Bermuda Post

Saturday, Dec 05, 2020

One new COVID-19 case reported in Bermuda, 27 October

One new COVID-19 case reported in Bermuda, 27 October

Yesterday, there were 764 test results received by the Ministry of Health, and one was positive for COVID-19.

The most recent case is classified as imported having arrived on BA 2233 from London on 22nd October 2020. The case, a resident, was asymptomatic and received a positive test result on their Day 4 test. Case isolation and contact tracing has begun.

Bermuda now has 194 total confirmed positive cases. Their status is as follows:

there are 10 active cases, who are
all under public health monitoring, and
none are hospitalized or in critical care;
a total of 175 have recovered, and
the total deceased remains 9.

The average age of all of our confirmed positive cases is 55 and the age range of all of our positive cases is from 7 to 101 years.

Overall, 49% of cases were Black, 43% White and 8% other/unknown.

The source of all local cases is as follows:

83 are Imported
90 are Local transmission, with known contact
21 are Local transmission with an unknown contact, and
none are under investigation

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

Minister Wilson Covid-19 Press Conference Remarks

I would like to encourage returning travelers to take particular care and follow enhanced precautions during the time between having their pre-departure test and boarding their flight back to Bermuda. Consider everyone you come into contact with a potential carrier of COVID-19. Wear your mask. Be extra vigilant in avoiding those who seem unwell. Keep at least a six foot distance between yourself and others. Wash your hands often. Carry a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer and use it frequently. Avoid crowds and any situations where you are unmasked with others in a poorly-ventilated space.

As you will have all hopefully heard by now, the CDC has reclassified Bermuda from Travel Health Notice Level 2 to Travel Health Notice Level 0. Level 0 means a ‘Travel Health Notice’ does not apply or, in other words, that Bermuda’s rating has been revised to the lowest level possible.

This extremely welcome change comes as a result of negotiations led by the Ministry of Health with the assistance of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and Government House; and is a testament to Bermuda’s strict testing regime and public health protocols.

Our team has been working hard to keep the island safe from COVID-19 and our efforts continue to be recognized internationally. This change in our status with the United States CDC, will hopefully encourage more visitors to come to our shores and continue showcasing our strong and resilient island home.

Previously, Bermuda was listed at an Alert Level 2, and the CDC recommended people at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 avoid nonessential travel to the island, and practice enhanced precautions.

More recently, the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, required a 14 day self-quarantine when travellers return to the state of New York from any level 2 country.This led to difficulties for persons hoping to visit Bermuda and if not rectified could have put flight capacity to the island at risk.

An investigation by the Ministry determined that countries rated Level 0 or 1 were exempt from the quarantine requirement of New York State.

Again, I want to congratulate all involved who worked with the CDC via CARPHA and other channels to secure Bermuda’s reclassification.

One topic which I now want to touch on briefly is workplace guidance in a COVID-19 world – specifically offices. I have heard several questions raised recently about mask-wearing, meetings, physical distancing requirements and remote working.

There is an abundance of workplace-specific guidance on the Government website coronavirus.gov.bm but I will provide you with a few key points now as it relates to office environments:

Employees should work remotely if possible;

Consider using team 'bubbles' for office staff. (I.e. one week half of the staff are in the office; the next week the other half are in);

Encourage employees to stay home if unwell;

Encourage employees to wash hands or use hand sanitizer often;

Employees should work six feet from others or three feet if wearing masks;

Staff should hold virtual meetings when possible. Where remote meetings are not possible, staff must be six feet from others and no more than 10
persons in a meeting;

Employers should review options for increasing ventilation - consider air purifiers, for example;

Employers should also review how persons enter and leave the work space. How can you reduce the overlap of employees and increase disinfection?

Where located in a multi-office building, identify designated entry and exit points to minimize worker contact while moving through the worksite;

Employees should wear a mask whenever moving around the office;

And, finally, consult the Return to Work Recommendations for Businesses at coronavirus.gov.bm. There is special guidance for returning to work after travel.
As a reminder, the remaining October Flu Express location is the Clock Tower, Dockyard on Wednesday 28th October from 10am until 2pm.

During the month of November the flu vaccine will be available at the Hamilton Health Centre in an outdoor setting using a pop up tent from 2pm until 4pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The flu vaccine is a safe and highly effective method of preventing most cases of flu.

Before I conclude my remarks tonight, I would like to remind people not to go to the hospital or health centres if they are self-isolating, quarantining or symptomatic without first calling ahead.

Stay safe, Bermuda, and, remember, I wear a mask to protect you; you wear a mask to protect me.

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