6th Straight Day Of No New Positive Coronavirus Cases

The Ministry of Health received 1226 test results since the last update, and none were positive for coronavirus. This gives a test positivity rate of 0.0%.

Additionally, since the last update, there were two (2) recoveries and no deaths.

There are currently 17 active cases, of which;
·           16 are under public health monitoring and;
·           One (1) is in the hospital, with none (0) in intensive care.

Since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 2494 total confirmed cases of COVID-19; out of those, 2444 persons have recovered, and sadly, there have been 33 COVID related deaths.

The source of all cases is as follows:
·         305 are Imported
·         2174 are classified as local transmission of which:
o   1679 are Local transmission with known contact/source and
o   495 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source
·         15 are Under Investigation
As investigations proceed, transmission categories may change.
The seven-day average of our real-time reproduction number is 0.27.
Bermuda’s current WHO country status remains “Community Transmission”.

I will now provide an update on our vaccination programme.

We have completed the twentieth full week of vaccinations. Since January 11th, Bermuda has administered a total of 70,731 vaccinations – a figure that rises to 71,847 if you include vaccinations on Sunday, May 30th through to Wednesday, June 2nd as well!

Of the 70,731 vaccinations given as of May 29th:
52% are women, and,
48% are men.

78.8% of all residents over the age of 65 years have had at least one vaccination, and 73.6% are fully immunised.
To date, 58.3% of the total population has been vaccinated (with 1 dose), and 52.1% of the population has been immunised (with 2 doses).
Our vaccination programme is progressing, but we are not there yet, and we need to increase our number of immunised residents sooner rather than later.
The more people who are immunised, the safer our community will be, and the closer to new normal in terms of how our lives will get.

Bermuda will move into phase 3 on its road map to recovery on June 6, 2021, with the following changes to current restrictions:

·         The night-time curfew will be changed to 12am to 5am.

·         Recreational boating will be allowed between 5am and 11pm. Boat occupants are allowed to stay out overnight but must remain on the boat, which must be moored, berthed or anchored from 11pm to 5am. Boaters must remain on the boat through night-time curfew. Raft ups are not allowed.

·         Commercial boating is allowed and not limited by the group size restrictions. Instead, boat capacity is limited in accordance with Marine & Ports’ licensing for Island Boats.

·         Large gatherings will have a maximum of 50 people. The Minister of National Security will still have the ability to issue exemptions to the gathering size maximum.

·         Retail businesses and grocery stores can open with no limitations on capacity.

·         Bars, restaurants, nightclubs and sports/members clubs can open for seated table service and seated bar service indoors and outdoors.  Table service is restricted to a maximum of 10 persons per table, and tables must be spaced 6ft apart. Seated bar service will be the subject of guidance with respect to distancing also.

·         Weddings, funerals, and domestic partnerships are allowed for indoor and outdoor ceremonies with a maximum of 50 people.          Wakes and receptions are allowed up to a maximum of 50 people. Masks must be worn.

·         Religious services can resume indoors. The maximum gathering size does not apply, provided public health measures are applied with respect to physical distancing and hand hygiene. In addition, congregations must wear masks at all times; officiants and choirs must wear masks if unable to maintain 6ft physical distance.

·         Gyms are open with equipment spaced 6ft apart. Staff, personal trainers and patrons must wear a mask when not working out and must maintain 6ft physical distance. Outdoor classes are to maintain 6ft physical distance.

·         Personal services: barbershops, beauty salons, spas, massage therapists can open and provide services that require face masks to be removed. Staff must wear masks at all times.

·         Event Facilities, i.e. Movie theatres, library, galleries, etc. can open with a maximum of 50 people.

While these relaxations will be welcomed by all, I must caution the key public health measures still apply: wear a mask, keep physically distanced and practice good hand hygiene.
The next Close to Home mobile vaccinations will be at Victor Scott Primary School on Sunday, 6 June from 10am – 2pm.

At the Close to Home mobile vaccination sites, there will be doctors on site to answer any questions you have, and you don’t need an appointment. You can just show up and roll up your sleeve.

We recommend the Close to Home mobile vaccination programme as an ideal opportunity to learn more for those people who want to hear about the COVID-19 vaccine from a trusted source.

If you need a free ride to any Close to Home mobile vaccinations sites, call 533-5903 between 10.00 am and 1.30 pm. Mini-buses are available to take you there and bring you back home.

Since the mobile vaccination programme began on April 27, a total of 2,665 vaccines have been given as of June 3. About 70% of injections were administered to people receiving their first dose.

The Bermuda College Vaccination Centre, is open Monday – Friday (from now until 8 June) from 9am – 1pm.

The Bermuda College Vaccination Centre is also holding a Jab, and Jam event on Saturday 5 June from 10am – 6pm, – there will be music, food, fun, and lots of giveaways. I encourage anyone who wants to get vaccinated to attend this event at the Bermuda College this Saturday.

The Hospital Vaccination Centre is open on Saturday and Sunday the 5th and 6th of June for Walk-ins from 8 am-6 pm and for scheduled appointments from 8 am – 8 pm.

They will also be open on Monday and Tuesday 7th and 8th of June for Walk-ins, and scheduled appointments are available from 8 am-8 pm.

We want to thank the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, which has provided graciously the use their property as a location to vaccinate the public.

Each person that is vaccinated at this location will receive a $50 gift card from the Frontline Foundation. As well, their name will be entered into a raffle draw generously hosted by the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club for a two-night stay in Fairmont Gold, as well as a 50% voucher for the buffet that takes place at the hotel.

The hours of operation for this site will be June 3 & 4, 2021, from 3 to 7 pm, located in the Princess Ball Room. The Hamilton Princess will also provide refreshments in the observation area.

If you need assistance getting vaccinated or have questions, please contact vaccine@gov.bm, or call the hotline 444-2498 and select Option #2. The Vaccine Call Centre is available from 8 am – 4 pm, Monday to Friday and Saturdays from 9 am – 3 pm. The Vaccine Call Centre is closed on Sundays.

Bermuda’s current supplies of Pfizer BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines expire on June 30. The Pfizer vaccine requires three weeks between doses. This means the last, first dose can be given on June 8, which is just five days away.

To be sure you can receive two (2) doses of the Pfizer vaccine, please either register for an appointment at gov.bm or attend the walk-in facility at the Bermuda College, the hospital or one of the Close to Home locations before the 8th of June.

The AstraZeneca vaccine can be administered up to 12 weeks after the first dose. Therefore, the first dose can be given until June 30, with the second dose administered from a new batch of vaccines received from COVAX.

As I have said previously, there are enough COVID-19 vaccines available in Bermuda for anyone who wants to be vaccinated. Once the current batches of vaccines have expired, more will be sourced in the coming months. For those who wish to get the Pfizer vaccine, now is definitely the time. There are no guarantees of Bermuda getting more doses in the immediate future.

I know the fertility issue is an understandable concern, particularly for women of child-bearing age.

There is currently no evidence that suggests that vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems. Routine pregnancy testing before a COVID-19 vaccination is not recommended. However, if you are trying to become pregnant, you do not need to avoid pregnancy after the COVID-19 vaccine. Similar to all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully and will report findings as they become available.

Data shows that any of the currently authorised COVID-19 vaccines can be offered to people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Pregnant people are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, which could result in intensive care admission, mechanical ventilation or even death.

In addition, pregnant people with COVID might be at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, compared with pregnant women without COVID-19. Getting vaccinated is a personal choice, so if you have any questions, a conversation with your health provider might help.

In closing, I would like to publicly thank the companies and organisations providing support, encouragement, and incentives to our vaccination programme. It is an extensive list, and I apologise i