Covid-19 infections continue to rise, officials warn
The number of Covid-19 infections continue to rise, health officials revealed last night.
They reported 312 active cases – an increase of 41 on the 271 reported last Thursday.
There are nine people in hospital, although none are in intensive care.
The latest figures came against the backdrop of a rising number of cases and two deaths last week.
There were 257 cases reported on Monday of last week and 224 on March 10.
Health officials said there were 137 new cases found in 5,140 tests from last Wednesday to last Saturday.
Eight of the cases came in from overseas, 53 were classed as on-island transmissions and 76 are under investigation.
There have been 96 recoveries since last Thursday’s update.
The island’s total known Covid-19 cases since the pandemic struck two years ago stands at 12,231, with a confirmed death toll of 126.
Kim Wilson, the health minister, said that the island’s decision to loosen health restrictions did not “equate to fewer precautions”.
The vaccination clinic at Pier 6 in Hamilton will be closed on Saturday and its final day for free vaccinations will be on March 31.
Ms Wilson said: “As the pandemic is still here, we must avoid unhealthy behaviour and putting ourselves in risky situations without practising appropriate public health guidance to protect ourselves and others.”
She added she was “especially concerned about how responsible people will be once the mask mandate is relaxed”.
Mask-wearing remains in place after this month for:
• Healthcare or institutional settings, such as clinics, nursing homes, rest homes and prisons
• For those providing transport for the public, which includes the cabin areas of ferries, as well as buses, taxis and minibuses;
• Inside the airport
• In school settings, as directed by the Minister of Education.
Ms Wilson said: “It is strongly recommended that businesses set mask requirements for entry and the provision of services, which are appropriate for their establishments.”
She said mask-wearing was a personal decision, but recommended by the ministry in situations when social-distancing was not possible.
Masks were also recommended outdoors in the presence of strangers and in poorly ventilated settings.
Ms Wilson said: “Wearing a mask is vital to people who have compromised immunity or are unvaccinated.
“Scientific evidence has shown that the primary route of transmission of the coronavirus is via droplets and aerosols from speaking, singing, coughing or sneezing.”