Bermuda reported no new COVID-19 cases on March 24, with the total number of confirmed cases on the island remaining at six.
As at March 24 Bermuda had conducted 78 COVID-19 tests, of which 49 had returned negative results, with another 23 results pending. More than 30 samples were taken on March 24, with one test carried out. There is a maximum 48 hour wait for the results.
Of its six cases, five were imported, with one resulting from close contact.
Six tests for Bermudians were conducted by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), with all those results also negative.
David Burt, Bermuda’s Premier, chastised companies that are not implementing strict social distancing measures, declaring he has asked Bermuda’s Attorney General to consider amending its public health laws. The change would require businesses that are able to mandate employees work from home, and penalise companies that do not comply, while the COVID 19 threat persists.
Some companies have been refusing to permit working from home, or demanding that employees that do take the time out of their sick leave or vacation time, he said. “This is unacceptable and does nothing to encourage the unity of purpose demanded by the times in which we live.”
He promised to unveil a system for anonymous reporting of employers who participate in such unscrupulous practices on March 25.
Burt also confirmed health officials had conducted a site visit at the Salvation Army shelterl to assess protection measures for the unsheltered. Meanwhile, the government’s ageing and disabilities services team is coordinating efforts to distribute hand sanitiser kits and providing wellness checks for vulnerable seniors with respiratory issues, and checking on their food supplies.
Meanwhile, the Pharmacy Council has instituted measures to ensure consistent pharmacy-safe practices and adequate stock levels of medications in Bermuda. The ten-day supply normally approved for verbal prescriptions from doctors to pharmacists has been extended to allow a 30-day supply.
Burt noted that a number of companies had offered to provide garbage collection services while the union dispute continues. “I extend my sincere appreciation to the companies that stepped forward to provide collect garbage services for the rest of this week,” he said. “The community spirit demonstrated by these companies is to be commended. I am extremely disappointed that the impasse did not end with Bermuda’s waste collection staff going back to work.”
COVID-19, David Burt, Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA, Pharmacy Council