Health Minister Kim Wilson confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in Bermuda, saying the first active case was identified last Sunday from an arrival test. 

Speaking at the latest COVID briefing on Tuesday (Dec 7), the Minister said all close contacts with the individual involved were in quarantine and have all come back clear of COVID thus far.

This first case was among 31 active cases and genome sequencing was being carried out on all of them.

“The Omicron variant was identified quickly and, in our view, there is no need to panic,” said the Minister.

“Successful public health measures such as SafeKey supplement our testing and surveillance policies and together are effective in reducing transmission of the virus.”

A spokeswoman said since the last update, the Ministry received 6,109 test results and nine were positive. Eight of the new cases were classified as imported with a history of travel in the previous 14 days. The additional new case was classified as under investigation. Additionally, there have been eight recoveries and no deaths since the last update.

All 31 active cases are under public health monitoring with no patients in the hospital.

Since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 5,760 confirmed cases, out of which 5,623 have recovered and sadly 106 COVID related deaths were recorded.

The source of all active cases is as follows: 

  • 26 are imported
  • 2 are classified as local transmission
  • 3 are under investigation

Active cases by vaccinatio status, transmission, ad type:

  • Imported cases: 96% are fully vaccinated, and 4% are not vaccinated
  • Local/Under Investigation cases: 40% are fully vaccinated, and 60% are not vaccinated
  • Of the active cases where typing is available, 95% are Delta, 5% are Omicron

Genome sequencing was undertaken on the active cases, and while most of them are of the Delta variant, one case is the Omicron variant. The sequencing was done by MDL lab, and it indicated the presence of Omicron in one imported case that arrived over the weekend.

The Minister also noted that since January 11, Bermuda residents have received a total of 107,427 vaccinations.

Of the 107,427 vaccinations given as of December 4:

  • 52% are women and,
  • 48% are men

She also stated that 86.8 percent of all residents over the age of 65 years have had at least one vaccination, and 85.2 percent are fully immunized.

“To date, 71.9 percent of the population has been vaccinated (1 dose), and  70.3 percent of the population has been immunized (2 doses).

“Additionally, 24.1 percent of the population has received a booster.

“Overall, I can say things are improving; however, to help reduce the further spread of the virus,” the Minister added.

“I encourage everyone to be cautious and avoid the three “Cs”: closed spaces, crowded places and close contact settings. This is especially important as we come up to the festive season.

“Each of us has a role to play in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Follow Public Health guidelines, continue to wear a mask indoors and outdoors if you cannot physical distance, practice good hand hygiene, maintain physical distance and download the WeHealth Bermuda app.”