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VIDOH Counts Fetus As The 8th Death In The Territory From COVID-19

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Virgin Islands Department of Health is reporting tonight that an 8th COVID-19 mortality has occurred in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A 23-year-old pregnant woman died from the virus in St. Thomas on July 21, the VIDOH reported last week.

Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. acknowledged the death in a press conference with the media on Monday and expressed condolences to the family.

The number of deaths are now even per district: four in St. Thomas and four on St. Croix, according to latest VIDOH information.

There was some question as to whether the Health Department decided to count the fetus along with its mother as the territory’s 8th fatality.

The department does not answer questions from the media and would only say that the death occurred in St. Thomas.

In the press conference on Monday, Bryan said that there were six coronavirus patients at the Schneider Regional Medical Center, one of whom was on a ventilator to breathe.

“We’re seeing people being able to be hospitalized and being able to recover,” the governor said. “People are actually going on to the ventilators and being able to leave the hospital now.”

There were two patients at the Juan F. Luis Hospital as of Monday, Bryan said.

“We continue to make sure we have the medical resources available to individuals in our community,” he said.

Meanwhile, readers of the Virgin Islands Free Press provided valuable information about this issue on Facebook.

I spoke to Department of Health and I asked via comment in the last press conference and they told me the fetus doesn’t count because it wasn’t old enough to be counted,” Barbara Knight said on Facebook. “So I asked is this because you won’t get paid for this death??? NO Response!! So it’s incredibly sad but they either got enough push from the public to wake up OR someone figured out if they count the fetus they get paid… they are a poorly managed and ignorant Dept and I hope they and the Commissioner are fully investigated for Messing with Virgin Islanders lives !

Some 21 COVID-19 cases were reported in the territory at the beginning of the week, 13 on St. Croix, seven on St. Thomas and one case on St. John.

On Monday and Tuesday, the VIDOH reported just seven deaths in the territory. But on Wednesday an 8th death was added to the tally.

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