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Active Covid-19 cases hit 221

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Bermuda had 221 active cases of coronavirus on Wednesday.
People wait to be tested for the coronavirus at the Star of India testing facility in Dockyard on Tuesday. (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The number of active cases of coronavirus hit 221 yesterday, more than double the number a week earlier, Government figures revealed last night.

Eighteen more people tested positive for Covid-19, the health ministry said, while five recovered. Just two people are in hospital, one in critical condition.

There were 103 active cases on December 9 and 25 on November 16.

Fourteen of yesterday’s 18 cases were residents with no known links or travel history, and are under investigation, bringing the total where the cause is not yet known to 79.

Two of the new cases were imported, from travellers who tested positive on arrival. Both came on Delta flights from Atlanta on Monday, and both had negative pre-arrival tests.

Two other cases were local transmission with known contacts.

It brought Bermuda’s total confirmed positive cases to 485. A total of 255 have recovered, and the death toll remains at nine.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said as of Friday, travellers arriving without a pre-arrival test will be subject to a fee of $300, to be assessed at the airport on arrival.

Ms Wilson also appealed for assistance at nursing homes, which have been stretched by restrictions preventing staff from working at multiple homes.

Registered nurses or registered nursing associates were asked to e-mail their resumes to covid19resumes@gov.bm, to have it shared with care homes across the island looking for staff.

The announcements came as another school and another business were hit by exposures to people who had tested positive to the virus.

Younger pupils at Somersfield Academy switched to remote learning yesterday following senior school students who made the move earlier this week.

This followed a letter from the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit telling parents and staff that the health team was “aware of a potential exposure at Somersfield Academy to someone confirmed with Covid-19”.

The notice, dated December 15, said: “The person confirmed with Covid-19 has been isolated, ESU is contacting confirmed close contacts who are being advised that they must quarantine – stay home and away from other activities – and be tested for Covid-19.

“A full assessment will be completed by our public health officers.”

It added: “Following the assessment, communication will be provided by the Ministry of Health on any further recommended public health measures such as quarantine and testing.

“The ESU encourages you to watch for any symptoms of Covid-19.”

Carlos Symonds, the head of school, said yesterday: “Please note that our secondary division moved to remote learning on Monday and the primary division has now moved to remote learning for the remaining three days of the term.

“We await recommendations resulting from the Department of Health’s Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit’s investigation into a possible exposure within the school.”

Meanwhile, CG Insurance closed its Reid Street office to walk-in customers until December 29.

A spokeswoman for the company, previously called Colonial Insurance, said: “It has come to our attention that two CG Insurance employees have tested positive for Covid-19.

“We encourage anyone who visited the ground floor office between December 7 to December 15 to get tested and follow all government Covid-19 guidance.

“The offices will undergo a thorough cleaning before reopening and we will continue to take the necessary safety precautions to protect our staff, clients and community.”

She added that CG representatives will deal with claims, policy renewals and answer any questions by phone, e-mail and through the company’s online insurance portal.

Growing: Eighteen new positive cases of the coronavirus were reported yesterday. The number of active cases is now 22, more than double the number from a week ago.

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Published December 17, 2020 at 8:48 am (Updated December 17, 2020 at 1:59 pm)

Active Covid-19 cases hit 221

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