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Hospitals move to highest alert status as Covid-19 cases rocket

Michael Richmond, CEO of the Bermuda Hospitals Board (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The highest disaster level alert was last night introduced in Bermuda’s hospitals after an increase in Covid-19 admissions to intensive care.

Michael Richmond, the president and CEO of the Bermuda Hospitals Board, said the upgrade to Disaster Level 4 reflected “the high number of Covid-19 patients in hospital and in the ICU, the pressure on staff, and the impact of the pandemic on our staffing levels”.

Dr Richmond added that non-emergency services had been cancelled and admitted that staffing levels were “taxed”.

He said: “At this time we have more admitted and sicker patients with Covid-19 in hospital than we have experienced at any time during the whole pandemic.

“We are redeploying all available staff to acute, critical care and emergency services.”

Dr Richmond added: “Our employees are professional and dedicated individuals, but they are also human beings and the risk of burnout is increasingly evident.

“People in the community may not realise the extent of the impact on healthcare services, but they need to be aware that the increasing demand on the hospital may start to impact our ability to deliver the quality of care that we usually strive for each day.”

Dr Richmond did not reveal the number of patients in the ICU, but tonight the health department said that 13 Covid-19 patients were in ICU.

A BHB spokeswoman later said that there were no non-Covid patients being treated in ICU.

Dr Richmond said that the public had to play its part to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

He said: “We are pleading with the community to follow all public health guidance, wear masks at all times inside and outside if within six feet of others.

Dr Richmond told the public: “Avoid crowds and enclosed spaces. Get vaccinated, please. It is the best defence against serious disease and death.

“We also ask people to take medically fit for discharge family members home.

“With the hospital under tremendous pressure, we need the staffing and the space for the new admitted patients, both Covid and non-Covid related.”

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Published September 18, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated September 18, 2021 at 7:59 am)

Hospitals move to highest alert status as Covid-19 cases rocket

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