Under ‘Transparency’ Governor Albert Bryan VIDOH Refuses To Say Who Died Where From COVID-19
CHRISTIANSTED — The Virgin Islands Department of Health confirmed a ninth death related to COVID-19 in the territory on Wednesday, but officials were hesitant to release further details about victims eight and nine.
Still Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. told an online newspaper this week that two Caribbean Kidney Center patients had contracted coronavirus after one of the patients at the Gallows Bay facility traveled off island — and returned to the island with the disease.
“We have some scary stuff with the (Caribbean) Kidney Center,” Bryan told the V.I. Consortium on Monday. “We have two people who were infected as a result of one of the dialysis patients traveling. They are really sick.”
The ninth COVID-19 victim was described by the chief executive as being a St. Croix man at least 40 years old who was undergoing dialysis treatment and also suffered from diabetes.
According to one Spanish health study, dialysis patients are 24 percent more likely to die from the coronavirus disease than patients without kidney problems.
Health Department spokeswoman Jahnesta Ritter said that the eighth recorded death in the territory was not the fetus of the seventh victim, a female who died at the Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas on July 21.
But Ritter would not answer questions about the age, gender or island the COVID-19 death occurred on. And Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion and Government House Communications Director Richard Motta, Jr. did not immediately respond to a request for information.
Health Department employee Donna Christensen said that Ritter would answer inquiries about COVID-19-related deaths.
Bryan said the eighth victim was an elderly man in St. Thomas, but offered no more details about his death.
The latest coronavirus death brings St. Croix’s death toll to five, while the St. Thomas has had four deaths total. There have been no COVID-19-related deaths in St. John.
The Health Department reported 20 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, with St. Thomas registering the most cases with 17, while St. Croix only showed three positive results.
The Health Department said another 10 people recovered Wednesday making that 30 recoveries in the last three days. Health said it was tracking 108 active cases: 67 in St. Thomas, 39 on St. Croix and two on St. John.
So far 10,387 tests have been performed, with 9,874 coming back negative and 501 showing positive.