Emergency services’ signs of recovery from coronavirus surge
Emergency services staffing levels have started to recover after quarantine rules were relaxed, it was revealed yesterday.
A spokesman for the Fire Service Association said that a loosening off of Covid-19 regulations that allowed close contacts of an infected individual to return to work if they were fully vaccinated with a booster had helped.
The spokesman said: “There have been some hiccups as we've had to await the delays in PCR tests and the odd few who have tested positive on their return to work test, but overall we are seeing improvement.
“Best guess, we've seen a quarter of those out due to the previous protocols return to work so far.”
He added that the number of fire service personnel unable work had peaked at about 40, but the situation had started to turn around.
The spokesman warned: “We are certainly not out of the woods, and there is still the need for occasional double shifts and overtime in order to keep stations open, but hopefully things continue to improve.
“Of course the fact still remains that even at full strength, we are short, but that is another issue.
“For now we are just glad to have our firefighters returning to good health.”
A spokeswoman for the Bermuda Hospitals Board confirmed yesterday that the number of workers off the job because they had tested positive for the coronavirus or were a close contact of an infected individual had dropped almost 150 last week to 103.
She said: “At this time, hospital services are running as usual but we are continuing to monitor the situation closely.”
Staff at the Department of Works & Engineering’s waste management section were also understood to have been affected by the latest wave of infections.
But a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works said trash collection had not been affected.
He said: “Staffing levels are being assessed daily and personnel have been repositioned across the ministry to minimise the impact to essential services.”
The spokesman added that the public could still drop off domestic waste at the Tynes Bay incinerator between 7am and 7pm every day.