The number of lives lost due to COVID related deaths in Bermuda climbed to 32 last night, with confirmation by the Minister of Health, Kim Wilson of the sad news that there has been yet another death.

Speaking at the latest COVID update on Thursday (May 13), she said: “Unfortunately, I begin my remarks today with the sad news that Bermuda has recorded another death of someone who was COVID positive.

“My deepest sympathies to the bereaved family and friends.

“On behalf of the Government of Bermuda, I am sorry for your loss. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.”

Premier David Burt also extended “heartfelt condolences to the families of the two persons who have passed away” since the last COVID update.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with their family and friends, and we continue to pray for those who are in hospital battling this disease,” said Mr Burt in his opening remarks.

Meanwhile, only one new case was confirmed in the latest round of 1,155 test results since the last update, which was classified as “under investigation”, who is “a resident with no currently identified link to other known cases or history of travel in the past 14 days”.

Additionally, since the last update, there were 12 recoveries.

There are currently 196 active cases, of which 189 are under public health monitoring and seven (7) are in the hospital, with two (2) in critical care.

“Since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 2462 total confirmed cases of COVID-19; out of those, 2,234 persons have recovered, and sadly, 32 are COVID-19 related deaths,” the Minister added.

The source of all cases is as follows:

·         298 are Imported

·         1967 are classified as local transmission of which:

o   1559 are Local transmission with known contact/source and

o   408 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source

·         197 are Under Investigation

“Although it is very disheartening to have another death, I am encouraged by the news that more and more people are recovering,” said Ms Wilson.

“Our hospitalizations are down, and we have fewer confirmed cases of the coronavirus. Our numbers are going in the right direction.

“Let’s all continue to be vigilant. If we continue to follow the rules, we will get to that safe place where we can return to more normal activities.”

To date, after completing the 17th full week of vaccinations, from January 11 to May 8, 2021, “Bermuda has administered a total of 62,161 vaccinations – a figure that rises to 63,994 if you include vaccinations administered between Sunday, May 9th and Wednesday, May 12th.

Of the 62,161 vaccinations administered for the period we are reporting on, which ends May 8; 52 percent are women, and 48 percent are men – 79 percent of all residents over the age of 65 years have had at least one vaccination, with 67 percent being fully immunized.

To date, 53 percent of the population has been vaccinated (with 1 dose), and 44 percent of the population has been immunized (with 2 doses).

But the Minister warned that “time is running out”, as “Bermuda’s current supplies of Pfizer BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines expire on June 30”.

On that note, she said: “The Pfizer vaccine requires three weeks between doses. This means we can give the last first dose on June 8.

“The AstraZeneca vaccine can be given up to 12 weeks after the first dose. Therefore, the first doses of AstraZeneca will be administered until June 30, with the second dose administered from a new batch of vaccines received from COVAX.

“We currently have enough of the COVID-19 vaccines available in Bermuda for anyone who wishes to be vaccinated. I strongly encourage those that wish to get vaccinated to do so.

“There are people in our community who have said that they probably will or that they do plan to get vaccinated but have not done so – now is the time,” said the Minister.

“Anyone wishing to get vaccinated can go to Bermuda College, which is open Monday to Friday, 9am until 1pm for walk-ins.

“Additionally, appointments at the College are available between 11am and 1pm.

“Also, the Bermuda Hospitals Board vaccine centre is open daily between 8am – 8pm for anyone with an appointment.

“We have also made it easy to get vaccinated by going out in our community. There are mobile vaccination centres available three times a week in various locations around the island,” she added.

“On Sunday, May 16, our Close To Home mobile vaccination programme will be at Victor Scott Primary School, Glebe Road, from 10am – 2pm.”

Next week our mobile vaccination programme will be at the following locations:

·         Tuesday, 18-May, Penno’s Wharf in St. George’s from 10am – 2pm

·         Thursday, 20-May, The Southampton Princess from 10am – 2pm

·         Saturday, 23-May, TCD in Hamilton from 10am – 2pm

“These sites are for people who have not yet registered for the COVID-19 vaccine, do not have access to the internet, and prefer to register in person or have additional questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. There will be doctors on site to answer any questions you have, and you don’t need an appointment. You can just show up and roll up your sleeve.

“For those people who want to hear about the COVID-19 vaccine from a trusted source, we recommend the Close to Home programme as an ideal opportunity to learn more.

“A mini-bus service is available to take people from their homes to the mobile vaccination sites and back to their homes afterwards. Anyone wanting to use the service should call 533-5903 between 10am and 1:30pm.”

The Minister also noted that “a team from the Bermuda College vaccination centre vaccinated 10 homebound people with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the west of the island – from Southampton to Paget” on Wednesday (May 12).

“This was done in partnership with St John’s Ambulance who kindly donated the use of their emergency response car – thank you! 

“The team plans to go out again this Saturday morning to vaccinate those who have requested home visits in the east of the island from St David’s to Devonshire,” said Ms Wilson.

“Anyone who feels they need a home visit for the COVID-19 vaccine, please contact vaccine@gov.bm, and the team will arrange a visit in the coming weeks.”