The Ministry of Health confirmed 23 new cases of COVID-19 in Bermuda in the latest round of 870 test results since the last update, with 868 active cases.

Speaking at the latest COVID briefing last night, Minister Kim Wilson said: “There are 43 persons who have COVID-19 in the hospital.

“There have been four new admissions and five discharges. Five people are in ICU and three of them are intubated.”

One of the new cases was imported by a returning resident who arrived here from Boston on April 3 who tested positive on their Day 8 test.

“Six of the new cases are classified as local transmission with known contact as associated with known cases.

“The additional 16 new cases are classified as under investigation. These cases are among residents with no currently identified link to other known cases or history of travel in the past 14 days.

“There were 14 recoveries and 0 deaths.”

To date, Bermuda has 1935 total confirmed coronavirus cases,” she added.

The 868 active cases include 827 cases now under public health monitoring.

To date, a total of 1,051 people who contracted the virus have recovered. The number of deaths remains at 16.

The Minister also confirmed that “starting this weekend, the Bermuda College Vaccination Centre will be open from 9am – 3pm on both Saturdays and Sundays when 250 – 300 doses of the vaccine will be administered each day”.

“From April 19, Monday to Friday, the Centre will be open from 8am to midnight, allowing an additional 250 people a day to be vaccinated.

“This is a great step forward for the country’s vaccination programme with 1,550 extra doses being administered weekly.”

The Ministry has completed the thirteenth full week of vaccinations.

“From January 11to April 10, 2021, Bermuda has administered a total of 45,761 vaccinations – a figure that rises to 46,935 if you include vaccinations administered on Sunday and Monday. This is very good news indeed,” said Ms Wilson.

“Of the 45,761 vaccinations administered for the period we are reporting on, which ends April 10th; 54 percent are women, and, 46 percent are men.

“Bermuda’s goal of ‘herd immunity’ will be achieved when 70 percent of the population (64,054) has been immunised.

“To date, 40 percent of the population has been vaccinated (with 1 dose), and 31 percent of the population has been immunised (with 2 doses).

“To push forward and get close to this goal more quickly, the Ministry will be ramping up the vaccination programme at Bermuda College – as the Bermuda Hospitals Board has done already – with the aim of immunizing 62 percent of Bermuda’s population by Bermuda Day – 28 May 2021,” she added.

The Minister also appealed “to all the doctors in Bermuda” to help “ramp up” the vaccination programme.

“We are appealing to all the doctors in Bermuda to give us time. If every doctor in Bermuda takes one or two shifts on a weekday evening or during the day on Saturday or Sunday, we will succeed; Bermuda will succeed.

“As the Minister of Health, I am calling on the medical fraternity to make this commitment to our community. If you can help, please contact Dr Brett Lefkowitz at [email protected].

“Bermuda Hospitals Board already increased its vaccination output this past weekend, extending its hours on Saturdays and expanding to Sundays as well.

“The BHB will focus on delivering an additional 750 vaccinations each week. It is anticipated with the increased vaccination capacity, we will be very close herd immunity by the end of May, instead of mid-June.

“The simple message right now is, if you haven’t already, get vaccinated,” said Ms Wilson.

“There is no need to wait. There is no need to delay. Go online and put your name down to register. The process takes no more than two minutes. If you don’t have access to the online form, phone 444 2498 and register. We all have a role to play to keep our country safe.

“I am excited about the possibility of Bermuda more quickly achieving herd immunity.  Getting vaccinated is something we can do for ourselves, our family and our community.  Just imagine: celebrating Bermuda Day with a small group of immunised family and friends!”

She also extended “a sincere thank you to the physicians, EMTs, pharmacists, nurses, dentists and other allied professionals who have taken it upon themselves be a part of the vaccination process at the Vaccination Centre so far”.

“We could not do it without them.”