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Bermuda imposes new curfew after COVID-19 cases rise

Thursday, September 16, 2021

HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC) — The Bermuda government is to bring back a night-time curfew after the number of active coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on the island soared above 1,000 for the first time and a 37th person died from the virus.

The latest death was revealed on Wednesday night following a media conference at which Health Minister Kim Wilson announced new public safety restrictions – including the 12:30 am to 5:00 am curfew starting on Friday and lasting two weeks – to combat the current surge in cases.

Wilson said a further 150 positive results — the record for a single day — was recorded by the Health Department on Wednesday from 2,949 tests, representing a positivity rating of 5.1 per cent.

Bermuda now has 1,083 active cases, with 11 people in intensive care. Active cases hit a previous high of 904 in April before falling to just four in June before skyrocketing again.

Altogether, there are 42 people in hospital with the virus.

One of the new fourth-wave cases came with a recent history of travel, while the remainder is classed as local transmission or under investigation.

The Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) chief of staff, Dr Wesley Miller, said the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) was now full, as was a satellite ICU. There are vacancies in a second satellite unit that was set up last week.

Dr Miller also said that 21 BHB staff had tested positive for the virus – 17 of whom were unvaccinated. So far, 66 per cent of the island have been fully vaccinated.

In an attempt to kick-start flagging vaccination rates, Wilson urged people to get the jab.

“Time is running out,” Wilson said, blaming the need for tougher regulations on irresponsible residents who had failed to follow health recommendations.

“As the number of active cases increases significantly – primarily through community transmission – the government must take proactive measures from a public health perspective to prevent further cases. We must put measures in place to slow the transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant.”

In all, Bermuda has recorded a total of 4,027 COVID-19 cases since March of last year.