Video: 81 New Covid Cases, New Regulations

March 27, 2021

[Updating] The Government has advised that they will hold a press conference at 5pm today [March 27] to “provide a Covid-19 update,” with both Premier David Burt and Minister of Health Kim Wilson set to speak.

This follows after a week which has earned the dubious distinction of setting a record high amount of new confirmed cases, as we started last week Saturday with 773 total cases to date, and we start this week Saturday, as in today, with 947 cases to date. While there are 213 active cases, as of last check [Friday] no one was hospitalized, and on a global level, Bermuda remains in the top 10 of nations and territories worldwide as far as both vaccinations and testing per capita. It was one week ago today, last week Saturday, that Government announced a tightening of restrictions due to an increase in cases.

Update | We will post the full statements as able, in the meantime some of the key points:

  • 81 new positive cases — the most ever announced in one day
  • Now 294 active cases, the highest Bermuda has ever had
  • New regulations take effect at 6am tomorrow, on Sunday March 28
  • Indoor dining is prohibited except for hotels which are limited to hotel guests only
  • Indoor gyms, museums, cinemas to close
  • Retail and grocery stores are open with 20% of approved fire occupancy inside at any one time.
  • Churches and Houses of Worship: Indoor religious services except for funerals are closed to congregants but open to a max of 10 people to facilitate services for broadcast.
  • Weddings and Funerals: Outdoor weddings and funerals to have maximum of 20 people with masks and physical distancing.
  • Retail and grocery stores are open with 20% of approved fire occupancy inside at any one time.
  • Remote working is mandatory where at all possible
  • Schools and camps are to be closed. However, licensed day care facilities will be allowed to open following strict public health guidance and will be visited by public health officers.
  • All other regulations that were in place also remain in place
  • The curfew remains 11pm – 5am
  • Minister said: “Bermuda’s current country status remains ‘Sporadic Cases’ [as determined by the World Health Organisation] and ‘Community Transmission’ [as determined by the Pan-American Health Organisation]. Bermuda, this is a significant outbreak. We have never experienced community spread.”
  • [Note: The list above is not the complete list, we are still transcribing from the video]

90 second excerpt of the Premier explaining the main new regulations, which take effect at 6am tomorrow morning.

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 40-minute replay is below:

Update 6.20pm: Minister Kim Wilson’s full statement follows below:

Good afternoon.

The Ministry of Health received 1339 test results since the last update, and 81 were positive for COVID-19. One of the new cases is classified as imported by a non-resident who arrived on British Airways BA 2233 from London on 11 March 2021 and tested positive on their Day 14 test.

Thirty-five of the new cases are classified as local transmission with known contact as they are associated with known cases.

The additional forty-five 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 no recoveries.

There are currently 294 active cases, of which;

  • 293 are under public health monitoring and;
  • One is in hospital with none in critical care.

Since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 1028 total confirmed cases of COVID-19; out of those, 722 persons have recovered, and 12 persons have sadly succumbed to COVID-19.

The mean age of all confirmed positive cases is 40 years [median: 38 years], and the ages range from less than one year to greater than 100 years.

The mean age of all currently active cases is 33 years [median: 34 years], and the ages range from less than ten years [age group: 0-9 years] to greater than 80 years [age group: 80-100 years].

Details will not be provided for the hospitalised case to protect privacy and confidentiality.

The mean age of all deceased cases is 75 years [median: 77 years], and the ages range from less than 60 years [age group: 50-59 years] to greater than 80 years [age group: 80-100 years].

The source of all cases is as follows:

  • 239 are Imported
  • 676 are classified as local transmission of which:
  • 584 are local transmission with known contact/source and
  • 92 are local transmission with an unknown contact/source
  • 113 are under investigation

As investigations proceed, transmission categories may change.

Of the over 190,000 test results reported, the mean age of all persons tested is 43 years [median: 42 years], and the ages range from less than one year to greater than 100 years.

The seven-day average of our real-time reproduction number is above one, and Bermuda’s current country status remains “Sporadic Cases” [as determined by the World Health Organisation] and “Community Transmission” [as determined by the Pan-American Health Organisation].

Bermuda, this is a significant outbreak. We have never experienced community spread.

“Sporadic cases” means having a few cases, which may be imported or locally acquired. However, “community transmission” signifies outbreaks where it is difficult to relate confirmed cases through chains of transmission for large number of cases or there are widely dispersed cases detected in the past 14 days. Bermuda exhibits signs of both these situations. This is new territory for us.

It is more critical than ever that we take responsibility for our behaviour and act in an abundance of caution. In other words, stay in your household bubble. Do not socialise outside of your household or invite others into your household. Do not mix households, as we know this is contributing to the spread.

I know that this sounds punitive and not welcoming news at all, but we are all in this together, and we have to recognise that we have a serious problem, and we all need to be part of the solution.

Everyone must do their best to prevent further spread and prevent more critical illness and death from this third wave – which is presently on track to be larger than the second wave because the UK variant spreads easily and is spreading incredibly fast.

If you have not already, you need to download the WeHealth app, which is designed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by anonymously notifying app users of potential exposure to COVID-19.

Everyone should continue to wear a mask, physically distance and practice good hand hygiene, especially if you are in quarantine and unable to be separate from others in the same household. These are first principles of containment and must be practices at all times by everyone.

Also, be aware of the symptoms. We are finding most symptoms associated with the UK variant of the virus are easily associated with allergies – sore throat, tiredness and headaches, coughing and sneezing.

The Ministry of Health has two new walk-in and drive-through pop-up locations that will offer COVID-19 testing to the community. You do not need an appointment to get tested at these locations.
The locations are:

TCD [outdoor drive-through lanes], Monday 29 March and Wednesday 31 March, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.

Horseshoe Bay Beach car park, Monday 5 April and Wednesday 7 April, from 4:30 – 7:30 pm.

We are making it easy for people to get tested. These new pop-up testing locations are safe, quick and convenient, as we are meeting people where they are to make it easier to get tested.

I encourage persons to get tested so that they know their COVID status. Especially now as we have this aggressive variant and we are seeing an increase in positive cases.

Both walk-in and drive-through testing will be offered at TCD, while only walk-in testing will be offered at Horseshoe Bay Beach car park.

If you are experiencing symptoms, please contact your doctor. Your doctor will schedule you or direct you to the COVID-19 helpline at 444-2498 for symptomatic testing appointment slots.

The test locations for travellers only are Perot Post Office Monday to Saturday, and Sundays at Penno’s Wharf. Testing times are emailed to travellers and operating hours depend on traveller demand.

Before closing my key message to everyone – stay in your bubble, do not socialise and avoid contact with those outside your immediate family. Get tested and get vaccinated.

And please, follow the guidance and obey the restrictions that are in place.
We are having to put more restrictive measures in place to minimise COVID-19 transmission by limiting social movement.

We have said numerous times, this is all preventable if we all do our part, have patience and do everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As I said last Tuesday, we will get through this current challenge, and I am grateful to all of those dedicated healthcare professionals who are working tirelessly to fight this pandemic and keep us all safe.

Thank you.

Update 7.50pm: Premier David Burt’s full statement follows below:

Good Evening Bermuda,

We started down this road over a year ago.

Over the last year, our management of the pandemic was based on risk mitigation, balancing the country’s health and our economy.

Although Bermuda is one of the world’s leaders in testing and vaccinations, we are currently being challenged by an aggressive strain of the Covid-19 virus.

I am joined tonight by the Minister of Health, the Hon. Kim Wilson who will provide an update on the latest COVID-19 test results, and where we are currently from a medical perspective.

I will provide confirmation on the new restrictions coming into effect tomorrow morning and other matters.

First we will hear from the Minister of Health….

Thank you Minister.

Thank you again to you, your team, and all of the teams that make our healthcare system, who are so vital to our success in beating the coronavirus. Together we must do all we can to ensure that you all are protected, and do our best to keep you from being overwhelmed and to keep resources from being stretched any further. We thank you for your dedication and again for the outstanding perseverance that you all continue to show.

It would be an understatement to say that it is disheartening for Bermuda to be where we are. 2021 is still a year that continues to hold some promise of an improved economic situation and this current setback is one from which we will recover.

There is a clear path to that recovery and it starts with a renewed and unified effort to mitigate the risks presented by this increase in positive cases, which are the result of this dangerous and incredibly transmissible variant.

We laid out indicators, where if necessary, we could systematically rollback measures to reduce the virus transmission. The stricter measures that will be adopted are designed not only to protect but to preserve the basic progress we all made over this last year. This UK variant is a strain that has caused many other countries to suffer the same slowdown in the fight against the coronavirus.

Our island is at a serious juncture as our public health system is being significantly challenged. The teams are struggling to keep up with contact tracing and the work that is necessary to control this outbreak. The severity of this outbreak and impact on individuals and healthcare systems could be further magnified if we do not arrest its current spread. Our first duty as a Government is to do what is in the best interest of the island and her people.

That responsibility cannot be tempered by convenience, frustration or fatigue. We are unwavering in our determination to keep Bermuda safe and to strike the necessary balance to preserve life and ensure economic survival.

Therefore, Earlier today the Cabinet met and decided the following changes to the Public Health Emergency Regulations, which will come into effect from tomorrow, March 28th at 6am:

  • 1. Churches / indoor religious services save for funerals are closed to congregants but open to a max of 10 clergy or those persons required to facilitate services for broadcast.
  • 2. Indoor dining is prohibited save for hotels whose indoor dining is restricted to hotel guests only. Outdoor restaurants and bars can remain open.
  • 3. Indoor gyms are to be closed, as well as bowling alleys, indoor cinemas, museums, or any other indoor place of public resort. Outdoor facilities such as golf courses, tennis courts, parks, and outdoor gym equipment can remain open.
  • 4. Retail stores to be restricted to 20% of approved fire occupancy at any one time.
  • 5. To minimise mixing of school age children, where we have seen a significant level of cases – Schools and camps are to be closed. However, licensed day care facilities will be allowed to open following strict public health guidance and will be visited by public health officers.
  • 6. Remote working will now be mandatory where at all possible.

All other regulations that were in place previously, will remain in place, including personal care services, which are allowed so long as masks do not have to be removed. The curfew will remain from 11PM – 5AM. Simply put, indoor activities that require you to remove a mask are not allowed.

For Christians, tomorrow begins Holy Week, the culmination of Lent, a period of sacrifice and preparation. Again this year it would appear that traditional celebrations will be impacted and we will have to avoid large family gatherings that often accompany this Season. But in the midst of what is a difficult period we must continue to have hope.

We have seen what happens when we follow public health guidelines. We know how effective it is when we protect our most vulnerable. The unity of the last year was no accident and is not some distant memory. Our collective compliance is what got us in sight of a change in this pandemic and I am confident that with the status of our vaccination programme and with the cooperation of the entire country we will have it again.

My message to all echoes precisely what the Minister of Health has said, as much as possible, stay at home and stay in your family bubbles.

We will, over the coming days, look at what adjustments are necessary in light of vaccinations status and others. But on a broad level – now is the time for a shift of behaviour. This situation is very serious and we must all take personal responsibility for our actions, and collective responsibility as a community to protect our brave frontline healthcare workers.

We must be vigilant and use what we have at our disposal. We have the tools to keep this virus at bay, but the only thing that will help us all is if we follow the rules and stay at home. We will have more details on Tuesday at our next press conference, but for now there is only one message; we need people to remain at home.

Thank you.

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Comments (47)

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  1. Wing nut says:

    Are you going to release all the charges being pressed against the party people,, let’s face it that’s why we are here.

    • Wahoo says:

      They f@#ked it up for everyone. They ought to be named and shamed.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      It’s interesting that in this info age they can’t tell us where this all started , and they do know .
      Instead there’s generalities bandied about while everyone who’s doing the right thing are penalized and made to suffer.
      hmmm , I wonder why that is ?

      • Hmmm says:

        Probably because they value the privacy of people and don’t want a bunch of vigilanties going around acting as judge and jury.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          You really think that’s the reason ? lol

          • LOL (original) says:

            Hmmm is justified in what he/she is saying just keep looking through the threads here on Bernews. People want to ship others to an island or lock them up (cause the inmates there have fore fitted their rights to health and life too right? This pandemic is bring out the most authoritarians out of the wood work and they are mostly leftist establishment supporters.

            LOL TDS is strong with these ones. Yet the real dictators are in now…..

        • Question says:

          Oh come on. We all know the reason why they won’t say, and that ain’t it.

    • Mitchell88 says:

      It is easy to demonize these party goers, but this also has dangers. Was that party wrong, stupid and utterly irresponsible? Absolutely, and all attendees need to be prosecuted. But heaping all the blame on them ignores other avenues that should be explored fully. Time and again it has been proven that making one group responsible means that others feel absolved and somehow ‘better’ than that demonized group. See AIDS, for example. (An extreme comparison with massive differences, of course.) But rest assured this virus will take any host at any time and every single person needs to see themselves as a potential spreader. To blame these people exclusively is understandable but it limits, and possibly harms, the island’s ability to tackle the alarming increase in cases.

  2. Bdabeauty says:

    Why PLP have large event to encourage people to mingle?

    Why there be like 50 people all partying at a certain place today??

    And now we all have to suffer? Ffs

  3. Ringmaster says:

    IMO this latest wave can be tracked to two factors. Government being incapable of the simple matter of making it mandatory for returning residents to quarantine for 14 days in a secure facility. It worked last summer, but this “mobile” quarantine is a joke and the massive increases shows it. The second was failure to enforce the large group restrictions. No penalties apparently. All we get is the Health Minister sounding like a broken record. Government has failed miserably.
    Clearly there are 2 Bermuda’s. One is that part of the population that complies with the restrictions, and the other who don’t care but these idiots have created the situation we’re now in and have suffered no penalties.

    • Busybee says:

      Spot on!! Incentivize people to get the vaccine!!!

    • Toodle-oo says:

      “Clearly there are 2 Bermuda’s. One is that part of the population that complies with the restrictions, and the other who don’t care but these idiots have created the situation we’re now in and have suffered no penalties.”

      Indeed .. It’s already on my long , long list of the ’2 Bermudas’ that certain people are unable to recognize how many really exist .

    • Nope says:

      “simple matter of making it mandatory for returning residents to quarantine for 14 days in a secure facility.”

      What a terrible totalitarian idea. You can’t lock up the populus in the name of “safety.” Thats not how a free society based on laws works. Covid or otherwise.

  4. Pay attention says:

    Um are you not paying attention that 80% of these cases are linked to schools… but ight keep ur party ppl narra5ive and punish bars and resteraunts

    • Wtf says:

      Where do you think the kids pick it up?…you do realize that its the parents shirking the rules and then bringing it home right? Or are you really not putting two and two together?

    • Really? says:

      They already said the initial set of children were direct transmissions from parents and relatives that were at these parties.

  5. Matt says:

    Tougher enforcement of those breaking the earlier rules and ruining it for others is what’s needed.

  6. Bermy Bens says:

    Vaccinated people are being asked to quarantine.

    Why would I get vaccinated?

    • Bermewjan says:

      Perhaps because you are wise enough to care about your own life and the lives of your loved ones… wait, I said “wise enough”, didn’t I. My bad, carry on.

  7. Tourism = ROADS says:

    COVID aside

    With the new cruise ships coming and locals going town for vaccines

    Can someone tell us when Govt will start to fix the ROADS


    • Roads lol says:

      Roads getting fixed on this island? Lol.

      In North America you see highways made for hot summers and freezing winters getting 100s of miles done in mere weeks.

      In Bermuda you watch as crews with far more people than necessary take 4+ months to do 2 miles of far small roads, while closing them the entire time to the public. See: Current situation in Devil’s Hole which has been ongoing since when, around September?

      Got an outrageous number of Gov. employees, but never seem to get anything done and somehow don’t have the budget for proper trash collection, roadside maintenance, etc. so I doubt we have the budget for fixing the roads themselves.

      Got the budget to give away 800k to some artist, or however many millions we are overpaying for Zane DeSilva’s buildings, and whatever else we don’t know about.

  8. Do as I say not as I do says:

    It started with Caines and Desilva partying at Blu to set the tone that rules are for a certain few.

    What can you expect. Teflon tiddy milk Caines. Can’t follow rules and can’t keep power on now.

  9. Unbelievable says:

    The Bermuda Government, the Police and the Courts need to set examples and prosecute those whose behaviours contributing to shutting down the country.

    Then they need to tell Collie Buddz that his rhetoric is stupid

  10. Red Pill says:

    And how many of these new cases are people who have already been vaccinated? This government needs to stop misleading the public.

    • Bermewjan says:

      Pay attention: being vaccinated doesn’t stop you from getting it, however it increases your chances of not dying from it when you do get it from some idiot who isn’t vaccinated. So do your loved ones a favor and get vaccinated.

      • Lone_Wolf says:

        Okay, so if the vaccine doesn’t prevent me from catching it and doesn’t prevent me from spreading it and only gives me a better chance of survival if I STILL catch it after being vaccinated, then why should it matter if I get vaccinated or not? If all I am risking is my own death from not being vaccinated then why should anyone else care if I choose to risk my own death?

        I can still catch covid AFTER being vaccinated and I can still spread covid AFTER being vaccinated. So why should I get vaccinated? My own death is my business and no one else’s.

        • Unbelievable says:

          You are not following that thought all the way through. The more people vaccinated the more the virus can’t spread. Come on, read.

          You can choose to be part of the effort like a responsible person or you can decide in your head whatever “science” you come up with.

        • trufth says:

          Can I get an AMEN!!

          Louder for the people in the back and even louder for the people that think the “vaccine” is magic juice.

        • Question says:

          Because it does stop you from being hospitalized and from dying. If those things are important to you. They are to most sane people.

          It also does greatly reduce the chance of you catching it at all, and from spreading it.

          • LOL (original) says:

            Swore I heard Fauci just this Saturday talking about it. Sounded like the vaccine make you more or less an asymptomatic carrier more or less. I find the interview and post it if I can. It was a I think GMA around 2:45min into the video.

  11. Ringmaster says:

    Minister Wilson said “We are finding most symptoms associated with the UK variant of the virus are easily associated with allergies – sore throat, tiredness and headaches, coughing and sneezing”. If today’s 33 year olds can’t handle those symptons Bermuda will never get out of these restrictions, we’ll be in permanent lockdown.

  12. Cleaver says:

    One of my biggest concerns is all the persons who hang out in Mangrove Bay Area. I go past there several times a day and they are all there huddled together no masks and definitely no social distancing and most from different households. The police also go by there at least 20 times a day why don’t they disperse them and if they keep coming back arrest. Last week Thursday there had to be at least 25 or more all having a great time. This is definitely a super spreader and nothing done about it, JUST SAYING

    • Toodle-oo says:

      OMG ! You’re reading my mind .
      I went past there this morning and it was still a bit early for the usual crowd but there was probably 8-10 at that point with more to come, no doubt. I thought the same thing.
      But before covid came along with all of its restrictions the question I always had was when did (blatant) public drinking become lawful ?

  13. Sandgrownan says:

    If someone says “in an abundance of caution” one more time, I’m going to lose my mind.

    Seriously, if we only have one hospitalized case, most of the vulnerable have been vaccinated and we have approaching 50% vaccination rate, presumably the public health risk is decreasing? I’m also assuming that we’re testing more and testing more kids who are largely asymptomatic.

    Unless government shows it is willing to punish those who have been shown to be breaking existing regulations they have no right to punish us all.

    • Unbelievable says:

      You have your facts wrong. We are not at 50% vaccination rate. As of a few days ago, we were at 20% of the population who have received both doses. Look for the graphic, it’s out there.You also shouldn’t be assuming ANYTHING. Why you even assume with this virus?
      And two days ago lots of people were moaning that no one was hospitalised and so yeah we should be doing what we want. Now that one person is hospitalised, it’s still not good enough for you. I hope you aren’t related to that person who is hospitalised. I’m sure their family is full of worries while you bang on about “losing your mind”.

      • Sandgrownan says:

        I said approaching. I have to assume because the daily party political broadcast is big on statistics but short on information.

        Regardless, the whole point of “lockdown” was to prevent the hospital being overwhelmed. That isn’t happening.

        And I’m a rule follower – not breaking curfew, holding parties, going maskless, and I’m now being punished (along with many others).

        My question is why? We’re in a different situation than we were a year ago.

        • LOL (original) says:

          So your starting to calm down and make a little sense again.

          LOL Panic is the real killer don’t you agree?

          • sandgrownan says:

            I think the only people panicking are government.

            • Unbelievable says:

              Wait….didn’t you scream you were going to “lose your mind” if someone said “in an abundance of caution”?

              Talk about panic lol.

              • sandgrownan says:

                LOL..I didn’t “scream” exactly, but it is true, I am sick of hearing such a bullsh*t phrase along with that other bullsh*t phrase…”return to normality”…

        • Unbelievable says:

          No the whole point of lockdown was not JUST SO THAT THE HOSPITAL WOULDN’T BE OVERWHELMED. It was to also STOP THE TRANSMISSION as much as possible. How can you not see or know that? Nobody moves, gives it someone else and no one gets sick. It worked to a point.

          And yes we are in a different situation than a year ago: I would say a worse situation! All you need to do is look at the numbers. The daily numbers a year ago were not like this. Even the numbers in December were not like this and we were really concerned about how that was going to roll out. Those daily numbers hovered around 20 – 25 people per day. This wave is double those numbers: 40 – 50 per day. Today, March 29, will be ugly.

          I’m like you….I want to this to resolve quickly. I’ve got a small business that requires me to be out and about but it’s been dreadful year. If you’ve been following the rules, then you’ve been doing the right thing. But I’m going to also ask that you get the facts right and get them from credible places. I don’t believe any of this “people better wake up” or “Govt control” nonsense. Go away. I believe the science. 1+1=2 not 9.

          • LOL (original) says:

            Actually if someone had it say asymptomatic and was with others it just spread back and forth. We locked down for like 2-2.5 weeks or so the research they had said that the virus could live on surfaces for 14 days as well as that was the incubation period before symptoms became apparent. The Us has studies that it spread more in the lockdowns. It also said that the virus was unlikely to spread outdoors.

            LOL I look for them if need be.

          • LOL (original) says:

            Where are your credible places???? At least allow others to look at your sources so we can make up our own minds.

            LOL 1+1=2 only the SJW crowd says it equals 5 not 9.

          • sandgrownan says:

            Correct. The difference now is that all of our oldies and vulnerable are vaccinated, and an increasing number of the rest. SO, the overall population risk must have decreased. Right? So far it seems, that children <16 and youth are asymptomatic and less likely to develop critical symptoms.

            So, I guess, my question is do we really care that it's spreading in children, and is the real reason for the increase in cases that we are testing more children. In other words, there's no reliable baseline for children so we don't know if things are worse or not.

            • Joe Bloggs says:

              “all of our oldies and vulnerable are vaccinated”

              Sadly, that is not correct. There is a segment of our community that, for historical or other reasons reasons, will not get vaccinated. That means that the rest of us need to take care not to harm them by transmitting COVOID-19 to them