42 New Positive Coronavirus Cases Identified, As Number Continue To Rise In Bermuda

 42 New Positive Coronavirus Cases Identified, As Number Continue To Rise In Bermuda

The Ministry of Health received 9972 test results since the last update, and 42 were positive for the coronavirus, giving a test positivity rate of 0.4%.

These results are from testing done on:
· Thursday, August 19: 16 positive out of 2931 results (0.5% positivity)

· Friday, August 20: 15 positive out of 2906 results (0.5% positivity)

· Saturday, August 21: 9 positive out of 2375 results (0.4% positivity)

· Sunday, August 22: 2 positive out of 1760 results (0.1% positivity)

14 of the new cases are classified as imported with history of travel in the previous 14 days, with details as follows:

· 1 non-resident who arrived on British Airways BA 159 from London on 5 August and tested positive on their outbound test

· 1 resident who arrived on Delta Airline DL 617 from New York on 9 August and tested positive on their day 10 test

· 1 resident who arrived on American Airlines AA 2044 from Charlotte on 15 August and tested positive on their day 4 test

· 1 non-resident who arrived on Jet Blue B61731 from New York on 15 August and tested positive on their day 4 test

· 2 non-residents who arrived on Jet Blue B6203 from New York on 16 August and tested positive on their day 4 test

· 1 non-resident who arrived on Delta Airlines DL 584 from Atlanta on 17 August and tested positive on their day 4 test

· 1 resident who arrived on American Airlines AA 2044 from Charlotte on 17 August and tested positive on their day 4 test

· 1 non-resident who arrived on Air Canada AC 942 from Toronto on 21 August and tested positive on their arrival test

· 1 non-resident who arrived on United Airline UA 1985 from Newark on 21 August and tested positive on their arrival test

· 2 residents who arrived on Delta Airlines DL 584 from Atlanta on 21 August and tested positive on their arrival test

· 1 resident who arrived on British Airways BA 159 from London on 22 August and tested positive on their arrival test

· 1 resident who arrived on Delta Airlines DL 584 from Atlanta on 22 August and tested positive on their arrival test

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

The additional 7 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 25 recoveries and 0 deaths.

There are 141 active cases, of which:
· 136 are under public health monitoring and
· 5 are in hospital with 1 in intensive care
Since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 2792 confirmed coronavirus cases, out of which 2618 have recovered, and sadly 33 COVID related deaths.

The source of all active cases is as follows:
· 43 are Imported
· 72 are classified as local transmission of which:
o 72 are Local transmission with known contact/source and
o 0 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source
· 26 are Under Investigation

Active cases by vaccination status, transmission, and type:

• Imported cases: 36 (84%) are fully vaccinated, and 7 (16%) are not vaccinated.
• Local/Under Investigation cases: 24 (25%) are fully vaccinated, and 74 (75%) are not vaccinated.
• Of the active cases by variant type: 0 are Alpha, 0 are Beta, 118 are Delta, 0 are Gamma, 0 are wildtype, 17 cannot be determined, and 6 are not available.

The source of all confirmed cases is as follows:
· 432 are Imported
· 2327 are classified as local transmission of which:
o 1826 are Local transmission with known contact/source and
o 501 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source
· 33 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. (PHE)
Bermuda’s current country status remains “Sporadic Cases”.

We have completed week 33 of vaccinations. Since January 11, Bermuda has administered a total of 84,748 vaccinations.

Of the 84,748 vaccinations given as of August 21:
– 52% are women and,
– 48% are men

83.0% of all residents over the age of 65 years have had at least one vaccination and
81.7% are fully immunised

To date, 66.3% of the population has been vaccinated (1 dose), and
64.9% of the population has been immunised (2 doses).
With the current increase in cases, the Ministry of Health is emphasising the following guidance for residents:

· During a church service, choir members are to be spaced 6ft apart for singing, with a mask worn at all times when not singing. Congregation members must be spaced 3ft apart, except if in same household, and wear masks throughout the service, including while singing. Officiants must be spaced 6ft apart and wear a mask when not speaking.

· It is important to note that singing and playing of wind and brass instruments may increase the projection of respiratory droplets (aerosols), which is why we advise physical distancing between members of the public and recommend, in addition to physical distancing, the use of outdoor services and facilities whenever possible.

· Returning Bermuda residents must submit a Travel Authorisation (TA) form a minimum of 24 hours before their flight day. If the resident does not have their pre-arrival test result yet, submit it anyway. It is often the case that the test result comes through by the time they land in Bermuda. As the hours of operation of the call centre are 8am to 8pm, this course of action is advised in preference to waiting to submit your TA, for example, at 2am for a flight leaving later that morning.

· Immunised residents who submit their TA without a pre-arrival test result will be given orange waivers for travel, and they can send results to taapprovals@gov.bm if they need the status changed. Unimmunised residents without an exemption or hotel receipts will automatically be rejected.

· We are also seeing clusters of cases emerging in various workplaces. It is critically important to remember that your workplace is not your bubble. Your bubble is your household, and socialising outside of your bubble can contribute to workplace spread.

· Be aware of the symptoms, which can easily be associated with allergies – sore throat, tiredness and headaches, coughing and sneezing.COVID-19 can seem like allergies or a mild cold. If you or anyone in your household has any of these symptoms, stay home, isolate and contact your doctor.

· Please fully cooperate with the contact tracers, noting that they will protect your privacy. If you are contacted by a contact tracer, fully cooperate with them. This whole process is completely anonymous – they will protect your privacy. Your cooperation will protect the health and wellbeing of our community.

· SafeKey is not required to walk through a restaurant to get to an outdoor table. It is not required for entering a restaurant to use the bathroom as in both instances, customers should be masked. Safekey is only required when dining indoors.

· Avoid indoor spaces, crowded places and close contacts.

“Please remember that the vaccine against Covid-19 is one of the single most important measures to keep our community safe,” said Minister of Health, Kim Wilson, JP, MP.

“The vaccine clinic at the King Edward Memorial Hospital is open for appointments and walk-ins, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm-7pm, and Saturdays from 8am-4pm. Additionally, you can go to the Washington Mall on Saturday, August 28, between 10 am and 2 pm, or visit the Vaccine Pop-up on Sunday, August 29, at the Berkeley Institute, located in the Lower Atrium, from 10am to 2pm. Medical professionals will be available to answer your questions. You don’t need an appointment. Just show up to talk to someone or to get the vaccine.”

Each of us has a role to play in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Follow Public Health guidelines, wear a mask indoors, practice good hand hygiene, maintain physical distance and download the WeHealth Bermuda app.
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Trevor Lindsay

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