News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda – To protect the health and safety of Bermuda, the Government has implemented an aggressive COVID-19 testing regime.
To further achieve that objective the Government of Bermuda is offering free PCR and antibody testing to the general public beginning today, Saturday, May 9th between the hours of 2pm to 7pm at the Southside Drive-through Testing Facility.
Polymerase chain reaction or PCR Testing detects the presence of the COVID-19, thus identifying persons that have an active infection with the virus; this test is administered through a nasal swab.
PCR test results enable the Ministry of Health to detect who has an active infection, isolate them and identify those that they have been in contact with.
The antibody test is to determine the presence of the body’s immune response or antibodies and is administered via a fingerpick blood sample.
Simply put, this enables the detection of individuals who have had COVID-19 in the past, and who may have not been detected in previous testing regimes.
The antibody testing will only be offered in conjunction with the PCR test, as an option for individuals who have scheduled an appointment at the Southside Drive-through Testing Facility.
The goal of testing the general population for antibodies is to understand the prevalence of the virus on island. For this reason, individual antibody test results will not be provided at this time; PCR results will still be provided to physicians.
In due course, the physicians of individuals who have elected to take the antibody test, will be informed on whether or not they have COVID-19 antibodies present in their bodies.
Premier Burt said: “The work of Bermuda Government Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory under the direction of Dr Carika Weldon has aided Bermuda’s globally recognised leadership position in COVID-19 testing.
“This leadership will be enhanced by the continuance of our aggressive PCR testing and the introduction of antibody testing to determine the reach of this virus in our community.
“Due to their higher risk of exposure, I encourage our essential workers to take advantage of this free testing and have themselves retested.
“Also, as this is the first time that this drive through testing has been opened to the public, I invite persons to book an appointment to be screened.”
Appointments may be booked via https://bdagovcovid.resqwest.com