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Covid-19: Active cases jump to 36 as local transmissions rise

Travellers await testing for Covid-19 at the Perot Post Office on Queen Street in Hamilton (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Bermuda risks another spike of Covid-19 cases if people let their guard down, the shadow health minister warned last night.

Michael Dunkley issued the warning after the number of active cases increased from 25 to 36 - the highest in two months - in just three days and the number of locally transmitted cases without a known cause also rose.

The health ministry announced on Saturday that 15 new cases had been recorded from 8,031 tests between Tuesday and Friday.

Seven of the new cases were classed as local transmission with known contacts, and two were under investigation, bringing the total number of cases under investigation to six. The other six cases came from overseas.

Mr Dunkley said: “What is concerning to me there are too many people who are not taking the precautions that we know work. If we let our guard down this spike could become worse and put us in a position where government needs to enforce new restrictions.

“We know that social distancing, mask wearing and remaining within our bubbles works.”

He added: “With government releasing figures twice a week we have seen positive cases on almost every reporting day and now we have double digits. It is quite concerning. It was always said that Delta was more transmissible than previous variants and we have to factor in that a lot of restrictions have been loosened or removed.

“Vaccines offer a level of protection but we are struggling to get above 65 per cent of the population.

“Herd immunity has now jumped up to 87 per cent. I would call on government to be more explicit with what the plan is as we have been drifting in the 60s for weeks now.

“They said by Bermuda Day we would reach community immunity and here we are after Cup Match and we have not even met 70 per cent. Government, in my view, has no plan on how to get the rate up to the level that we need to be.

“I have been on record saying we need to open up and try to get people back to work but if we let our guard down we could fall down as quickly as we did in November and March before that. It is a very fine balance but believe we can do it.”

Of the new cases from travellers, one was a resident who arrived from Charlotte, North Carolina on July 20 tested positive on Day 8, while a visitor from New York on July 22 tested positive on Day 4.

A non-resident from Atlanta who arrived on July 25 was found positive on their outbound test.

A resident who arrived on Tuesday from Boston, along with another visitor coming from Atlanta, both tested positive on arrival.

A visitor from Charlotte on Wednesday also tested positive on arrival.

Four people have recovered, and the island’s death toll from the virus remains at 33. Six cases in total are now under investigation.

So farm, no one has been admitted to hospital, and most of the cases are among younger, less vulnerable people. Of the 36 active cases, only is in their 70s while four are in their 60s.

Five are under the age of 10 while two within the 11 to 19 are group. Four are in their 20s, five are in their 30s, eight are in their 40s, while seven are in their 50s.

The new report brings the island’s total confirmed cases of coronavirus during the pandemic to 2,568.

The seven-day average of the island’s real-time reproduction number is less than 1, and Bermuda’s country status remains at “sporadic cases”.

The Ministry of Health reminded the public that local test results will be given in 24 hours minimum, with a spokeswoman adding: “Please do not call and harass the testing team for results.”

The ministry reminded the community to wear a mask, use good hand hygiene, maintain physical distance and download the WeHealth Bermuda app while cases remain under investigation.

Information about vaccination is available online at the Government’s site here.

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Published August 02, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated August 02, 2021 at 6:01 pm)

Covid-19: Active cases jump to 36 as local transmissions rise

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