Bermuda's bar behaviour angers health minister as rest home reports three new COVID-19 cases

Bermuda's bar behaviour angers health minister as rest home reports three new COVID-19 cases

Saturday, May 23, 2020

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HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC)— Bermuda's Health Minister Kim Wilson expressed her displeasure over the behaviour of patrons at Hamilton bars as three new COVID-19 cases were confirmed on Friday at a Bermuda care home for the elderly.

Bermuda began phase two of easing COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday and Wilson said “unfortunately, one day into phase 2 of the country's reopening, we have heard of some unhelpful behaviours that will act against us in the fight against COVID-19.

“Anecdotally, it seems that there were a couple of Hamilton bars that opened last night where poor physical distancing and poor use of masks was observed. This is highly disappointing. When I see people walking in town, I see excellent use of masks and physical distancing. I see consistent respect for the rules we must all now live by.

“So it is disappointing that on the first night open, patrons of bars would disrespect the rules. I want to reiterate that any businesses which violate the rules this weekend will be issued a closure notice,” the health minister said.

Under phase two, restaurants and bars are permitted only to provide outdoor service.

The Ministry of Health said that “public health action” was under way to “contain and manage the situation” at the rest home, one of 21 on the island.

The latest three cases — all from the same unnamed rest home — took Bermuda's total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 128.

Forty-seven of the cases have been at care homes, with Matilda Smith earlier recording 28 and Westmeath 13. Three deaths were at those two homes.

The three cases were among 349 test results that came back on Friday. The others were clear.

There are 38 active cases with four people in hospital, including two in critical care, and nine people have died. A total of 81 people have recovered. In all, Bermuda has now carried out more than 6,000 tests.

The island's country status remained at “local transmission — cluster of cases”, the ministry said.

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