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Government Issues New Statements

In a somewhat confusing scenario, the Government has now issued a recall notice for the statement that was here previously. It was sent at 5.58pm, we posted it, however it was then recalled at 6.36pm.

To be clear, there was no error on Bernews part by posting, however since it was recalled 38 minutes after being sent, we have removed it, and left this explanatory note. They are expected to issue a new statement about the matter. We do apologize for the confusion!

Update 8.27pm: The Government has now sent the statement below

At this time, the Ministry of Education wishes to provide an update regarding Paget Primary and West End Primary schools and advise the public on the quarantine and assessment measures recommended for identified students, their families and staff from these two schools.

Following an assessment of the close contacts, the Chief Medical Officer has instructed that the students, families, teachers, and staff from Paget Primary and West End Primary schools may be released from quarantine and resume normal activities. This includes returning to school.

The Government will issue a further release on Dellwood Middle School this evening.

Update 8.53pm: The Government has now issued the statement below

The Ministry of Health is advising that, due to an increase in positive cases and demand for testing, the COVID-19 testing schedule has been extended.

Testing was previously to take place on Saturday at the Shelly Bay Market Place from 12pm until 4pm; it will now be extended by three hours to 10am to 5pm.

An additional testing slot has also been added on Saturday; there will now be testing appointments available at Southside on Saturday from 4:30pm to 6pm.

Sunday testing at Southside will be extended by one hour and will now be from 9am until 2pm (instead of 9am until 1pm as previously scheduled).

Members of the public are advised to please wear your mask while waiting to be tested and to wear it correctly so that it covers both your mouth and nose. Please also bring government-issued I.D. and stand in a physically-distanced manner from others. Children (under 16) should be accompanied by an adult to sign their consent form.

Persons can go to https://www.gov.bm/coronavirus-get-tested to book a testing appointment; walk-ins are also welcome.

The Minister of Health the Hon. Kim Wilson JP MP said, “Testing, along with rigorous contact tracing, is vital in our fight against the novel coronavirus. In the past two days alone, we have tested close to 1500 people in a massive screening exercise to locate those with COVID-19, investigate their close contacts and issue quarantine instructions as necessary. This number includes some 500 frontline service workers – and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the testing teams, bars & restaurants for tackling this so quickly.”

Update 10.30pm: The Government has now issued this statement, which we assume to be the replacement for the original one:

Earlier today, the Ministry of Education confirmed that a member of the Dellwood Middle School staff tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, eight staff at Dellwood were instructed by the Ministry of Health to quarantine and as a result, were not in school today. Those in quarantine were subsequently tested and one additional member of staff has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Department of Health continues to follow a thorough, comprehensive, data-driven, and scientific approach for contact tracing and making decisions around who is required to quarantine. This morning, officers from the Department conducted a risk assessment at the Dellwood Middle School.

As a result of the risk assessment and the second positive case, the Ministry of Education, upon the recommendation of the Ministry of Health, has made the decision to temporarily stop in-person classes. Teachers and parents of students who attend the school have been notified by the Ministry of Education.

Guidance will be given by the Ministry of Health on when the school will reopen for in-person classes following a risk assessment and review of all the evidence.

To aid in that effort, the Ministry of Health has set up a special testing site for all teachers, students and staff to get tested. Testing will be available at Dellwood on Saturday, 28 November, from 2pm – 6pm and on Sunday, 29 November from 1pm – 5pm. This testing is for teachers, students and staff of Dellwood Middle School only.

The Ministry of Education will meet on Saturday and provide guidance to parents, teachers, and staff on the remote learning plan for Monday, 30 November. A further update will be provided to the public tomorrow.