Covid-19: storm could disrupt test regime

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The potential hurricane strike will hit Covid-19 tests and quarantining of travellers, health officials warned yesterday.

A spokeswoman for the health ministry said that test sites may have to be closed to ensure the safety of the public and test teams — which could extend quarantines.

She added: “The Ministry of Health is developing a plan for this eventuality. It is possible that persons scheduled for testing on a storm day may be rescheduled and spread out over subsequent days.

“Travellers will receive e-mailed communication with instructions on when and where to test. Persons should not vary their testing day independently.”

The spokeswoman said that people in quarantine would remain isolated until their rescheduled testing could take place because a clear result was needed before quarantine could be lifted.

She told the public: “Quarantined persons should remain at their home or place of quarantine before and after the storm.

“You can secure your property at your home indoors and outdoors.

“However, you must wear a surgical mask if you must interact with anyone. Persons who cannot quarantine at home should contact their case manager for instructions.”

The spokeswoman added that quarantined people should use online stores to buy storm supplies to maintain isolation.

She said: “The Ministry of Health also asks the community to look out for quarantined neighbours to assist with shopping for supplies, if required.”

The spokeswoman added that the Covid-19 help desk would follow instructions from the Emergency Measures Organisation on whether it could remain open.

She was speaking as it was revealed 776 test results came back yesterday and all were clear.

The news mean the number of cases remains at 177.

A total of 161 people have recovered and there are seven active cases, all being monitored by public health officials. None are in hospital.

The death toll linked to the coronavirus remains at nine.

A total of 66 cases came in from overseas, and 90 were on-island transmission with a known contact, while 19 cases were on-island transmissions with an unknown contact.

Two cases are under investigation.

Bermuda’s country status is still “sporadic cases” and the seven-day average of the real-time reproduction number is less than 1.