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DHS Closes Knud Hansen Complex In St. Thomas After 2 Employees Test Positive For COVID-19

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Virgin Islands Department of Human Services said that it is closing the Knud Hansen Complex after two employees recently tested positive for COVID-19.

“Two employees from two different facilities have tested positive,” DHS spokeswoman Michelle Francis told the Virgin Islands Free Press today.  “Contact tracing and additional staff testing is being performed this week.”

Francis added that the Knud Hansen will be closed for 72 hours out of “an abundance of caution.”

DHS said in a prepared statement that it is implementing additional coronavirus mitigation procedures in light of the employees testing positive for COVID-19 this week.

As cases across the territory continue to rise, DHS said it will “remain vigilant in their screening, educating, and monitoring of staff and clients.”

The Department of Human Services said it continues to work closely with the Department of Health to ensure availability of prompt testing for employees.

DHS is also arranging for the professional cleaning and sanitizing of impacted facilities this week.

Changes to Operating Hours

• Effective today at 8:00 a.m.,the Knud Hansen Complex in St. Thomas is closed to the public through Friday. The Complex will reopen on Monday, August 17. While the building is not unsafe, DHS is closing the building to ensure staff can maintain social distancing while
testing and other enhanced protocols are arranged. All other DHS facilities on St. Thomas and across the territory remain open and operational.
• Meals on Wheels and Homemaker Services will continue to provide client services in the community while continuing to adhere to all health and safety protocols.
• Drop boxes will also remain open and available for application drop off.
Restricted client access to DHS sites, implemented since March 2020 in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) best practices, will continue. A screening survey and temperature checks already in place at residential facilities, will now be required at ALL DHS facilities across the territory.

All staff and close contacts of the affected units are being notified to ensure their safety within the parameters of HIPAA guidelines. Additionally, DHS is working to provide support for staff members.
3011 Golden Rock • Christiansted, St. Croix, Virgin Islands 00820 • (340) 718-2980 ph • (340) 773-6121 fax
1303 Hospital Ground, Suite 1 • St. Thomas, Virgin Islands 00802-6722 • (340) 774-1166 ph • (340) 774-3466 fax

The Department of Human Services requests prayers for all their staff, on the front lines, daily caring for members of the public.

For general information, please visit the Department of Human Services website, www.dhs.gov.vi or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/usvidhs) at US Virgin Islands
Department of Human Services.

If you are experiencing any of the coronavirus symptoms listed on the Department of Health website (listed below), self-quarantine and immediately contact the Department of Health:
o V.I. DOH website: https://doh.vi.gov/
o COVID-19 Hotline: (340) 712-6299 or (340) 776-1519

For more information on COVID-19, the new strain of coronavirus, please visit the USVI Department of Health’s website, www.doh.vi.gov/coronavirus or text COVID19USVI to #COVID19USVI

The Department of Human Services (VIDHS) said it “exists to provide social services to members in our community with diverse needs. In times of national uncertainty and hardship we act as a and exist to inspire hope and empower change through non-judgmental, quality delivery of
needed services and resources.”

Please visit the Department of Human Services website, www.dhs.gov.vi for more information.

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