Premier David Burt opened the latest COVID briefing confirming another five deaths due to COVID-19 in Bermuda, as the death toll climbs closer to 100 with 87 deaths.

But the number of active cases fell from 1,106 cases down to 890 – the lowest number since September 9.

There are currently 49 patients battling the coronavirus in hospital, with ten in intensive care.

A total of 36 new cases were reported in the latest round of 3,299 tests since the last update, with 247 recoveries.

The Premier’s opening remarks were echoed by Health Minister Kim Wilson, who said: “It distresses me to report again that since our last update, Bermuda experienced five more coronavirus-related deaths.

“My sincere condolences go out to the families and friends who have lost loved ones. Although our number of active cases is trending in the right direction, we are still experiencing deaths, and that is very sad.”

Five of the new cases are classified as imported with a history of travel in the previous 14 days.

The additional 31 new cases are classified as either local transmission or remain under investigation.

Additionally, since the last update, there have been 247 recoveries and five deaths.

There are 890 active cases, of which:

·         841 are under public health monitoring and

·         49 are in hospital, with 10 in intensive care

Since the last public report on Monday, there have been seven admissions and six discharges from the hospital.

Since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 5,455 confirmed coronavirus cases, out of which 4478 have recovered, and sadly 87 COVID related deaths.

The source of all active cases is as follows:

·         32 are Imported

·         193 are classified as local transmission of which:

o   193 are Local transmission with known contact/source and

o   0 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source

·         665 are Under Investigation

Active cases by vaccination status, transmission, and type:

·         Imported cases: 91% are fully vaccinated and 9% are not vaccinated

·         Local/Under Investigation cases: 30% are fully vaccinated and 70% are not vaccinated

·         Variant typing is not available at this time due to the prioritisation of test results.

The source of all confirmed cases is as follows:

·         613 are Imported

·         3,411 are classified as local transmission of which:

o   2,593 are Local transmission with known contact/source and

o   818 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source

·         1,431 are Under Investigation

It does appear that our numbers are trending in the right direction, and our active cases are decreasing,” the Minister added.

“I want to thank everyone for doing their part and making an effort to stop the spread of this aggressive Delta Variant.

However, we must not be complacent. We must not let our guard down, and we must continue to do everything we can to avoid getting infected with COVID-19.”

In closing, the Minister also noted that “due to the sheer number of cases, we require the public’s assistance in contacting close contacts to reduce further spread”.

“Please provide an email address on your COVID test booking if you want to benefit from this speedier automated notification process,” said Ms Wilson.

“We all must work together to help stop the spread of the virus in our community. When a test result comes back positive, persons will be notified via the email address provided on their test booking.

“The notification email will include necessary information on the steps the person who tested must take concerning isolation and other matters. It will also include a link to an online form that allows the positive person to list their close contacts to be notified about their exposure without disclosing who the positive person is.”

Premier Burt also noted that “the Government, alongside the Bermuda Tourism Authority, is continuing our work in spreading the message that Bermuda is a safe place for those who wish to visit our shores”.

“We are also working collaboratively to build back the business that we have lost in our tourism sector due to this recent surge, as well as securing new business that will benefit those who rely on tourism income for their livelihoods. 

As the Minister of Health stated earlier, our metrics are all moving in the right direction, but our hospital is still in a critical state. Further progress will require us all to do our part and accept personal responsibility for doing what is necessary to protect ourselves and our families,” said Mr Burt.

In closing, the Premier said: “Each of us plays a critical role in our efforts to reduce the further spread of the coronavirus, protect our healthcare system, get students back into the classroom, and protect our most vulnerable. 

Our sense of community must be as strong as ever. We must look out for one another and continue to take the necessary precautions to keep ourselves, our family, and our friends and neighbours safe.

“We must continue to rely on our resilient Bermudian spirit, which has been tested time and time again over the last 18 months and has not withered yet.

“I know that it is hard to envision a future when there is so much pain in our community – but we must as a country move forward with a sense of unity and togetherness.”