Bermuda records 20th Covid-related death, 91 new cases, more than 900 active cases
Another person has died from Covid-19 – the 20th since the start of the pandemic – the Ministry of Health announced last night.
The announcement came as Government released its latest Covid-19 figures, which included another 91 new cases among 2,100 test results.
It means there are now 904 active cases of Covid-19 in Bermuda.
The New York Times yesterday placed the daily average of new cases for the past week at 50 – the most per capita in the world, topping Uruguay, Turkey and Bahrain with 78 new cases per 100,000 people.
As of today, Bermuda had fallen to seventh place, with 52 cases per 100,000 people. It is not clear where the New York Times is getting its Bermuda data from, however. Based on last night’s results from the health ministry, Bermuda had 303 new cases over the previous seven days for an average of 43 daily cases, or 67.6 daily cases per 100,000.
Comparatively, the US reported 20 new daily cases per 100,000 people during the same period, while the UK reported 4 new daily cases per 100,000 people.
The US Centres for Disease Control has continued to warn against travel to Bermuda, listing the island as a level four Covid-19 destination.
Michael Dunkley, the Shadow Minister of Health, said the figures were “sobering” and “not the publicity we wish”.
“The good work that we have done since March 2020 has seemingly vanished over the last month with this spike,” he said.
“The OBA is not going to be overly critical of the PLP Government as in dark times caution must be exercised with any comment as our community fights for its future.
“While the Government seem to have been caught off guard by this spike, or underestimated its severity, the spike has occurred because we have as a community let our guard down and not followed best practice.
“It is so frustrating that the vast majority of us have done our best to stay safe and healthy and a few among us have created this spike.”
Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, said: “I extend my sincere condolences and prayers of support to the family and friends of those who recently died, on behalf of the Government and people of Bermuda.”
She added: “While our number of positive cases is slowly reducing, which is encouraging, this is not an opportunity for us to stop co-operating with the guidelines and safety measures.
“We much continue to be extremely careful, and remain vigilant and do not mix households.”
Of the new cases, four were imported by non-residents and 41 were the result of local transmission from known sources.
The source of the other 46 cases are under investigation.
The imported cases include one non-resident who arrived on the March 30 JetBlue flight from New York, two passengers who arrived on the April 2 American Airlines flight from Charlotte and one passenger who arrived on the April 9 American Airlines flight from Charlotte.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health said there are now 904 active cases, of which, 864 are under public health monitoring and 40 are in hospital with 6 in intensive care.
The seven-day average of the island’s real-time reduction rate is 0.8 and the islands WHO country status remains at “Community Transmission”.
While some restrictions are set to change at 5am today, Ms Wilson urged the public to be careful.
“If you must return to work or leave your home, please remember to avoid closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded places with many people nearby, and close-contact settings such as close-range conversations,” she said.
“Six feet must be maintained at all times including during greetings. Avoid shared lunch rooms and gathering, unmasked, outside for your smoke breaks etc.
“Your work environment and colleagues are not your bubbles.”
Ms Wilson also urged businesses that reopen to follow the rules and not to push boundaries.
“We must all work together to stop the spread of this virus so that we can further roll back the restrictions sooner rather than later,” she said.
Under the revised regulations, retail stores will be able to open, construction can resume and restaurants can offer delivery and takeout service.
The regulations also allow the public to use the islands parks, beaches and trails – provided that they do not mix households.
Ms Wilson confirmed in a Facebook information session that the regulation changes will also lift outdoor exercise limitations which restricted exercise to one hour a day within one kilometre of home.
Ms Wilson added that while it was not mandatory for those who return to work with the new regulations to get tested, it was strongly recommended.
“We are working with the Chamber of Commerce and hopefully they will assist to get the message out there that it’s extremely important to know your status,” she said.
Asked how the mixing of households could be policed, Martin Weeks, Assistant Commissioner of Police, said the Bermuda Police Service has received many tips from the public on the non-emergency 211 phone line, and that officers had an eye out for breaches.
“We can see when a number of cars are parked outside a residence and that led us to a number of house parties this weekend,” he said.