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Thursday, Aug 05, 2021

1 new COVID-19 case reported in Bermuda, 15 June 2021

1 new COVID-19 case reported in Bermuda, 15 June 2021

COVID-19 Update - Minister of Health's Remarks 15 June 2021 | Government of Bermuda
Thank you Premier, and good evening everyone.

Let me start by expressing my gratitude to everyone who has worked tremendously hard to keep Bermuda safe during this pandemic.

We have made significant progress in controlling the spread of the virus, and we appear to be turning the corner with our positive coronavirus cases continuing to fall.

The Ministry of Health received 1445 test results since the last update, and one (1) was positive for COVID-19. This gives a test positivity rate of 0.1%.

The new case is classified as under investigation. It is a resident with no currently identified link to other known cases or history of travel in the past 14 days.

Additionally, since the last update, there were no recoveries and no deaths.

There are currently five (5) active cases, of which;

· 4 are under public health monitoring and;

· One (1) is in the hospital, with none (0) in intensive care.

Since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 2499 total confirmed cases of COVID-19; out of those, 2461 persons have recovered, and sadly, there have been 33 COVID related deaths.

The source of all cases is as follows:

· 308 are Imported

· 2189 are classified as local transmission of which:

o 1682 are Local transmission with known contact/source and

o 507 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source

· 2 are Under Investigation

As investigations proceed, transmission categories may change.

The seven-day average of our real-time reproduction number is less than 1.

Bermuda’s current WHO country status remains “Community Transmission”. Bermuda’s WHO country status could be changed to “Sporadic Cases” on June 21 2021, if our epidemiological situation continues to meet the criteria, i.e. case numbers remain low, and any detected cases are either imported or linked to imported or other known cases.

Bermuda’s current PAHO country status is Sporadic Cases.

I will now provide an update on our vaccination programme…

We have completed the twenty-second full week of vaccinations. Since January 11 Bermuda has administered a total of 76,526 vaccinations – a figure that rises to 76,860 if you include vaccinations on Sunday June 13 and Monday June 14 as well!

Of the 76,526 vaccinations given as of June 12:

52% are women, and,
48% are men.
81.6% of all residents over the age of 65 years have had at least one vaccination, and 76.4% are fully immunised.

To date, 64.0% of the total population has been vaccinated (1 dose), and 55.4% of the total population has been immunised (2 doses).

We have had questions about the percentage of the population that is eligible to be vaccinated. To date, 72% of the eligible population has been vaccinated with one (1) dose, and 62% of the eligible population has been immunised (2 doses).

We have confirmation from Government House that 4,680 more Pfizer vaccine doses are arriving next week from the UK, which is excellent!

This will allow us to continue to offer vaccinations to as many people as possible. The more people who are immunised, the safer our community becomes, and I am pleased to announce that we can now end most public health restrictions due to our significant progress in controlling the virus as reflected in our updated country status.

However, the following restrictions will remain: a maximum of 100 people for large group gatherings and the wearing masks indoors (particularly when not eating or drinking).

Regarding face masks, by now all of us know a face mask is a key preventive measure when it comes to the slowing spread of the coronavirus. We also know that we have not yet conquered this global pandemic. So, mask wearing indoors – the setting most likely to result in transmission – will continue for some time to come.

What does this mean for gyms, for example? Gym owners will no longer need to space their equipment. However, when not working out, staff and patrons must wear a mask. To be blunt: we don’t know who is and who isn’t vaccinated, and now is not the time to end our vigilance completely. We have come too far and worked too hard for the success we’ve achieved. The entire Bermuda community deserves relaxations but within this reasonable limit: wear a mask indoors.

We are completing all of the necessary amendments to finalise the Quarantine Order pertaining to mandatory quarantine.

As of June 20 2021, all non-immunised persons travelling to Bermuda are subject to mandatory quarantine. Mandatory quarantine means those hotel and guest house properties that have been designated as such by the Bermuda Government.

There are seven approved quarantine locations:

· Coco Reef Resort

· Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa

· Hamilton Princess & Beach Club

· Willowbank Resort

· Coral Beach and Tennis Club

· Rosemont Guest Suites

· Fairmont Southampton

Travellers arriving on Sunday, June 20 or after will need to follow the new travel authorisation process where they will be asked a series of questions to determine the category of traveller they fall into. The new process will be available at: https://www.gov.bm/coronavirus-travellers from tomorrow.

The travel authorisation fee will remain the same at $75.

An unimmunised traveller requiring a quarantine hotel must:

· cover the costs for the hotel stay;

· choose from one of the seven participating properties; and

· book their hotel in advance of arrival in Bermuda.

For those people who were already abroad before May 6, the Bermuda Government will pay for the quarantine stay. The details of this will be available to the public later this week.

Exemptions from the quarantine hotel are limited to

· Unaccompanied Minors aged 17 years or younger on the date arriving in Bermuda

· Medically Vulnerable certified by a licensed Physician, Psychologist or local health insurer

· Caregivers of medically vulnerable travellers

These persons will still be required to quarantine and will have checks to ensure they are quarantining at home. Minor children, those under 18, will follow a Traveller’s First 14 Days for Children unless they or their parents are required to quarantine. This will include students returning home from boarding school, for example.

Each non-immunised traveller must have a confirmed (pre-paid) booking at a government-authorised hotel to apply for a Traveller Authorisation. And every immunised traveller must upload proof of their immunisation status to their Traveller Authorisation.

Testing for travellers will expand to include children from the age of two, with the oropharyngeal PCR test being used for young children.

We will continue to do our best to keep Bermuda COVID free as we welcome residents home and visitors to our island and re-open our economy.

The next Close to Home mobile vaccinations will be at Sandy’s Middle School on Thursday, June 17, from 4 – 7 pm.

On Saturday, June 19 at the National Sports Centre from 10 am – 2 pm and next Tuesday, June 22 at the Shelly Bay Marketplace from 10 am – 2 pm. Currently, the Close to Home programme is administering second doses only. If you had your first dose at Sandy’s Secondary Middle School, please remember to get your second jab this Thursday.

If you want a free ride to any Close to Home mobile vaccinations sites, call 533-5903 between 10.00 am and 1.30 pm. Mini-buses are available to take you there and bring you back home.

Since the mobile vaccination programme began on April 27, a total of 3,835 vaccines have been given as of June 13. About 66% of injections were administered to people receiving their first dose.

If you need assistance getting vaccinated or have questions, please contact vaccine@gov.bm, or call the hotline 444-2498 and select Option #2. The Vaccine Call Centre is available from 8 am – 4 pm, Monday to Friday and Saturdays from 9 am - 3 pm. The Vaccine Call Centre is closed on Sundays.

With the new supply of vaccine due to arrive on island next week, we are asking all people who are interested in being vaccinated to register online at gov.bm, and you will get an appointment. We will begin first doses again later this week.

The Ministry of Health is aware of a fake email error message being circulated regarding COVID-19 vaccination certificates.

If you receive or have received correspondence entitled Vaccine Certificate Error from conbea@northrock.bm and signed by "The COVID-19 Vaccine Team," please ignore and delete it. All official emails regarding the COVID-19 vaccine certificates are sent from the Government of Bermuda COVID-19 Response Team at BermudaCovidVaccine@resqwest.com. You can also contact the Vaccine hotline on 444-2498 and select Option #2, or email vaccinecertificates@gov.bm.

In closing, I want to remind the public to have an accurate and comprehensive list of every guest at your events and gatherings, including yard and house parties.

Guest lists should include the full name, email address, phone number and both the date and time of arrival for everyone in attendance. They should also provide table or seating assignment details and departure times, if possible.

This information is necessary to facilitate contact tracing in the event of a connected case of COVID-19.

Please remember, each of us must do our part to stop the spread of the coronavirus. It is essential that we all follow Public Health guidelines, as I stated before, and wear a mask, practice good hand hygiene, maintain physical distance and download the WeHealth Bermuda app. Do the research, talk with your doctor and make an informed decision about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. There is a wealth of information about the vaccines online at gov.bm.

Stay safe, Bermuda, and don’t forget to avoid the three “Cs”: closed spaces, crowded places and close contact settings.
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