Business Council urges people to get vaccinated – The Royal Gazette
Created: Sep 17, 2021 07:58
Keith Jensen, chairman of the Bermuda Employers’ Council (file photo)
An organization that represents island business owners has added its voice to calls for unvaccinated residents to get the coronavirus vaccine.
The Bermuda Employers Council has highlighted the effects on work and life that have returned with the latest wave of infections, which has seen around 10,000 people quarantined this week [see separate story].
Keith Jensen, chairman of the BEC, said: “For the fourth time, residents and some places are inflicting the spread of the virus on the community by not following the advice of the Department of Health.”
He added that the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital was “on the verge of being overwhelmed” as most Covid-19 patients were not fully vaccinated.
Mr Jensen said, “We urge all those who are not vaccinated to do themselves, their family, friends, sports and work colleagues a huge favor and get vaccinated.
“Be part of the solution rather than the problem. “
Figures released by the government last week showed that of the 133 hospital cases of Covid-19 – including repeat admissions – between January 11 and August 31, 116 were not vaccinated.
Five were fully vaccinated and 12 were partially vaccinated.
Mr Jensen noted that “amid the surge in Covid cases” this week there had been reports of temporary business closures “for additional cleaning and precautionary measures after staff were tested positive for Covid “.
He pointed out that some companies have reduced their hours of service to customers and that there were circumstances where staff had to leave work and quarantine because there was close contact of a positive case.
The BEC president also pointed out that some companies have recommended that their staff work from home and that government departments have been affected.
He said: “Additionally, there have been complaints that there were not enough testing windows with wait times spanning several days.
“There is growing frustration that people seeking an urgent Covid test cannot get one in a timely manner. “
Mr Jensen noted that restrictions, including a curfew, will be introduced. The new measures start today.
He asked, “Do all of these questions sound familiar to you? “
Mr Jensen pointed out that the Delta variant of the virus is highly contagious.
He added: “Right now most people in Bermuda know someone who has been affected. “
Mr Jensen said: ‘There is a need for employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace and mitigate the risk of the spread of Covid at work.
“Consequently, responsible employers reinforce the need for and compliance with prevention protocols by staff at work; allow staff, who can do this easily, to work from home; use the SafeKey in the required establishments; and ensure proper cleaning of their premises.
“After the peak of the third wave, it took about a month for the growing number of cases to come down to relatively few per week.
“The fourth wave seems to be longer with a greater impact in the unvaccinated.
“Choices have consequences. “
The government has suggested that people who need urgent outbound testing for travel use one of the certified private laboratories – Helix Genetic and Scientific Solutions or C&S West Limited.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said this week that the molecular diagnostic lab’s test results are expected to take at least 24 hours, but could be longer.