Statement from the Ministry of Health Regarding Matilda Smith Williams Seniors Residence

Press Release from Ministry of Health

19 April, 2020
The Hon. Kim Wilson

Following a concerning story posted by TNN this afternoon, the Ministry of Health would like to  dispel misinformation circulating regarding the Matilda Smith Williams Seniors Residence.

As reported by the Ministry of Health last weekend, COVID-19 was confirmed at the Matilda Smith Williams Seniors Residence. This involved two residents and two staff members.  Unfortunately, these results confirmed spread of the virus within the facility.  As a result, all residents and staff underwent testing for COVID-19 and 23 positive results were confirmed in persons associated with the outbreak at the care home.

The claim on TNN that “the facility is now without any qualified nursing staff” is untrue.

All residents who require medical assessments have had them performed by medical professionals and no medication has been given to residents by unqualified personnel.
The Ministry of Health liaised with the facility’s Interim Administrator as soon as the outbreak occurred to ensure that medical care was provided. A Registered Nurse has been attending the facility every night since early last week, while the Department of Health’s Long Term Care Quality Officer, who is also a Registered Nurse, has also been attending daily.

On Saturday a medical director from the Ministry of Health was appointed to the facility to provide on-site and off-site medical guidance and intervention in the response to the COVID-19 outbreak at the facility.

Additionally, the Department of Health will provide Home Resource Aides to the facility.

As of today, a full-time nurse has been appointed to the home.
The Ministry of Health has provided PPE to the facility including gowns, masks, gloves, face shields, goggles, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and trash bags.

Additionally, the Department of Health’s Community Health Nursing staff provided PPE training on Friday morning at the home for all staff regarding the correct use of PPE and Infection Control.

The Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit is currently managing the outbreak in the facility and have recommend that additional measures be put in place and has provided further guidance to staff members in that regard.

A communication from the facility’s Board was sent to family members regarding the status of the COVID-19 outbreak at the home.

The Minister of Health the Hon. Kim Wilson JP MP said, “Following today’s alarming news report, I want to reassure the public that Bermuda’s 21 care homes and operations are stable.  Additionally, I want to reiterate that there is a plan in place and active management of the situation at the Matilda Smith Williams Seniors Home. I will speak more on this at tomorrow’s press conference.”