Covid-19: one more death, but active cases fall
The island last night marked its first death from Covid-19 since October 13 – which pushed the death toll to 96.
But active infections stood at 171, compared with August 26, when there were 179 active cases.
Hospital cases have also dropped to 26 from the 29 reported on Tuesday.
The news came as King Edward VII Memorial Hospital dropped from its top alert level, which reflected a fall in the number of Covid-19 patients who require emergency and intensive care.
But a spokeswoman said the downgrade from Level 4 to 3 was a tentative step.
She emphasised that Covid-19 patients were still in hospital and an overflow intensive care unit remained open.
The number of patients in intensive care climbed since the last update, up from six to seven, despite the overall fall.
Visiting restrictions will remain in force and elective surgeries are still suspended.
But the spokeswoman said preparations for routine surgery to restart were “under way for a gradual relaxation, if numbers continue to decline”.
Michael Richmond, the chief executive of the Bermuda Hospitals Board, said the relaxation of the alert status had come after a tough time for staff.
Dr Richmond said: “Much was asked, much was given and we have a deep appreciation for their efforts.
“We are all hoping for a period to gradually recuperate.”
He thanked donors who provided meals for hospital staff.
Dr Richmond added that although friends and relatives would want to visit loved ones in hospital as soon as possible and patients would want to get their scheduled surgery, the board was still “moving cautiously at this alert level”.
The island recorded 19 new positive cases among the 5,419 test results that came back to health officials since the last update.
The test positivity dropped slightly, from 0.5 per cent to 0.4 per cent and the seven-day average of the island’s real-time reproduction number was 0.52.
There were five new cases from overseas and the remaining 14 were classified as on-island transmissions or under investigation.
The total number of cases under investigation is 79.
There have been 105 recoveries from the coronavirus since Tuesday and there were three hospital admissions and three discharges.
The latest figures bring the total cases logged since the pandemic hit to 5,612.
In the overseas cases, 95 per cent were found in people who were fully vaccinated – but among on-island cases or those under investigation, 70 per cent were in unvaccinated people.
Variant typing for the coronavirus is still unavailable because of the high volume of tests.
Bermuda's current country status remained at “community transmission”.
Kim Wilson, the health minister, announced that vaccinations would be offered from next Tuesday at Hamilton Health Centre on Victoria Street.
Jabs at the extra vaccination centre are by appointment only. These will include booster shots and will be available from 2pm to 4pm.
The public can call 332-8906 for assistance in scheduling an appointment or book here.
There is also a second vaccination centre at the National Sports Centre in Devonshire for those eligible to get the booster.
The vaccinations are available from Mondays to Fridays between noon and 6.30pm.
People aged 65 and over, as well as pregnant women who have had their second dose at least six months before can make appointments here.
Appointments can also be scheduled on the government website under the tab "Book a Booster Vaccine Appointment“.
People without internet access or who need assistance to make an appointment should call the vaccine centre at 444-2498 and use option 2.