Two New Cases, One Breaches Quarantine

July 16, 2020 | 28 Comments

Two new cases of Covid-19 were imported on the Delta flight yesterday [July 15] by returning residents, Minister Kim Wilson said, adding that “unfortunately one of the persons involved did not adhere to the required quarantine period and attended their workplace.”

Speaking at this evening’s press briefing, Minister Wilson said, “Today there were 363 test results received by the Ministry of Health; and two were positive for COVID-19. Both new cases were imported on the Delta flight on 15th July by returning residents

“It saddens me terribly to have to tell you that, unfortunately, one of the persons involved did not adhere to the required quarantine period and attended their workplace before receiving their arrival test results, which turned out to be positive.

“Consequently, the case management team is now contact tracing all the persons they were in touch with on island, in addition to the nearby passengers on the flight.”

The Minister also added that pursuant to the regulations, the “matter has been reported to the police for them to commence an investigation.”

Minister Wilson said, “We are gearing up to assist the quarantine process with the Aqua quarantine bracelets. Travellers without a pre-departure test – that is largely residents – have to quarantine until they get a second test result on Island [currently on their 3rd day]. The intention is that they will be fitted with an aqua bracelet until they obtain a negative result.”

“Today’s two new cases and the quarantine breach are a reminder to us all that we cannot be complacent,” the Minister added.

Premier David Burt said, “It is important to note that out of the 6 imported cases that have arrived in the last 2 weeks since we have opened the airport all of them have been returning residents.

“The story just shared by the Minister of Health is disturbing – as it means that our own don’t care about the impact that their reckless actions may have on all of our hard work over the past 4 months. We have been successful because we have not been selfish and have thought of the collective over our own needs. That must continue.

“As the Minister of Health has indicated, the matter has been reported to the Bermuda Police Service for the violations of law. No one wants to punish anyone, but the rules in place must be followed for the safety of our country and for our economy.

“As I have intimated, and as the Minister of Health has also said, due to the fact that we have been faced with returning residents not following the rules, the cabinet will consider revisions to requirements for residents returning to the country and may introduce quarantine requirements for returning residents who do not possess a valid pre-test. We must keep our country safe – and if we do not hear that sadly we may all have to feel.”

Minister Kim Wilson’s full statement follows below:

Today there were 363 test results received by the Ministry of Health; and two were positive for COVID-19. Both new cases were imported on the Delta flight on 15th July by returning residents.

It saddens me terribly to have to tell you that, unfortunately, one of the persons involved did not adhere to the required quarantine period and attended their workplace before receiving their arrival test results, which turned out to be positive. Consequently, the case management team is now contact tracing all the persons they were in touch with on island, in addition to the nearby passengers on the flight.

The advice for other passengers on the Delta flight 656 of 15th July is to proceed with extreme caution, follow the quarantine instructions you were given on arrival, monitor your symptoms, wear a mask at all times and keep 6 feet away from others. If you were sitting near one of the positive cases a public health officer will be in touch with you soon with instructions.

Bermuda now has 152 total confirmed positive cases. Their status is as follows:

  • there are 6 active cases, who are
  • all under active public health monitoring, and
  • none is hospitalized or in critical care;
  • a total of 137 have recovered, and
  • the total deceased remains 9.

The average age of all of our confirmed positive cases is 60 and the age range of all of our positive cases is from 18 to 101 years.

Overall, 55% of all cases are Black, 41% are white and 4% are other or unknown.

The source of all local cases is as follows:

  • 48 are Imported
  • 85 are Local transmission, with known contact
  • 18 are Local transmission with an unknown contact, and
  • 1 are under investigation

Bermuda’s country status remains “Sporadic Cases”. The seven-day average of our real time reproduction number is below 1.

I now have a few updates to provide you with as it relates to arriving travellers…

As the volume of travellers increases our testing teams and capability is becoming increasingly stretched. Therefore we are reviewing the testing regime to make adjustments based on public health risk and testing capacity.

Incoming travellers are tested on arrival at their port of entry. They then have to comply with further tests on subsequent dates. One change we are implementing is that the day 3 test will be moved to day 4.

As such, persons who arrive on the BA flight on Friday will have their follow-up test on Monday. This will apply to all travellers, whether visitors or residents, except for residents who need to complete their quarantine; they will be allowed to test on day 3, which is Sunday, in order to complete their quarantine period on receipt of their negative result.

We hope this will have a two-fold benefit of encouraging residents to obtain a pre-departure test [although not required] and also make the testing schedule less arduous for our visitors.

Second, we are aware of the challenges for travellers obtaining test results within 5 days and so, will be extending the period permitted to 7 days very shortly. It will be reflected on the website when this goes into effect.

Lastly, we are gearing up to assist the quarantine process with the Aqua quarantine bracelets. Travellers without a pre-departure test – that is largely residents – have to quarantine until they get a second test result on Island [currently on their 3rd day]. The intention is that they will be fitted with an aqua bracelet until they obtain a negative result.

In addition, persons who do not have a pre-departure test will be asked to undergo a saliva test on arrival in addition to the nasal swab in order to assist us in validating the saliva tests so that we can deploy them sooner. This applies to residents as ALL visitors must obtain a pre-departure test.

Additionally, the requirement to undergo a Day 7 test will change to Day 8. This is safe from a public health perspective and it will help ensure that testing sites are not swamped on certain days.

Residents who refuse all testing must quarantine for 14 days; and very shortly will do so with an Aqua bracelet.

Our goal is not to add layers of red tape and complexity to the lives of incoming travellers, but to protect us all from a COVID-19 outbreak. Our number 1 priority at all times is – and must be – the safety of our island and the protection of seniors and other clinically vulnerable persons for whom COVID is a life-threatening risk.

Independent of today’s new COVID cases, over the past few days, there have been several enquires made by companies from across various industries with regards to staff travelling overseas and then returning to work. The main question being: When can they safely return to work?

The answer to this depends on a number of factors. In particular, it depends on if your employee works in a high risk setting such as one with medically vulnerable individuals or institutionalized populations, such as a healthcare setting, for example…

If so, then those employees may want to consider avoiding non-essential travel. Of course, this is not always practical and, in those cases where workers have family overseas, an ability to travel and see loved ones could have a detrimental effect on that individual’s mental health. In those cases, we have to ask ourselves ‘What is the safest way for these individuals to return to work after travel?’…

The gold standard is 14 days of quarantine with prescribed testing procedures to provide that extra layer of security. As a Manager, ask yourself, Could this employee work from home during these 14 days?

If they must return to work [with two consecutive negative test results], determine how they can minimize their contact with others as much as possible. Each employer must decide what this looks like for their employees. However, the Ministry of Health is currently in the process of developing further guidance on this issue, which will be disturbed shortly and posted to the Government website.

In closing, I want to urge residents to continue to wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizer before and after entering any store or public building, shield our medically vulnerable, avoid congregating in large groups, and continue to wear your mask and keep six feet apart if you are not wearing one…And, yes, this means wearing masks at work if you are in close contact with others, such as during face-to-face meetings.

As I have mentioned before, there are three preventative behaviours which HealthIQ looks at to assess how we are doing as a country in our response to COVID-19. Two of those three [mask wearing and physical distancing] are currently ‘in the red’…which means we need to do better if we want to keep ourselves and our community safe.

I think when COVID-19 first arrived in Bermuda, there were those out there who doubted the difference these seemingly ‘small’ measures could make to the overall picture…But now I think we can all see that they were, in fact, KEY to our success; not just contributory factors.

On a positive note, today we passed 10,000 HealthIQ users so we have reached the target to put that indicator on our scorecard in the green. Please continue to sign up on HealthIQ.bm and report your status regularly.

Today’s two new cases and the quarantine breach are a reminder to us all that we cannot be complacent. How we go forward now depends on you, Bermuda.

covid-19 divider 1

As the island and world deals with the Covid-19 pandemic, we are doing our best to provide timely and accurate information, and you can find more information on the links below.

Read More About

Category: All, News

Comments (28)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. And what makes it worst, some Americans are refusing to wear masks and following that idiot in de WH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. dunn juice says:

    Hope all are treated EQUALLY,

  3. Raskarr says:

    Idiots everywhere. Both the nutcases that breached the quarantine and the government for opening the airport mere days after we stamped out the virus.

  4. sage says:

    With only a handful of positives to track, they still can’t get the bracelet working? We do have ankle bracelets and the one who flouted the rules should be in one asap.

  5. Ringmaster says:

    Breach of curfew $3,000. Breach of quarantine with a positive test – min $10,000 plus 6 months in jail. This ignorant person could seriously harm the whole Island.
    Despicable act.
    In future all returning residents should be required to quarantine in a secure location, not home, for 14 days.

  6. Unbelievable says:

    People don’t be silly. Just follow the rules.

    Sidebar: I went to my doctor today and, although he didn’t agree with the lockdown and all that, he did say that the winter period is going to quite serious when you combine Covid and the normal seasonal flu. He actually doesn’t think BDA’s health care system will be able to deal with it. My takeaway from that discussion: wear your mask, don’t take any risks and wash your hands. And don’t cry about your freedoms. Your freedoms don’t enter the conversation. Your health does.

    • sage says:

      Ask your doctor if he thinks our numbers would have dropped to zero without the lockdown and all that. Why does he not agree exactly?

  7. George jones says:

    This will definitely be jail time post quarantine.

  8. RonaRona says:

    what a selfish idiot. This person should be fined for leaving the house while under quarantine in addition to leaving the house & endangering others! This is ridiculous. The workplace should be held accountable as well because I AM SURE they knew they were coming from abroad. Irresponsible & selfish! Shame on you

    • Wow says:

      This person photo should be posted online so we all know who this fool is. If this government so desperately wants to open the airport, which is so stupid, then we all need to know whose coming here so we can be careful not to be in close contact with them. Especially post photos of those who are being stubborn to wear the bracelet.

  9. Sara says:

    This person has to be biggest &&&hole ever!

  10. Toadinthehole says:

    Close the airport!

  11. SoFarBie says:

    Gov’ment should not allow flights out of the Meriica don’t they know that Atlanta is a hotbed for this Covid virus.

  12. RHK says:

    ALL RETURNING PASSENGERS MUST HAVE PRE- -TEST BEFORE APPROVED TO BOARD

  13. Lockdown Chuckie says:

    Well IF the brace.et tracking system isn’t working either stop flights till it does or FULL 14 d∂y quarantine under armed guard at a SECURE location

    • Hope says:

      Yes! My thoughts exactly! I thought the impetus to opening the airport was because we had the bracelet to track people. Now it just seems all counter productive.

  14. Goober says:

    the next selfish IDIOT that wants to break quarantine and the rules needs to be full page picture with name in all forms of media and then sent out to argus tower for 14 days, anchored in a dingy and monitored by our coast guard

  15. Hmmm says:

    I hope that peron likes how they look in orange.

  16. Southampton says:

    Release the name of the ass to the public. Embarrass the hell out of them. Take away their travel papers.

  17. trufth says:

    Is it possible to at least release where or what industry this individual works? Are we talking about a restaurant? If so, shouldn’t the public be made aware for our own health and safety? Is it a retail establishment? We should be given some details.

  18. In The Now says:

    Looking around localy I think we will be back in spike lockdown soon. It seems social distance and mask use in certain quarters is window dressing. Just last evening noted a catamaran vessel at ferry terminal with the cabin area FULL ( probably couldn’t hold 50 )but no room to move and NO Masks on patrons. same at a bar. Lined up like crows with not a mask in site whereas the staff DID have theirs and patrons eating were social distanced. Just saying keep it up and we will be right back to square 1 lockdown. Don’t know how but my opinion better more stringent checks by authorities needed with action taken

  19. Kathy says:

    Agree 100% and if not mandatory 14 day quarantine at a Govt housed facility.

  20. Charlly X says:

    So wtf if she came Back on the 15th the ministry notify the public on the Sixteenth ! Then why the hell was the building still Open for business on the Seventeenth ?? I’m Totally Appalled disgusted Mad Crazy Angry over the Possibility of contracting this ish !!! Fine that stupid dumb person Immediately ! And I can’t write anything else because it requires four letter words

  21. Charlly X says:

    The Minister responsible for health needs to fired also ! She knew and didn’t respond accordingly! How could they not Close that Business the same Day they found out ? They have Now helped the Spread ! Utter Foolishness !! I’m totally disgusted! I’ve lost Confidence in the minds handling this Crisis Situation !!

Leave a Reply