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Hospital logs two coronavirus cases in long term care unit

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Eight new positive coronavirus cases were reported on Thursday, December 24. Two are reported to be in the Extended Care Unit at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (Graphic by Raina Barbosa)
Michael Richmond, the chief executive and president of the Bermuda Hospitals board (Film photograph)

Two patients have tested positive for the coronavirus in one of Bermuda Hospitals Board’s “long-term care areas”, it was revealed tonight.

The cases came despite a BHB ban on long-term patients at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute and the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital last week, before the cases were confirmed.

Michael Richmond, the BHB chief executive and president, said: “We are doing all we can to support our patients and staff, and we are following strict processes for an outbreak in partnership with the Ministry of Health to investigate and contact trace anyone who may have had an exposure.

“Testing of all staff and patients on the unit is well under way, and we expect everyone will have been tested by end of today.

“It is too early to know how the outbreak started, but the work is under way to fully understand and contain it.

“We had started regular surveillance testing of our long term areas – meaning a programme of testing rather than testing due to a suspected infection – something we were in the process of rolling out to the entire organisation.

“This case, however, was picked up due to a symptomatic patient.”

A BHB spokeswoman said one patient had symptoms and the other was asymptomatic.

All staff and patients are being tested today and the BHB said it was dealing with "an evolving issue“.

Dr Richmond said that the BHB was focused on care of patients and staff as it waited for the findings of the investigation and contact tracing process.

He added that personal protective equipment requirements and infection control rules were in force for routine patient contact.

Dr Richmond added: “However, the standards enforced when a unit goes on isolation brings further levels of protection within the unit and its relationship with the rest of the hospital to maximise the safety of all.

“We know the precautions work, but this means patients have even greater restrictions. We will do all we can to support them, and encourage remote interactions with their loved ones over the holiday season.”

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Published December 24, 2020 at 7:46 pm (Updated December 25, 2020 at 12:09 pm)

Hospital logs two coronavirus cases in long term care unit

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