Covid-19: One more death, 948 active cases – a new high
The island recorded another death from Covid-19 last night as the number of active cases surged to a new high of 948.
The death brought the death toll to 36 since the pandemic hit in March last year and the number of infections is 44 higher than the record number from April.
One in 68 of Bermuda’s population is at present infected with the virus.
There are 43 Covid-19 patients in hospital – ten of them in intensive care. In the last update from Government, there were 28 people in hospital and five people in intensive care.
Kim Wilson, the health minister appealed to people to take family members out of hospital if possible to free bedspace.
Ms Wilson, who offered condolences to the latest victim, said that “948 active cases is far too many for an island our size”.
She added: “The Delta variant is spreading quickly throughout our community, and this surge is overwhelming every segment of our healthcare system.”
Ms Wilson warned the hospital inpatient numbers were “especially” concerning and asked families able to discharge relatives from the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital to do so.
She said: “The hospital is under tremendous pressure, and they need the space for additional admissions, not all of which are Covid related.
“An overwhelmed hospital with no available beds puts critically ill patients at risk.
“Anyone who can be discharged must leave the hospital to free up much needed bed space.”
The hospital and intensive care cases were both records, exceeding the 40 hospital cases recorded on April 19 this year and nine intensive care cases on April 26.
Ms Wilson was speaking as health officials announced 412 new infections from 13,125 test results that came back since the last update – a 3.1 per cent positivity rate.
The tests were carried out from last Wednesday to last Sunday.
A total of 130 positive results were returned from 2,977 tests on Wednesday – a record one-day high.
Another 77 positive results were returned last Thursday, 98 last Friday, 64 last Saturday, and 43 last Sunday.
Ms Wilson did not say if tougher safety restrictions would set to be introduced because of the increase in cases.
But it is understood that David Burt, the Premier, will give a press conference today.
A breakdown of cases by age showed that 140 of those infected were aged under 19, with 50 of those aged under 10.
More than 160 people in their 20s have the virus and 210 people between the ages of 30 and 39 were also infected.
The average age of all cases is 39.
The seven day average of the real time reproduction number is 1.46 and the island’s country status has been moved to “clusters of cases”
There were 384 cases classed as on-island transmissions or under investigation.
The number of cases classed as from overseas was 28.
There are 905 people being monitored by public health officials and there have been 78 recoveries since last Friday’s figures were released.
The update last Friday showed 613 active cases on the island, with 28 people in hospital and five in intensive care.
Ms Wilson said test rates remained extremely high and walk-ins were not being accepted at test centres. Vaccination rates also continue to stall.
A total of 66 per cent of the population had had both doses of vaccine – up just 0.2 per cent on a week ago.
The majority of the 83 new cases from overseas had been found in patients who were vaccinated.
But of the 865 cases spread through on-island transmission or that were under investigation, 72 per cent were not vaccinated.
Ms Wilson said: “Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 vaccine remains the best protection against the coronavirus as they protect against severe disease and death. Despite this surge, the number of coronavirus infections among vaccinated residents remains relatively low.
“I encourage anyone who wants to get vaccinated to do so quickly. There are 264 first doses left on the island until our next shipment.
“We will be extending the gap between the first and second doses of Pfizer Covid vaccine from three weeks to six weeks.
“This will help us deliver more first vaccine doses to Bermudians whilst we await our next batch of vaccines.
“There is no reduction in immunity to Covid-19 as a result of this longer gap.”