Bermuda Post

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020

39 new COVID test were conducted over past 24 hours; no new infections

39 new COVID test were conducted over past 24 hours; no new infections

Today there were 39 test results received by the Ministry of Health; and none were positive for COVID-19.
Bermuda continues to have 141 total confirmed positive cases. Their status is as follows:

There are now 19 active cases, of which 12 persons are under active public health monitoring, and 7 persons are hospitalized; and none are in critical care.

A total of 113 have now recovered, and the total deceased remains 9.

The average age of all of our confirmed positive cases is 61 and the age range of all of our positive cases is from 18 to 101 years.

The average age of persons hospitalized is 79 and their age ranges from 66 to 91 years.

The average age of all deceased cases is 74 and the age range is 57 to 91 years.

In terms of the race breakdown: 57% of all cases are Black, 41% are white and 2% are other or unknown.

The source of all local cases is as follows:

- 41 are Imported
- 84 are Local transmission, with known contact
- 11 are Local transmission with an unknown contact, and
- 5 are under investigation

Bermuda’s country status remains “Local Transmission – Cluster of Cases”. The seven-day average of our real time reproduction number is 0.39, putting us in a great place in the control of coronavirus.

As many people are aware, there is an airbridge arriving from Toronto tomorrow repatriating Bermudians and residents who need to return home. I want to remind the public that all arriving travelers HAVE to quarantine at home for 14 days, and during this period they cannot interact with others or receive any household visitors.

We have very clear guidance on the website coronavirus.gov.bm under “Guidance”, which includes what a quarantined person can and cannot do, and what other household members must do.

Please help protect our most vulnerable by responsibly keeping away from quarantined persons, for everyone’s safety. Connect with your loved ones by phone and the various video and social media alternatives until they complete their quarantine and have a negative test results after 14 days.

On the matter of protecting our most vulnerable, I want to pause once again and remind the public of the continued need to shield persons who are most at risk from COVID complications… complications that can lead to death.

Coronavirus can make anyone ill, but some persons are extremely vulnerable and are at a higher risk and need to take extra steps to avoid becoming ill – this is called shielding

Shielding is a measure to protect clinically extremely vulnerable people from coming into contact with coronavirus, by minimising all interaction between them and others, especially individuals not living in your household. However, households living with a person at higher risk from infection will have to take steps to support the individual.

Household members do not all need to start shielding themselves, but they should do what they can to support persons who must be shielding and to carefully follow guidance on avoiding high risk settings and practice physical distancing.

While at home persons who are shielding should:

Minimise the time other people living with you spend in shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas, and keep shared spaces well ventilated.

Keep 6 ft (2 metres) away from people you live with and encourage them to sleep in a different bed where possible. If you can, use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household. Use separate towels from the other people in your house, both for drying yourself after bathing or showering and for hand-hygiene purposes.

If you share a toilet and bathroom with others, it’s important that they are cleaned every time after use (for example, wiping surfaces you have come into contact with). Consider drawing up a rota for bathing, with you using the facilities first.

If you share a kitchen with others, avoid using it while they’re present. If you can, take your meals back to your room to eat. If you have one, use a dishwasher to clean and dry used crockery and cutlery. If this is not possible, wash them using your usual washing-up liquid and water and dry them thoroughly. If you are using your own utensils, remember to use a separate tea towel for drying these.

Everyone in your household should regularly wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, avoid touching their face and clean frequently touched surfaces.

You and the rest of your family or household should try to follow this advice as far as you are able.

I encourage everyone to go to coronavirus.gov.bm and look at the extensive resource tools that have been created to guide us through these often confusing times.

And, finally, as always, Bermuda, please continue to practice physical distancing, minimise your social interactions and wear a mask. And, no, a face shield should not replace a mask. I have had that question asked a few times this week… A face shield will only reduce droplet-transmission but will not work if the virus is in the air. If you are going to be in close contact with people outside your household… wear a mask.

Masks are critical for reducing coronavirus transmission by as much as 80 per cent. They also act as a catch-all for the wearer who then protects others from any illness they may have.

The message of mask wearing and physical distancing is vitally important because these actions are key to our success. As a country we will not contain COVID-19 or progress to phase 4 without the public fully embracing these actions.

However, the reminder is especially important today, as we anticipate peaceful demonstrations this weekend. Wearing a mask and physical distancing are especially important in a crowded space.

Mass gatherings such as this can lead to a surge in cases of COVID-19 if the necessary precautions are not taken. They can become “super-spreader events”. So I implore all who intend to participate to wear your face masks and do your best to stay six feet apart, and no less than 3 feet.

This is an opportune moment to remind the public again of our new Reopening Scorecard, which will be updated today and can be viewed on the website.

You will see that “Preventive Behaviours” is the first category of indicators we are measuring… this is because they are the most important items that will enable us to move successfully through phases, and the whole of Bermuda is needed to participate in these. For this reason I encourage the public to sign up to HealthIQ and update their status regularly.

Your participation and reports on HealthIQ informs Bermuda’s performance. The better we do on face mask wearing, physical distancing and adoption of technology, the better we will fare. Since Monday we have gone from 5,000 participants to just over 6,000 today, so well done Bermuda! The target is 10,000 minimum, so I encourage everyone, of any age to participate. Your data is confidential and cannot be viewed by anyone at all.

A few people have asked if we could provide the COVID results by Parish. While this cannot be done because with such small number people could easily become identifiable, HealthIQ does provide a better alternative. The App reports aggregate data and provides a heat map of potential cases, showing which postal codes have more reports. For persons looking to see where there are more potential cases, HealthIQ provides this solution.

So visit healthiq.bm to download the App and help Bermuda get through our phased reopening.

Thank You, Bermuda, and stay safe.
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