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Hike in COVID-19 cases in Bermuda

June 13, 2024

HAMILTON, Bermuda, CMC – Health Minister Kim Wilson is appealing to Bermudians to continue taking precautions against the coronavirus (COVID-19) after health authorities recorded six deaths so far this year.

She said the virus “has not gone away, we will probably always have cases in our community, and I urge everyone to continue taking precautions to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19”.

The Ministry of Health confirmed that there have been 303 confirmed cases up to June 8 and that the six deaths have been classed as “COVID-19-related” because fatalities had not yet undergone full certification, which includes the coding of death certificates by the Registry-General, followed by validation by the epidemiology and surveillance unit as well as the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency.

“Nonetheless, these deaths are reported as meeting the surveillance case definition,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that it monitors trends based on reports from “select healthcare providers and facilities”, including the Bermuda Hospitals Board, and by tracking outbreaks in “schools, long-term care facilities, and other identified locations”.

While the ministry did not give specific figures, the Health Minister said residents should maintain “good hygiene, social distancing, and respiratory etiquette”.

Anyone with suspected symptoms of COVID-19 has been advised to take a home antigen test or consult with a healthcare provider.

Positive cases should isolate for at least five days and close contacts should monitor their health and test accordingly.

A Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) spokeswoman said a long-term care unit at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and a unit at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute were under quarantine, with visits on hold, after an unspecified number of patients tested positive for the illness.

“Patients in these areas are being monitored and receiving appropriate care as needed. Some of our 1,800 staff members are also on leave due to COVID infections,” the spokeswoman said, with the BHB adding “we may feel like COVID is behind us, but it is important to remember that it’s still circulating in the community.

“Respiratory infections like Covid and flu can be particularly dangerous for our vulnerable patients and residents, whose immune systems may already be compromised.

Members of the public should postpone visiting their loved ones in hospital if they don’t feel well.

“Even if visitors feel well, we recommend they wear masks when in close contact with patients in case they are infectious but do not have symptoms. Our policy is that staff wear masks for all patient interactions to minimise any chance of infection between staff and patients,” the spokeswoman added.

(Photo: Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

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