One more Covid-related death as hospital quarantines two long-term care wards
One new death linked to Covid-19 was recorded by health officials yesterday, bringing the island’s total confirmed fatalities of the pandemic to 153.
The figures were posted on the Government’s Covid-19 “dashboard” online.
It showed 39 active cases outside the hospital, with a further seven people being treated in the hospital for coronavirus.
The figures marked a substantial increase on December 14, when the island had 19 total active cases, with six people in hospital.
But with the majority of testing now taking place at home and going unreported, the ministry has acknowledged that a true picture of Covid-19 cases could not be known.
The update came after Bermuda Hospitals Board announced that two long-term care wards at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital had been put under quarantine after an outbreak of Covid-19.
Visits are on hold and family members of the residents are being contacted, according to the BHB, which has not identified the wards or given the number of Covid cases.
Wesley Miller, the BHB chief of staff, said there were “very well-established processes to follow” in the event of patients testing positive for the virus.
Dr Miller said that “while many Covid protocols have relaxed, we have continued with regular surveillance testing for residents on long term care units”.
Testing also applies to all patients admitted to acute care areas at the KEMH and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute.
Dr Miller added: “This is a reminder that Covid, along with flu and other respiratory infections, are circulating in Bermuda and we still need to protect the people most vulnerable to complications.”
A BHB spokeswoman added: “There have been both resident and staff positives. As per BHB protocols, all staff in the affected units have been tested.”
Kim Wilson, the health minister, warned this month that the hospital was seeing a rise in patients attending the Emergency Department and being admitted for a variety of respiratory ailments.
She spoke as the island braced for a more active than usual flu season.
Last week, Dr Miller called on the public to “only come to Emergency when needed”.
He added: “About half of Emergency attendances are from people who could have seen their doctors in the community.”
BHB said anyone planning to visit a long-term care ward resident should call the unit before attending.