Bermuda Post

Thursday, Aug 13, 2020

No new COVID-19 cases in Bermuda 9 July; 3 active cases remain

No new COVID-19 cases in Bermuda 9 July; 3 active cases remain

Today there were 283 test results received by the Ministry of Health; and none were positive for COVID-19.
Bermuda has 149 total confirmed positive cases. As of today we have 3 actives case in Bermuda, of which none are hospitalized. All cases were imported.

A total of 137 have recovered, and the total deceased remains 9.

The average age of all of our confirmed positive cases is 60 and the age range of all of our positive cases is from 18 to 101 years.

Overall, 56% of all cases are Black, 40% are white and 4% are other or unknown.

The source of all local cases is as follows:

- 45 are Imported
- 85 are Local transmission, with known contact
- 16 are Local transmission with an unknown contact, and
- 3 are under investigation

Bermuda’s country status is “Sporadic Cases”. The seven-day average of our real time reproduction number is below 1.

Minister Kim Wilson's remarks

This week’s positive cases are a serious wake-up call that COVID-19 has not gone away. With our low COVID numbers, it's perhaps easy to forget that we are living in the midst of a pandemic; but the reality is that we are and we need to take the same precautions we always have to protect ourselves and our community. As I have said before, now is not the time to let our guard down.

Having said that, I want to reassure the public that the Ministry of Health, upon receiving this week’s positive results, moved immediately to contact those individuals, isolate them, and begin the contact tracing process to determine who they may have been in close contact with – both on the flight and upon being landed. Those potential contacts will then have been contacted by one of our public health officials who would have provided them with further advice.

Contact tracing is a fundamental part of outbreak control that’s used by public health professionals around the world to prevent the spread of infections.

A contact is assessed to see how close they were to a confirmed case, which could include someone who has been in direct contact with them…in this case, seated immediately near them on the airplane, for example.

Following this assessment, we can categorise them into low or high risk and contact them to provide advice on what they should do.

A low risk contact, for example, doesn’t require self-quarantine but should practice physical distancing. Meanwhile, a high risk contact is required to self-quarantine, remaining in their home or accommodation for 14 days and staying away from work or public places. This would be a person sitting near the person who is positive.

Every passenger on the plane does not have to quarantine for 14 days. Only those who were close to the affected persons, and they will know because a public health officer will contact them. We have their contact details thanks to the Travel Authorizations.

As a reminder, ‘quarantine’ keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others; while ‘isolation’ separates people who are infected with the virus away from people who are not infected.

All passengers from this week’s Delta flights received immediate email communication from the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit explaining that a fellow passenger tested positive for COVID-19 and advising them on their next steps.

To reiterate, any passengers from this week’s Delta flights needing to quarantine beyond the standard prescribed for them on arrival, will be contacted by public health officials, if they have not been already.

However, ALL arriving passengers must monitor their health for 14 days (if applicable for length of stay) and take their temperature twice daily and record their symptoms on a symptom log provided. Also, they should limit their exposure to others in the community, as much as practicable, for 14 days.

I want to stress that last point; if you are a passenger arriving into Bermuda; do not think that you can circulate among the community without precautions once you have received two negative test results. You are still not completely out of the woods until 14 days surpasses, even with two negative results.

So please wear a mask, practice good hand hygiene, stay on alert to any symptoms you may experience, practice physical distancing, keep a log of your movements and try and restrict those movements as much as possible.

I just want to close by reiterating that all information for travellers has been posted to the Government website coronavirus.gov.bm. Among the resources that you will find on that page is a Quick Guide to Travellers’ Quarantine Requirements.

The guide breaks down the action a traveller must take into three possible situations:

1. If you have a pre-travel test plus an arrival test you will be released from quarantine with a negative result from your arrival test. This usually takes about 6 to 8 hours, though it can take longer at times depending on the time of day, for example.

2. If you do not have a pre-departure test but you take the arrival test you must quarantine for 3 days and then can come out of quarantine once you have a negative Day-3 Test.

3. And, finally, if you have no pre-departure test and no arrival test you must quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

If you test positive at any time you must isolate for 14 days.

Finally, with the summer in full swing there have been a lot of questions about camping. I remind you that we remain under emergency measures and a curfew is in place between midnight and 5am. This prohibits being outdoors during those times and necessarily prohibits camping.

In closing, I want to urge residents to continue to wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizer before and after entering any store or public building, shield our medically vulnerable, and continue to wear your mask and keep six feet apart if you are not wearing one.
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