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Tourists Can Flock Back To Territory Starting June 1 As Return To Normalcy Begins

CHRISTIANSTED — During his COVID-19 briefing today, Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. said he is initiating the blue “Open Doors” phase of the territory’s path back to normalcy effective June 1.

“This simply means that we will allow the prohibitions on leisure travel to expire, making it easier for potential tourists to book vacations to the territory,” Bryan said.

Bryan said the territory has received at least 500 test results from COVID-19 symptomatic patients without encountering a positive result.

“We have effectively eliminated community spread of the virus through our actions, and the evidence is the recent lack of hospitalizations and the reduction of calls to our hotlines,” Bryan said. “This is what gives us the confidence to take the next step forward.”

Stimulus checks

  • On Tuesday, May 26, 6,030 stimulus checks totaling about $10 million were mailed out.
  • To date, 18,429 checks have been mailed out totaling just less than $30 million.
  • To date, this is an average of $1,618 per check.
  • Another batch of checks is being processed and will be mailed out on Saturday, May 30.

YES credits

  • To date, 29,414 residential customers received a $250 credit and 5,461 commercial ratepayers have received a $500 credit.
  • A total of just less than 35,000 ratepayers have received YES credits.
  • The YES Credit Program is nearing completion

Unemployment benefits

  • The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which provides an additional $600 per week to unemployment beneficiaries, began this week.
  • All eligible recipients will receive a lump sum check for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation retroactive to April 4, and the weekly payments will continue through July 31.
  • On May 27, the Department of Labor set a record by sending out 3,118 checks in one day.
  • The Department of Labor has secured a contract with InTouch Call Center, and the public can get information about any COVID-19-related employment security issues and unemployment benefits by calling 1-877-374-0356.
  • The call center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

COVID-19 cases

  • Currently tracking two active cases
  • 1,708 individuals tested to date
  • 1,617 of those tests were negative
  • 69 tests came back positive
  • 62 recovered
  • 22 tests are pending
  • Six deaths to date
  • No COVID-19 patients are hospitalized at Juan F. Luis Hospital on St. Croix.
  • One COVID-19 patient is hospitalized on a ventilator at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas.
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