Health officials warned that the number of COVID infections in Bermuda continues to rise, with 312 active cases reported in the latest round of 5,140 tests.

According to the latest figures at last check, 137 were positive, with nine people battling the virus in hospital and none in intensive care.

Two deaths were recorded last week.

Eight (8) of the new cases were classified as imported with a history of travel in the previous 14 days.

“The additional 129 new cases are classified as either local transmission (53) or under investigation (76),” a spokesperson said.

“Additionally, there were 96 recoveries.”

TOPSHOT – A health worker takes a nasal swab sample at a COVID-19 testing site in Los Angeles, California – Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Of the 312 active cases:

  • 303 are under public health monitoring; and
  • 9 are in hospital, with 0 in intensive care.

It was also noted that since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 12,231 coronavirus cases, out of which 11,793 have recovered, and sadly there have been 126 coronavirus-related deaths.

The source of all active cases is as follows:

  • 17 are Imported
  • 173 are classified as local transmission
  • 122 are Under Investigation

The source of all confirmed cases is as follows:

  • 2,323 are Imported
  • 9,506 are classified as local transmission of which:
    • 4,386 are Local transmission with known contact/source and
    • 5120 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source
  • 402 are Under Investigation

The Ministry of Health also advised that the Pier 6 vaccination center will be closed on Saturday, March 26th, and as a reminder the last day to take advantage of free vaccinations at Pier 6 is March 31st.

“As we transition to living safely with COVID-19, fewer restrictions do not equate to fewer precautions,” said Health Minister Kim Wilson.

“As the pandemic is still here, we must avoid unhealthy behaviours, putting ourselves in risky situations without practising appropriate public health guidance, to protect ourselves and others.

“I am especially concerned about how responsible people will be once the mask mandate is relaxed,” she added.

As announced last week, an indoor mask mandate will continue for the following settings after 31 March:

  • for those in healthcare or institutional settings, such as healthcare facilities, nursing homes, rest homes and Corrections facilities;
  • for those providing transportation for the public, which includes  the indoor spaces of ferries, as well as on buses, taxis and minibuses; and,
  • inside at the Airport;
  • In school settings as determined by the Minister of Education.

“It is strongly recommended that businesses set mask requirements for entry and the provision of services which are appropriate for their establishments,” said Ms Wilson.

“Recognising that the decision to wear a mask is a personal one, the Ministry of Health encourages everyone to continue to wear a mask when physical distancing is impossible indoors, outdoors, when we are around strangers, and in poorly ventilated settings. Wearing a mask is vital to people who have compromised immunity or are unvaccinated.“Scientific evidence has shown that the primary route of transmission of the COVID‐19 virus is via droplets and aerosols from speaking, singing, coughing or sneezing.

“Regardless of the changes to restrictions, we must do everything we can to slow the spread of the virus by following basic public health advice of wearing a mask to cover our nose and mouth and physically distancing and practising good hand hygiene.

“We can also avoid the ‘3 Cs’ of closed spaces, crowded places and close contact settings.”