident who arrived on United Airlines UA 1985 from Newark on 19 July 2021 and tested positive on their day 4 test

4 of the new cases are classified as local transmission with known contact as associated with known cases.

The additional 2 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 were seven (7) recoveries and no deaths.

There are currently 25 active cases, of which;
·         25 are under public health monitoring and;
·         None are in the hospital.

Since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 2553 total confirmed cases of COVID-19; out of those, 2495 persons have recovered, and sadly, there have been 33 COVID related deaths.

The source of all cases is as follows:
·         390 are Imported
·         2200 are classified as local transmission of which:
o   1703 are Local transmission with known contact/source and
o   497 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source
·         4 are Under Investigation

As investigations proceed, transmission categories may change.
The seven-day average of our real-time reproduction number is less than 1.

Of the active cases, by variant type: none are Alpha, 2 are Beta, 19 are Delta, none are Gamma or the wildtype and 4 are not available.

Bermuda’s current WHO country status remains “Sporadic Cases”.

I will now provide an update on our vaccination programme…
We have completed week 28 of vaccinations. Since January 11th Bermuda has administered a total of 82,870 vaccinations.
Of the 82,870 vaccinations given as of July 24:
·         52% are women and,
·         48% are men
82.5% of all residents over the age of 65 years have had at least one vaccination and 81.3% are fully immunized.

To date, 65.3% of the population has been vaccinated (1 dose), and 63.9% of the population has been immunized (2 doses).

I would like to remind everyone that vaccination is recognised globally as one of the single most important measures that individuals can take to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community.

Anyone who is trying to make up their mind about getting vaccinated should seek information that is supported by science and rely on guidance from reliable sources.

If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, you can walk in to the King Edward Memorial Hospital vaccination centre. Next week the vaccination centre will be open on:
·         Tuesday August 3rd, from 4 – 7 pm,
·         Thursday, August 5th, from 4 – 7 pm, and on
·         Saturday August 7th, from 8 am until 4 pm.

Please remember, each of us must do our part to stop the spread of the coronavirus. It is essential that we all follow Public Health guidelines. Wear a mask, practice good hand hygiene, maintain physical distance and download the WeHealth Bermuda app.

Do the research, talk with a reliable source and make an informed decision about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. There is a wealth of information about the vaccines online at gov.bm.

I now want to focus on the upcoming Cup Match holiday week-end to encourage everyone to please remain vigilant and err on the side of caution as much as possible when it comes to protecting yourselves and others from the coronavirus. COVID-19 continues to be a major threat globally and cases are rising significantly in other countries.

Persons who are vaccinated should also remain vigilant because the vaccine does not guarantee that persons won’t catch COVID-19. The vaccine is highly effective in protecting severe illness and death but the level of effectiveness does vary across the COVID-19 variants.

This is all even more important in the context of large group gatherings, for which I have authority as Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport. Specifically, I’d like to touch on a few matters to do with Cup Match, SafeKey and the need to ensure that people continue to engage in safe health practices over this holiday weekend.

Under the current Public Health (COVID-19 Emergency Powers) (Phased Re-opening) Regulations 2021, I authorize large group events over the permitted number of ‘50’. In consultation with the Ministry of Health we require SafeKey is for most indoor events with over 50 persons and outdoor events over 100 persons. This is to protect the public and prevent a covid-19 outbreak, especially in a mass gathering where the risk of contagion is much higher and contact tracing much more difficult.

To be clear, a SafeKey events requires validating the SafeKey QR code via the official online portal. This means that a vaccination certificate or a test result CANNOT be used in place of a SafeKey.

If you are fully immunized or you had your covid test three days prior to an event, you must use the SafeKey QR code to be allowed to enter large group events.

I reiterate: you cannot use a vaccination certificate or a test result to enter a SafeKey event. You need a SafeKey QR code.

If you are immunized, go to gov.bm/vaccine-certificate to get your up to date SafeKey.

If you are not immunized, get a covid test and you will receive a link to your Safekey with the negative test result email. Test-based Safekeys are valid for 72 hours (3 days) after the test day.

There is a lot happening this week-end. This is our most special time of the year to celebrate and Bermuda is clearly rearing to get out and enjoy our usual festivities during our most beloved holiday.

We can see from the applications made for large gatherings that there are a number of large events planned by various organisers.

So, it’s critical for those attending any of these large crowded events, whether it’s Cup Match, or any of the special entertainment parties or activities taking place, that persons properly use the SafeKey validation and mask-wearing requirements.

Specifically as it relates to Cup Match, patrons are reminded that they must possess a pre-purchased (online) ticket plus a validated SafeKey to gain entry.

There will be no ticket sales at the gates – so those planning to attend Cup Match should have all the requisite entry particulars and should not show up at the gate looking for tickets.

If you’re looking to attend the game, tickets to the Classic can still be purchased online at www.gpass.bm.

I’m pleased to say that recently I visited the St. George’s Cricket Club to assess the preparation works, and everything is coming together nicely. So it should make for a great atmosphere of competitive cricket and comradery.

To ensure smooth entry for patrons, tomorrow Wednesday, the Cup Match organizers will be running two drive throughs to verify SafeKeys.

From 12pm – 3pm they will be at the National Sports Centre and from 6pm – 8pm at they will be at the St. George’s Cricket Club.

SafeKey verification will include:
1.      Checking physical or electronic SafeKey
2.      Confirming SafeKey name against a valid ID
3.      Validating the SafeKey on verify.gov.bm.
Persons with a verified SafeKey will receive a coloured bracelet to prove their SafeKey validation.

On the actual two days of Cup Match, the entry on to the grounds process will be as follows:

Cup Match attendees with a bracelet proving a verified SafeKey will enter the grounds via an express gate.

Persons who don’t have a pre-verified SafeKey will be verified at the gate.

And to help expedite the lines into Cup Match, the Royal Bermuda Regiment will be assisting with the entry process.

I encourage everyone who intends to go to the games to get their SafeKey pre-validated at the Wednesday drive throughs. This will make the entry faster and smoother for all concerned.

I also encourage everyone with a SafeKey to test it prior to attending any SafeKey event. Just to verify.gov.bm with a device other than the one your own SafeKey is on, to confirm that it is working and in order. If you have any difficulties, call the Covid helpdesk for assistance.

Bermuda, we are into the full swing of the summer season.

And we w