Health Minister Kim Wilson has warned that Bermuda is “in the midst of a growing outbreak”, with confirmation that there’s another 125 new cases of COVID-19 on island, taking the total number of active cases up to 290.

The latest figures came after another 8,358 test results received by the Department of Health since the last update.

A Ministry spokeswoman said there are currently 283 active cases under public health monitoring, with seven patients battling this virus in hospital and one intensive care.

In a statement released last night, the Minister said: “Because of the current volume of coronavirus testing on island, the public is advised to please be patient while waiting to receive your test result.

“I must also remind restaurants, bars and clubs that in addition to SafeKey there is still a requirement to collect contact tracing information.

“We are in the midst of a growing outbreak, and an essential part of controlling outbreaks is via contact tracing. This is the main way to stop further spread,” she added.

A Ministry spokeswoman said twelve (12) of the new cases are classified as imported with history of travel in the previous 14 days.

Details are as follows:

•           1 resident who arrived via British Airways BA 159 from London on August 19 and tested positive on their day 10 test

•           1 non-resident who arrived via Air Canada AC 942 from Toronto on August 20 and tested positive on their day 10 test

•           1 resident who arrived via Jet Blue B61731 from New York on August 21 and tested positive on their day 10 test

•           1 resident who arrived via Delta Airline DL 617 from Atlanta on August 21 and tested positive on their day 10 test

•           1 resident who arrived via United Airlines UA 1985 from Newark on August 22  and tested positive on their day 10 test

•           1 non-resident who arrived via Jet Blue B6203 from Boston on August 28 and tested positive on their outbound test

•           1 resident who arrived via American Airlines AA 825 from Philadelphia on August 28 and tested positive on their day 4 test

•           2 residents who arrived via United Airlines UA 1985 from Newark on August 28 and tested positive on their day 4 test

•           1 resident who arrived via American Airlines AA 1863 from Charlotte on August 30 and tested positive on their arrival test

•           1 resident who arrived via United Airlines UA 1985 from Newark on August 30  and tested positive on their arrival test

•           1 resident who arrived via Jet Blue B61731 from New York on August 31 and tested positive on their arrival test

39 of the new cases are classified as local transmission with known contact as they are associated with known cases.

The additional 74 new cases are classified as under investigation. These cases are among residents 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 40 recoveries and 0 deaths.

Since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 3,048 confirmed coronavirus cases, out of which 2,724 have recovered, and sadly 34 COVID related deaths.

The source of all active cases is as follows:

·         48 are Imported

·         108 are classified as local transmission of which:

o   108 are Local transmission with known contact/source and

o   0 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source

·         134 are Under Investigation

Active cases by vaccination status, transmission, and type:

•        Imported cases: 39 (81%) are fully vaccinated and 9 (19%) are not vaccinated

•        Local/Under Investigation cases: 59 (24%) are fully vaccinated and 183 (76%) are not vaccinated

•        Of the active cases by variant type: 0 are Alpha, 0 are Beta, 125 (43%) are Delta, 0 are Gamma, 0 are wildtype, 21 (7%) are not able to be determined and 144 (50%) are not available.

The source of all confirmed cases is as follows:

•        470 are Imported

•        2,423 are classified as local transmission of which:

o   1,916 are Local transmission with known contact/source and

o   507 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source

•        155 are Under Investigation

The Minister also noted that “patrons must provide accurate contact tracing information including full name, phone number, home address, email address, date and time of arrival”.

“The contact details of patrons must be recorded and kept for 21 days. If requested, this information must be provided to Public Health Officers to assist with contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ms Wilson.

“Establishments that are required to use SafeKey, must verify the validity of the SafeKey by going to verify.gov.bm and must compare the details to the customers identification.

“Our testing labs and contact tracers are all very busy with the volume of testing and new positive cases. They are to be commended for the hard work they are doing to help manage this current outbreak.

“My sincere thanks to the dedicated Department of Health staff and all of our stakeholders for helping to get us through this difficult period.”

Meanwhile, there will be a pop-up vaccine clinic at Lindo’s in Devonshire on Tuesday September 7, 10 am – 2pm, and Thursday September 16, 3 – 7pm.

The vaccine clinic at the King Edward Memorial Hospital is open for appointments and walk-ins, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm – 7pm, and Saturdays from 8am – 4pm.

The Minister concluded: “The pandemic is far from over, and since its start, we have less people working in Bermuda, which means less people to support our heavily subsidised healthcare system.

“The pandemic has affected all of us, and the Government is committed to solutions to provide quality health insurance that is affordable and accessible.

“While we work on health insurance reform, we are determined to find the most cost-effective way to provide new prescription drug benefits for those people using the Government’s Health Insurance Plan and fulfilling our promise to increase the prescription drug benefits for our seniors on FutureCare.”