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Covid-19: Clearwater Middle School to close for two days

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Latest Covid-19 figures released by the Government of Bermuda (Graphic by Raina Barbosa)
Kim Wilson Minister of Health gives an update on schools affected by Covid 19 (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

An East End school will be shut for the rest of the week in the wake of a potential exposure to Covid-19.

Ayoola Oyinloye, Bermuda’s Chief Medical Officer, tonight said teachers, students and staff at Clearwater Middle School in St David’s should get tested for Covid-19.

The news comes after five more cases of the coronavirus were found in 498 test results received by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday, bringing the number of active cases to 43.

But hopes rose that Bermuda will receive its first doses of a coronavirus vaccine before the end of the year as British health regulators approved a temporary authorisation for emergency use of the Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.

On Clearwater, Dr Oyinloye said: “This is in response to a potential exposure to Covid-19. At present, there are no restrictions on activities outside of the home.

“However, all household members must follow public health guidelines. This includes mask-wearing, hand hygiene and physical distancing inside and outside of the home.”

Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, added: “The Clearwater Middle school family that has been impacted by the school closure are asked to continue following public health guidelines and advised to get tested for Covid-19.

“The CMO has informed the Clearwater Middle School community that testing of parents and siblings is available but teachers, students and staff are the priority.

“All students, teachers and staff of Clearwater Middle School should be tested for Covid-19.”

A special testing clinic has been arranged at Southside Testing Clinic by the Ministry of Health to take place today between 1pm and 4pm.

The latest Covid-19 results bring the total number of confirmed cases to 267 of which 43 are active with one person in hospital but not in critical care.

A ministry spokeswoman said that two of the five cases were brought to the island from overseas and the pair were asymptomatic.

Both are residents who tested positive on arrival – one from Miami and the other from Atlanta – on Monday after negative pre-departure tests.

Two cases were transmitted on the island with known contacts.

One is a resident with symptoms who was under quarantine as a close workplace contact of a confirmed case.

The other, also symptomatic, is a visitor who had household contact with a case.

The spokeswoman added: “One of the new cases is classified as under investigation with no identified links to travel or other known cases or clusters.

“This individual is symptomatic.”

Public health monitoring is in place for 42 active cases.

Nine people with Covid-19 have died and 215 people have recovered from the virus.

The age range of confirmed cases is from an infant to 101 and the average age is 51.

Eight cases are under investigation and 124 cases have come to Bermuda from overseas.

A total of 114 cases were transmitted on the island with a known contact or source and another 21 were transmitted in Bermuda with an unknown contact or source.

The seven-day average of the island’s real time reproduction number is 1.18.

Bermuda's country status is “clusters of cases”.

In the United Kingdom, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, today approved a temporary authorisation for emergency use of the Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.

Trials have shown the vaccine to be 95 per cent effective.

The UK has ordered 40 million doses, which would cater to 20 million people because two doses need to be administered 21 days apart.

It was reported that a phased roll-out of the vaccine would start next week with about 800,000 doses expected to arrive in Britain from Belgium in the coming days.

A Government House spokeswoman said yesterday: “The UK remains committed to supplying Bermuda and its fellow overseas territories with a proportionate share of the Covid-19 vaccines that it procures.

“We await details of the timings for the supply to Bermuda and Government House will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health on the necessary logistical arrangements.”

Bermuda is expected to secure vaccines through the international Covax programme as well as from Public Health England via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said last night: “The exact number of doses and scheduled shipment date has not yet been confirmed.

“However, we continue to communicate with Public Health England so that we are fully prepared to receive this particular vaccine.

“The vaccine will be administered using a phased approach that will initially target the healthcare and essential workers along with medically vulnerable persons and those age 65 years and over.”

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Published December 03, 2020 at 8:43 am (Updated December 03, 2020 at 9:17 am)

Covid-19: Clearwater Middle School to close for two days

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