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Covid-19: 18 new cases, most in a day since last December

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The novel coronavirus

Covid-19 cases spiked again yesterday after 18 new cases were detected, it was revealed tonight.

The cases – the highest single day total for three months – were among 519 results that came back to officials.

A total of 15 of the cases were logged as on-island transmissions with a known contact.

One case was a returned resident on the Delta flight from Atlanta on March 8 and the other two were listed as under investigation because they had no known links to existing cases or recent overseas travel.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said last night she was concerned by the surge, which meant there were now 48 active infections.

She added: “Most of our new cases are being spread by local residents and the number of people infected is growing.

“It is worth repeating that the UK variant on island now is much more transmissible than the virus we were dealing with before.”

The news came as it was revealed an individual linked to Devonshire Preschool had tested positive for the coronavirus.

An education ministry spokeswoman said the individual had been isolated and health officials were contacting close contacts to advise them to quarantine and get tested for the coronavirus.

Potential exposures at Dellwood Middle School, Northlands Primary, both Pembroke, the Whitney Institute Middle School in Smith’s and Paget Primary have been logged over the past few days.

Ms Wilson said: “I cannot stress enough the importance of everyone acting responsibly, following the guidelines, getting tested, and please get vaccinated if you can.

She told the public: “Now is not the time to let our guard down.

“Things were getting better, but that appears not to be the case any more.”

Ms Wilson appealed to people contacted by contact tracers to answer all their questions.

She emphasised: “We need this to be able to trace the potential spread as you may save a life.”

Ms Wilson added: “I would like to reiterate that if you have been placed under quarantine by the Ministry of Health, you need to stay quarantined – you are not released automatically after testing.

“You are released only after your assigned contact tracer contacts you.”

There have been three recoveries from infection since the last update and three cases have been moved from “under investigation” to on-island transmission with a known source.

The 48 active cases are being monitored by public health officials and none are in hospital.

The news meant the island has recorded 767 infections since the pandemic hit last March.

A total of 707 people have recovered and 12 have died.

Ms Wilson told the public: “I wish to remind people to keep their social bubbles small and to wear your mask when out in public or around others from outside of your household.”

“If you are experiencing symptoms, please contact your doctor.”

She added doctors would schedule a test appointment or direct patients to the Covid-19 helpline on 444-2498 to make an appointment.

Ms Wilson said: “Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

“People with these symptoms may have Covid-19 – fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhoea.

She added: “Do not go to work or send your child to school if either of you have these symptoms.

“To do so simply increases the chance of the disease spreading and this has a negative impact on us all.”

Diallo Rabain, the education minister, warned everyone involved with the schools system to stick to health and safety rules to minimise the impact of the outbreak.

Mr Rabain added: “The vulnerable must be protected and that means we must all be considerate of how exposure to Covid affects students, schools, teachers, parents and the larger community.

“We must work together – wear your mask correctly, wash your hands regularly, and maintain physical distance.”

“We will update stakeholders and the community once we receive additional information from the Department of Health.”

The education spokeswoman said any questions on Covid-19 and schools should be e-mailed to schoolsurv@gov.bm.

For information on Covid, go to www.gov.bm/coronavirus

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Published March 19, 2021 at 9:48 am (Updated March 19, 2021 at 9:48 am)

Covid-19: 18 new cases, most in a day since last December

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