The Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) announced “increased restrictions for visitors for inpatients and long term care residents at KEMH and MWI”, due to the “growing number” of cases of COVID-19 in Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Long term care residents and isolation patients on any ward will no longer receive visitors, while acute and critical care patients will be able to have one designated person visit for one hour.

“Gosling (Children’s) ward will allow limited visits by parents only, and Maternity visiting will stay the same as before, with one designated support person able to attend the birth and visit once a day if the mother stays longer than 24 hours. Changes will come into effect on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at noon.”

CEO & President, Michael Richmond stated: “We, like everyone in Bermuda, have watched the growing number of positive cases in the community with dismay. As the community numbers have risen we have not been surprised that the number of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 has started to go up. We feel we must act now to restrict visitation.

“Although it hurts to do this just before Christmas, our concern is that the risks are only going to go up,” he added.

“People in the community may be more social through the holidays and our first instinct must be to protect those in our care from this increased transmission risk. Reducing the numbers of people in the hospital to the most essential is our best way of reducing the risk. We may have to consider a complete cessation of visiting if the figures continue to deteriorate in the coming days and weeks, but we will only do this if there is no other choice.

“We promise to do all we can to support remote visits using mobile devices and we remain sensitive to exceptional circumstances, such as when a patient is near death. We hope the community understands and works with us to do wall we can to support patients and residents through this difficult time so that they can enjoy future Christmas holidays together.”

Changes to visiting by area:

• Acute care inpatient units and Intensive Care Unit (KEMH)

Ace Barber, Ascendant Partner Re, Catlin Lindo, Curtis, Agape and ICU
One designated support person may visit once a day for one hour between noon and 6pm.

• Gosling Ward

Only parents can visit.

• Isolation patients on any ward (MWI and KEMH)

Isolation patients either have a confirmed infectious disease, such as COVID-19, or are waiting for the results. All patients admitted are tested for COVID-19 and are on isolation until they receive a negative result.
No visitors, other than in truly exceptional circumstances [such as end of life]. Visitors must be approved by the unit manager before visiting.

• Long term care residents (MWI and KEMH)

KEMH: Cooper, Gordon and Perry Units; MWI: Devon Lodge, Reid Ward and all group homes

No visitation allowed, other than in truly exceptional circumstances (such as end of life)

• Agape House

No visitors for long stay patients at Agape House. Patients in their last phase of dying will be allowed two visitors In the room at a time who will be required to wear full personal protective equipment.

• Maternity (No change)

One designated support person can attend the birth and up to eight hours afterwards. If mom stays on the ward longer than 24 hours, the support person can visit for up to four hours once a day.