Health Minister Kim Wilson confirmed another death due to COVID-19 in Bermuda this week, bringing the total number of deaths recorded to date up to 11.
Speaking at the latest government briefing on Tuesday (January 5) the Minister said this latest death was “very upsetting” for members of the public.
She also confirmed that the first batch of just over 9,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are scheduled to arrive in Bermuda on Friday (January 8) – enough for 4,500 people, as the Ministry prepares to begin administering the new vaccine.
That process is set to begin next Monday (Jan 11) for seniors in rest homes and long-term care facilities, healthcare workers and essential workers, including firefighters, police and teachers.
No word yet on the plan moving forward for any of those workers who do not want to take the “jab”.
The Minister did say that “thousands of people have been given a COVID-19 vaccine so far, and no serious side effects or complications have been reported”.
Another 12,500 doses of a vaccine produced by COVAX are expected to reach Bermuda in April.
A vaccination “trial” exercise was held on Tuesday at the Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist Church, as a medical committee, which includes staff from the Health Ministry work out the vaccine distribution plan.
“To evaluate the exercise and determine what tweaks and improvement are necessary” will take place at a post-exercise debriefing today.
Meanwhile, eight new cases were confirmed in the latest round of 875 test results received by health officials this week.
According to the Minister, one was a returning resident who arrived here from New York last Wednesday and tested positive on Day 4.
Another passenger arrived on Sunday on a flight from Atlanta, who tested positive on arrival. Two more arrived from London the same day, who also tested positive on arrival.
Two of the new cases were classed as on-island transmissions with a known contact and two are under investigation.
There are currently 99 active cases in Bermuda – a total of three people have fully recovered. But there are five people in hospital – none are in critical care.
To date, there have been 632 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March – 522 people have recovered from infection.
A total of 384 were on-island transmissions, with 349 with known contacts and 35 with no identified source.
The total number of cases imported from overseas is now 168.
The seven-day average of the real-time reproduction number is less than one – 0.62 – and Bermuda’s country status remains listed as “clusters of cases”.
Premier David Burt also announced that the curfew cut-off hour has been pushed back to midnight as opposed to 11pm and will run through to 5am as of Thursday.
The closure of businesses will also be pushed back to 11pm from 10pm. Bars and night clubs not able to provide food service or outside seating will remain closed for now. No word yet on when that will change. That decision will be made in two weeks time.
Minister of National Security, Renée Ming noted that there were 26 breaches of the curfew since December 18.
It was also noted that the limit for outdoor funerals has been increased from ten to 20 people but gatherings will remain limited to ten people.