Deaths up to seven, firefighter tests positive
Two fire stations were closed this weekend after a firefighter tested positive for the coronavirus.
Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said yesterday the stations were shut for “deep cleaning” and the infected firefighter had been quarantined along with several others.
It is understood that the firefighter was stationed at Clearwater Fire Station in St David’s, but had been in contact with a colleague at the Port Royal Fire Station in Southampton.
One of the stations was expected to be back in service last night and the other today.
Mr Caines said that the fire service had increased resources at Hamilton Fire Station, on King Street, because of the two closures.
He added: “Senior officers have been redeployed to support emergency response at the western and eastern ends of the island, with additional support provided by the Eastern Volunteer Division.
“The Airport Operations Division continues to operate as normal, providing fire coverage for the LF Wade International Airport.”
The announcement came a day after the island recorded its seventh death from Covid-19.
Kim Wilson, the health minister, said on Saturday: “This death, falling on the first day of the end of sheltering in place, is an agonising reminder to us of the seriousness of this virus.
“As such, I urge the entire community to please be mindful of your movements and interactions in the coming weeks — both of which should be very limited.”
The Ministry of Health said it would not reveal personal details of the latest fatality.
A spokeswoman for the ministry added that a total of 325 new test results had come back over the weekend — all clear except for the firefighter.
The total number of cases is now 115.
A total of 57 are active, with 41 people under public health monitoring and 51 people recovered from the virus.
A total of 16 Covid-19 patients are in hospital.
The spokeswoman said: “The average age of all of our confirmed positive cases is 59 and the age range of all of our positive cases is from 18 to 95 years.
“The age of persons hospitalised ranges between 57 and 91 years, and the average age is 76.”
The infected firefighter was the only one of 98 fire service personnel tested last week whose result came back positive. The spokeswoman said: “This situation reminds us of the occurrence of asymptomatic infections of Covid-19 and the importance of our continued attention to physical-distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus through the community.”
Mr Caines added: “We recognise that all our emergency services personnel continue to face incredible risks on a daily basis as they carry out their duties.
“In that regard, I cannot stress enough how critically important it is that the public continue to adhere to the physical-distancing guidelines that have been outlined by the Ministry of Health.
“As we have seen, this is a highly contagious virus that has taken the lives of seven Bermudians.
“Ultimately, this is about protecting and saving lives, and now more than ever, we urge the public to please be responsible in how they engage with others as they move around the island.”
The testing of essential workers, including healthcare professionals, private home health aides and grocery store staff, will continue at the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory at Southside, St David’s, every day from 2pm to 7pm by appointment.
The spokeswoman added: “Individuals attending appointments should be prepared to confirm their general practitioner and contact details to allow efficient communication of test results and appropriate public health action.”
Appointments can be booked at https://essentialworkers.resqwest.com
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