Covid-19: Death toll rises to 35, 225 new cases identified
The island’s Covid-19 death toll has risen to 35, it was announced last night.
Health officials added that 225 new cases of the coronavirus had been detected among 10,984 test results that had come back since the last update – a positivity rate of 2 per cent.
The Ministry of Health said 25 of the new cases came in from overseas and 68 were the result of on-island transmissions from known sources.
The origin of the other 132 cases are under investigation.
Kim Wilson, the health minister, said: “We are in the midst of a growing outbreak and the number of positive cases is alarming.
“It is essential that residents remember the basics. Many cases have come from persons who were not feeling well and went to work or a social function – if you feel unwell, please stay at home.”
She added that people had started to skip basic precautions, such as hand sanitisation before touching shared utensils at family gatherings, which had allowed the virus to spread.
Ms Wilson said: “In Bermuda, complacency is our enemy when it comes to the Delta variant, so I must urge all residents to remember the basics that we have been doing for the last 18 months and do what is necessary to keep them and their family safe.”
There have been 42 recoveries since the last update, which means the number of active cases stands at 472.
There are ten people in hospital, including two in intensive care — all of whom are unvaccinated.
A health ministry spokeswoman said: “The seven-day average of our real-time reproduction number is above 1.
“Local data indicates that Bermuda meets the criteria for community transmission.
“Community transmission is characterised by an increased incidence of locally acquired, widely dispersed cases, with many of the cases not linked to specific clusters.”
Vaccination figures have continued to increase slowly, with 82.3 per cent of people over 65 now fully immunised.
Almost 66 per cent of the wider population has been fully vaccinated.
Ms Wilson offered her condolences to the friends and family of the latest victim.
She said: “I will also remind businesses and their patrons that while a SafeKey is not required to be in outdoor settings, unless under a large group exception, masks should be worn outdoors if physical distancing is not possible.
“We have had outbreaks that occurred in crowded outdoor settings where people were not wearing masks.”
Ms Wilson said the Delta variant was “extremely contagious, and residents should adjust their behaviour to minimise the risk of contracting the coronavirus”.
She explained a large number of cases were identified because of testing for SafeKeys.
Ms Wilson said that because of a large number of tests for close contacts of infections, the Bull’s Head car park test site in Hamilton had stopped accepting walk-ins.
She added: “Because of the current volume of coronavirus testing on the island, the public is advised to please be patient while waiting to receive your test result.
“The PCR Covid-19 test result turnaround time is expected to be a minimum of 24 hours, though results may take longer.”
Ms Wilson told the public: “If you have not received a negative test result by e-mail in 36 hours, please contact your doctor as they may have been sent your positive test result.
“As a reminder, if you are feeling unwell, please do not leave home until you receive a negative test result.”
She added that health officials would work to support the Ministry of Education’s efforts to resume face-to-face teaching.