BHB COVID-19 Response Update – 4 April 2021

Sunday 4 April 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board today urged families to take their loved ones home for discharge today to ensure there is enough space for people who require hospital care, and urged everyone over 16 to get vaccinated in order to protect against serious illness and death, and keep hospitalisations down.

People are also reminded that if they are COVID-19 positive, been asked to quarantine or believe they may have COVID-19 symptoms, they should not just turn up at the Emergency Department, but call 239-2009 or 239-1301 for advice on accessing the hospital safely. Symptoms of COVID19 include but are not limited to:

□ Cough
□ Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
□ Fever of 100.4°F or higher or a sense of having a fever
□ Sore throat
□ Chills
□ New loss of taste or smell
□ Muscle or body aches
□ Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
□ Congestion/runny nose
□ Unusual tiredness
□ Headache

CEO Dr Michael Richmond comments: “We are concerned about the rising numbers of infections in Bermuda, and urge the community to do what they can to protect themselves. Over the holiday weekend we have had a surge of COVID-19 patients needing admission to the hospital and intensive care unit. The latest reported figures highlight how quickly we have risen to 18 patients with COVID-19, four of whom are in the ICU. We are prepared. We have opened up our overflow ICU already, and have opened up additional areas with beds to maximise capacity. We have good supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), medications and oxygen. We are managing right now, but we need the community to play their part in ensuring hospital services can continue to manage and that care for everyone in Bermuda is not compromised.”

Chief of Nursing Judy Richardson comments: “We know some families struggle helping their loved one get home when they are ready for discharge, but we need them to act now. Hospitalisation numbers due to COVID-19 are rising in the wake of a sustained surge of cases in the community. The pattern seen the world over is when community cases rise and stay high, hospitals can become overwhelmed very quickly. We are preparing internally, but we also need families to ensure their loved ones who are in hospital go home as soon as they are medically fit to do so.”

Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller adds: “Vaccination protects against serious illness and death from COVID-19. Data from Government is already showing that over 90% of the people testing positive are not fully vaccinated. None of the people admitted to KEMH are fully vaccinated, highlighting that you are at much higher risk of serious illness if you are not vaccinated. The small 10% of people testing positive who are fully vaccinated are not getting seriously ill and not needing hospital inpatient care. The risks of rising numbers are not just to people sick with COVID, but if too many people get sick and need hospital care, all healthcare services will be impacted and people on island needing surgeries or management of ongoing conditions are going to suffer. It is time to work together to get through this difficult time. There is no excuse for not getting vaccinated, unless advised by your doctor. This is a safe and effective vaccine, properly tested, safely provided, and free for everyone over 16.”

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Notes to Editors
The Bermuda Hospitals Board is a quango (quasi autonomous non-governmental organisation) established under the Bermuda Hospitals Board Act, 1970. It has a Bermuda Government-approved Board and a Chief Executive Officer, responsible for King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute. At the heart of both organisations is high-quality care to all patients.

With approximately 1,700 employees, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is Bermuda's second largest employer. King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute are the only healthcare organisations in Bermuda accredited by Accreditation Canada, an independent organisation whose role is to help hospitals examine and improve the quality of care and service they provide to their clients. In addition to providing an extensive list of services for the community, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is part of a referral network that includes some of the world's leading specialist hospitals.

For more information, please visit www.bermudahospitals.bm or contact the Bermuda Hospitals Board Public Relations Department at publicrelations@bhb.bm.