Bermuda Hit by Single-day Record of 41 New COVID-19 Cases

Bermuda David Burt
Photo CMC

Health officials reported a record 41 new coronavirus cases in Bermuda on Monday night, pushing the number of active cases to 106, as the average age of those affected continues to drop significantly.

Premier David Burt told the House of Assembly: “This was a single-day record for the number of cases of COVID-19. We have the news there is a new outbreak and it is an incredibly stressful and difficult situation.”

“But we are ahead on where we were with the last outbreak on the issue of taking proactive action. We’re hopeful that this period will be far shorter than the one we had in November that went on into December,” he added.

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Thirty of the new cases were classed as on-island transmissions with known contacts. A further nine were listed as under investigation because they have no recent travel history or links to identified cases.

Two cases came in from overseas – a returning resident on Delta Air Lines flight from New York on March 15 and a non-resident who arrived on the JetBlue flight from New York on March 12.

The average age of cases at the end of February was 41. That has now fallen to 31 – a sign that infections have increased among younger people.

A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said the latest 41 infections were identified among 1,185 test results that came back to health officials, bringing the total number of new cases since Thursday to 81.

In the past week, a host of schools have reported outbreaks of potential exposure to the virus, with many pupils being ordered to quarantine.

Health Minister Kim Wilson said several people had gone to work or sent their children to school with COVID-19 symptoms because they assumed it was allergies or the flu.

“This has contributed to our most recent spread. The disease is spreading among a noticeably younger cohort,” she said.

Although noting that “school bubbles, for the most part, have worked well”, Wilson said that “extracurricular activities have undermined the bubbles and demonstrably contributed to the spread”.

Meanwhile, campaigners against new COVID-19 restrictions that were announced by Premier Burt at the weekend in a bid to contain the spread of the virus, are to organize a protest in the capital on Wednesday night.

Under the new restrictions, the curfew now kicks in at 11 p.m., instead of midnight, and gatherings are limited to 10 people, down from 25.

Campaigners against the new clampdown claimed the new restrictions were imposed by the government in a bid to control the public.

A social media message appealed to supporters to meet outside the Cabinet Office at 10.30 p.m. on Wednesday – half hour before the 11 p.m. curfew kicks in.

The message said: “There’s no way that we can continuously sit and accept being herded by the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

“We stood up for Black Lives Matter…we walked and supported the LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning] community. It’s time to stand up for ourselves and our own people.”

Bermuda has recorded 830 cases of COVID-10 over the past 12 months, with 12 people dying.

CMC

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