The Ministry received 4,247 test results — spanning two days — and 255 were positive, so active cases have now increased to 1,111, with four people in hospital.
A Government spokesperson said, “Since the last update, the Ministry of Health received 4,247 test results and 255 were positive for the coronavirus.
“These results are from testing completed on:
- Sunday, January 2: 75 positive out of 1915 results [3.9% positivity]
- Monday, January 3: 180 positive out of 2332 results [7.7% positivity]
“The Ministry notes that 125 of the new cases are classified as imported with history of travel in the previous 14 days.
“The additional 130 new cases are classified as either local transmission  or under investigation .
“Additionally, there are 56 recoveries and 0 deaths.
“There are 1,111 active cases, of which:
- 1,107 are under public health monitoring; and
- 4 are in hospital with zero  in intensive care.
“Since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 7,191 coronavirus cases, out of which 5,970 have recovered, and sadly there have been 110 coronavirus-related deaths.
“The source of all active cases is as follows:
- 495 are Imported
- 160 are classified as local transmission
- 456 are Under Investigation
“The source of all confirmed cases is as follows:
- 1,434 are Imported
- 5,259 are classified as local transmission of which:
- 3,229 are Local transmission with known contact/source and
- 1,964 are Local transmission with an unknown contact/source
- 498 are Under Investigation
“As investigations proceed, transmission categories may change. For information regarding age distributions and overall transmission categories, please refer to https://www.gov.bm/coronavirus-covid19-update. The seven-day average of our real time reproduction number is near 1 [0.94].
“Meanwhile as it relates to the status of the coronavirus testing programme, the Ministry advised that there continue to be delays.
“As a result, the Ministry recommends that those individuals who plan on travelling to Canada should seek alternative testing options, such as private lab testing for their PCR results. As a reminder, Canada requires a negative 72-hour PCR test result to enter its borders.
“Additionally for those entities that use the Saliva PCR Testing method, the Ministry advised that during this current surge, Saliva PCR testing results can now be used to determine what public health measures should be taken for an individual who tests positive.
“More specifically, if the Saliva test has a positive result, then the person will be required to isolate for 10 days [if immunized] or 14 days [if not immunized]. Again, this policy only applies to those who are currently in programmes that conduct Saliva PCR testing.
“And as it relates to contact tracing, the Ministry is reminding the public that the contact tracing process is the same as it was during the previous surge. All positive cases will receive an email notification advising them of next steps. Persons should check their “spam” or “junk” email boxes to ensure they haven’t missed the notification.
Minister Wilson said, “We acknowledge that our testing regime has encountered some challenges over the last few days, and we regret any inconvenience caused to those who have been affected.
“The facts are that the Omicron variant’s transmission rate is like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
“Its rapid spread has resulted in a significant increase in positive cases.
“This has led to an increase in testing.
“The overall effect of this current spike has put extreme demands on all our healthcare teams.
“It isn’t the most ideal situation, but our teams are persevering through and are being provided with the support to meet the current demands. As the events evolve, we will continue to adjust our processes to ensure an effective and efficient testing regime for all our residents and visitors alike.
“This is evidenced by the opening of a new testing site earlier today in the Washington Mall, which was implemented to specifically meet the testing demand for outbound travellers.
“Early indications are that the testing process at the new site worked well today. Again, this service is for outbound travellers only. As we announced on Wednesday, all outbound travellers [visitors and residents] who require an antigen test 24-hours before their departure from Bermuda, will now be tested at this new location.
“Located on the western walkway above Washington Lane, Washington Mall, the site is open daily from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. Anyone who requires a 24-hour outbound antigen test will be able to book a travel antigen test online at www.gov.bm to attend the Washington Mall testing site. And with the opening of the new Washington Mall site, the temporary airport antigen service which was set up over the weekend, will now close, effective tomorrow [Jan. 7].
“Additionally, we have been asked about relaxing the current regulations and requirements that are in effect, specifically regarding the curfew. To be clear the current curfew and other public health measures will remain in place until they expire on January 20, 2022.
“Lastly, I think it’s important to stress that this isn’t the first surge that we’ve navigated through. And as we did previously, we will push through and continue to evolve and meet the challenges ahead.
“What we need though is the cooperation of the community to help in curbing the spread. As basic as it may seem, the public health guidance is the best defense against the coronavirus.
“We continue to advocate vigilance, personal responsibility and compliance. The public should continue to wear a mask, wash their hands, keep physically distanced from others not in their household, and add antigen tests to their pandemic toolbox.”