CDC Changes Bermuda To ‘Very High Level’

December 22, 2020

[Updated] The United States CDC has changed Bermuda’s classification to “Level 4: Very High Level of Covid-19 in Bermuda,” and said “travelers should avoid all travel to Bermuda.”

Screenshot from the page on Bermuda on the CDC website:

cdc website bermuda

Back in October, when we had around 200 total cases to date, the CDC changed Bermuda’s country classification from ‘Alert Level 2: Moderate Risk’ to ‘No Travel Health Notice: Covid-19 Risk is Very Low.’

That ranking was, in effect, the best ranking the CDC can give a jurisdiction, however the CDC has now moved the island to the highest warning level, of Level 4, where the majority of nations have been ranked.

As of the latest update, Bermuda has done over 130,000 tests, with 547 total confirmed positive cases to date with 251 active cases. We asked the Government for comment and will update as able.

Screenshot from the CDC website showing the 170+ nations in Level 4


Screenshot from the CDC website showing their rankings in map form

Screenshot cdc map

Update 10.22am: If you are wondering how they classify nations, their website [screenshot below] states that for “destinations with populations of 200,000 or less” a case count of more than 100 over past 28 days is determined to be ‘Level 4′. Bermuda has actually had more than 200 new cases in the past 28 days.

Screenshot how thye work it out

Update 12.34pm: The Government has not responded yet to our request for comment, however Premier Burt tweeted in response to someone saying, “The CDC has a 1 size fits most policy and only takes into account total # of new cases, not other factors such as testing, positivity rates or Rt#. We no longer meet the criteria for level 4 for the last 7 days, and can expect to begin moving back in the next few weeks.”

Update 4.59pm: BTA Interim CEO Glenn Jones said, “This is a challenging period for every destination, but few have the opportunity to differentiate like Bermuda. We have high-performing public-health officials with a track record of robust testing and contract-tracing that has made our island one of the safest places on the planet since the pandemic’s start.

“Protecting our community requires each of us to comply with health and safety protocols—and we put that same expectation on our visitors. All of these pieces working together will strengthen our CDC travel rating and bolster a safe and responsible tourism recovery.”

Update 8.38pm: Speaking at this evening’s press briefing, the Premier said: “The US’s Centre for Disease Control issued a travel warning for Bermuda and deemed the level of cases we have as “very high”. We were deemed so because the CDC has a standard where ‘very high’ equals having more than ‘100 cases in 28 days’ and our recent outbreak met the threshold.

“While CDC will issue advisories, I must reiterate the statistics given by the Minister of Health, the seven-day average of our real-time reproduction number is less than 1 and Bermuda’s current country status is “Clusters of Cases”. Given that the rate of infection is dropping, we can expect the number of active cases to also decrease, and the number of recoveries will continue to rise; while these are the expectations, our behaviour is the single biggest influence on the data.

“We have a track record of robust testing and contract-tracing. We are still one of the safest places to live and visit, since the pandemic’s start.

“To be clear, I do not believe that this rating accurately reflects our island’s current health and safety and that visitors are at high risk of catching the coronavirus. I am confident that, as our cases continue to fall, the CDC will review this rating and make the appropriate adjustments in the future.”

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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.

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Comments (31)

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  1. red rose says:

    I cannot help but feel that the Government is not on top of this outbreak at all.

    • Mistake says:

      Opening airport was a HUGE mistake and o w stupid move that in time will be reflected upon as arrogant and political to win an election! What a bunch of dumb a$$e$!

      • Hush says:

        The only mistake was you being born. No government in the World can control COVID just like they can’t control people who desire to be free. The virus is not going anywhere welcome to the new World.

        If you want lock your a$$ in cave for the rest of your life go right along. Most of Bermuda wants to continue working and living free.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          How many people with your ‘go lock your a$$ in a cave’ mentality have acted selfishly and irresponsibly over the last month + thus giving it to innocent and vulnerable bystanders ?
          I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to continue working and living free but it’s not going to come with a self centred , childish outlook like yours.

        • Gina says:

          You CAN’T be serious right? I mean this post is a joke?!

      • Come Correct says:

        Hey IDIOT!

        Wearing a mask, hand washing, and physical distancing remain our best tools in fighting COVID-19.

        Your own supporters didn’t even vote OBA!

      • Danny Prunty says:

        Agree 100%

      • Micro says:

        The failure was not enforcing stricter rules on residents wishing to travel. The current outbreak stems directly from locals traveling and bringing the virus back with them and then failing to isolate.

  2. Cow Polly says:

    Not good, not good at all. Government is losing control

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Government is not losing control, Bermudian are.

      Look at the demographics of the infected this month. The majority are in the 20 to 29 age group and the next most populous age group is 30 to 39. The majority of victims this month are female.

      The problem is not Government losing control. The problem is people not adhering to the Regulations or heeding advice. And by advice I do not mean just what is said in Bermuda, listen to Dr. Fauci, Sir Patrick Vallance and Prof. Chris Whitty

  3. Rankings says:

    We leap-frogged Barbados – level 2 and Cayman – level 1 to tie with Jamaica at level 4.

    It won’t be the first time Bermuda is mentioned in the same breath as Jamaica.

  4. MoiName says:

    We should all be outraged at the gov’t right now. If they have had mandatory quarantine for returning residents only back in October/November when our cases started to spike, we wouldn’t be in this mess now. And to welcome UK travelers with open arms with no quarantine now is ludicrous, when this new strain is 70% more infectious. It’s up to us now because gov’t has lost control of virus. Such a shame when we were doing so well. Cayman has it spot on!!

    • Computer Guy says:

      I was back in Bermuda in August. Mandatory quarantine has been around since then for residents with no pre-arrival test. 8 day quarantine in fact. Quarantine is only as effective as the people that use it and if it’s strongly enforced.

    • Truth says:

      So you want government to quarantine everyone returning to Bermuda for 14 days LOL? Go move to the Philippines they tried it and it didn’t work. 461,505 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 8,957 deaths.

    • Question says:

      The outbreaks were caused by the Hospital Admin employees and the mass-gathering at a funeral. It’s nothing to do with returning residents.
      As for Burt, maybe the Hospital and funeral morons would have taken the rules more seriously if, for example, Zane and Caines had been prosecuted for breaking their own covid laws. And maybe those Bermudians who caused these outbreaks would have taken Mrs “I don’t have that in front of me right now” more seriously if she had half a clue what she is doing.

  5. Sigh says:

    This is unbelievably ridiculous!!! Government has no care what’s so ever about us. They only thinking about the economy right now with everyone out there shopping for Christmas. They think putting a curfew from 11-5 is going to stop everyone for partying. I can still have a party with as many friends as I want then everyone leaves 10:30-45 to go home for 11:00. No sense at all Premier Burt. The time government going put us all on lockdown is after New Years when all shopping and celebrations are finish. They fully know that January to March there’s nothing going on in Bermuda so prefect time to go on lockdown. WEAR YOUR MASK, WASH YOUR HANDS, & SOCIAL DISTANCE EVERYONE.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “Government has no care what’s so ever about us.”

      That is simply net true. If all the PLP Government was “thinking about the economy right now with everyone out there shopping for Christmas” there would be restrictions on groups larger than 10, there would no requirement to wear masks in shops and Bermuda would be much more like the United States, complete with infection and death rates many times what they actually are in Bermuda.

      I am no supporter of any political party, but on this issue you are wrong and the PLP Government is doing a good job given the almost impossible circumsances.

  6. trufth says:

    We quarantined travelers for 14 days back at the beginning of this, why aren’t we now? If one feels the need to travel, one should understand the need for a 14 day quarantine upon return. Am I wrong?

    • Yea ok says:

      Tourist can walk around in 24 hours so why can’t a resident?

  7. Top Rankings says:

    Numbers don’t lie… week after week , are the numbers going the right way? 300 active is coming. Too many cases under investigation or not traced to someone else. Hey, we are ONLY at level 4 now, after being one of the best countries in this debacle, Sigh……..Let’s see how many Covid cases the Hospital will rack up, before it becomes lopsided with Covid cases and a problem. We have to look at all angles with this and make some level headed decisions.

  8. SAL says:

    The CDC site is seriously flawed, how can China not be high level. This is very Political, and I would discount it greatly.

    Our government is doing a fine job, remember its deaths and hospitalizations that matter, not cases.

    • saud says:

      “Our government is doing a fine job”

      at what? Spending money we don’t have? That impresses you?

  9. understanding logic here says:

    The tweeted message that Premier Burt explains it all, that the CDC measurement is one size fits all. In other words, the Bermuda governments response on testing for covid-19 status has been very agressive. So our high numbers are more to do with the governments response and not to do with the governments showing lack of control (i.e. more so with us getting weary of following covid19 guidances). The high number of high positives we recorded is in comparison to other countries that have less of an aggressive testing regime and still have high numbers. Its better to have high numbers from aggressive reporting then to have high numbers after underestimating the number of infected people in the community.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Our “high numbers” are also accurate. They are not the estimates that almost every other jurisdiction in the world employs, estimates the accuracy of which can vary wildly.

  10. Bob says:

    The CDC is smarter than goverment in Bermuda and now Burt just came up with an excuse try to put the CDC under the bridge.

    Its clear that he doesnt like this kind of news because it jeopardizes bermuda’s tourism industry and international business (main economy faucets).

    They will start to cover up the numbers very soon but the virus will continue to run wild in the community

  11. Gina says:

    Wait, whaaaaaat????