Eighty new Covid-19 test results pending

  • Covid: Friday press conference

  • File photograph by Blaire Simmons

    File photograph by Blaire Simmons


Eighty coronavirus test results have been processed today, the health minister said this evening.

The results will not be made available until doctors and patients have been informed, but Kim Wilson said they would be provided as soon as possible.

More testing results will be released tomorrow, with none on Sunday.

Ms Wilson said testing would be rolled out at every care home on the island, with four out of the 21 tested so far.

These include two private homes, as well as the Matilda Smith Williams Seniors Residence and Westmeath, which have both been hit by outbreaks of the virus.

Ms Wilson said testing had covered 116 residents and 136 staff.

Citing privacy, she criticised The Royal Gazette for reporting earlier today on ten new cases of Covid-19 found at Westmeath.

She also declined to identify the two private homes where testing had been conducted, saying: “I’m not sure that’s a necessary question.”

Ms Wilson said facilities would not be identified “unless we have to, from a public health point of view, if we see transmission within the residence”.

The minister said 11 patients were now being treated in hospital for Covid-19, with four in the Intensive Care Unit.

She was unaware how many people were on ventilators.

Drive-through testing was launched earlier today at Southside, after some initial “hiccups”, David Burt announced.

The Premier said the testing of frontline workers would continue through the weekend.

He said testing had started later than hoped, but that by the time he arrived at the St David’s facility, the drive-through was in full swing.

As of 6.30pm, Mr Burt said testing was still under way.

Mr Burt said that unemployment benefits would be fast-tracked for thousands left without payments, with payouts expected next Tuesday,

Mr Burt said the Department of Workforce Development had been allocated further resources to deal with claims.

So far $7.7 million has been paid out to more than 5,000 out-of-work residents.

Mr Burt said plans were in train to add office supply, computer and computer supply stores to the list of businesses allowed to operate on a limited basis, from Monday.

They will have permission to run under the same restrictions as other businesses — from Monday to Wednesday, according to customers’ surnames, and only by prepaid pick up or delivery.

Ms Wilson also announced that the Government’s planning models for Covid-19 would be made public this evening.

Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said a charter British Airways flight bringing in 97 stranded residents this evening would set off tomorrow with 74 passengers headed home to Britain.

Mr Caines said; “All arriving passengers have been pre-processed electronically by the Department of Immigration to minimise contact with our Customs Officers.

“From a safety standpoint, as part of the landing process, each officer conducting inspection duties will have the appropriate personal protection equipment, and each passenger will be given a face mask as well as have their temperature checked in the arrival hall.”

Returning residents will be taken by the Royal Bermuda Regiment to one of the Government’s quarantine facilities.

Mr Caines added that the list of businesses approved to operate under strict guidelines was now at 73.

The Bermuda Government press conference today was held at the Cafetorium at Berkeley Institute at 5.45pm, pushed back from 5.30pm.

The next press conference is to be held on Monday.

The Royal Gazette will provide a live video on this page.

To read the Government’s disease modelling documents, click on the PDFs under “Related Media”.

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Published Apr 24, 2020 at 12:26 pm (Updated Apr 24, 2020 at 8:13 pm)

Eighty new Covid-19 test results pending

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