CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Governor Albert Bryan Jr. has rescheduled the Special Session he called for the Senate from Tuesday, August 18, to Tuesday, August 25, because of the current circumstances of COVID-19 affecting the Legislature.
On Monday, St. Croix Senator Kenneth Gittens disclosed that he had tested positive for coronavirus and that the Legislature needed to investigate who might have come in contact with the infected lawmaker and how best to clean the Legislature building on St. Thomas.
“With a humble spirit and great concern I would like to let everyone know that as the territory continues to see a spike in the number of Coronavirus cases, I have also tested positive for COVID-19,” Gittens said. “I began experiencing some of the symptoms associated with the deadly pathogen early last week and decided to get tested. Once I started feeling some of the symptoms like the coughing, headache, joint pain and loss of taste, I contacted one of our health care facilities so that I (could) get tested, know my status and protect those around me.”
Governor Bryan called the 33rd Legislature into Special Session to take action on his proposed legislation to amend Title 29 of the V.I. Code by adding a new chapter to create the Matching Fund Securitization Corporation.
“Since testing positive this morning, I have notified the few people that I have had close contact with in the last few days so that they can evaluate their health and decide their actions forward,” Gittens said. “My symptoms appear to be very mild but I do intend to follow all of the doctor’s order closely and quarantine for at least the next 14 days.”
The governor’s proposed legislation will enable the territory to refinance its debt obligations at a much better interest rate, thereby yielding about $85 million a year for the next three years that would be used to shore up the Government Employees’ Retirement System.
“I encourage the community to be considerate of the people around them by adhering to social distancing mandates, washing hands often and wearing face coverings,” Gittens added. “This is a time when everyone should pay attention to their health and if they develop any symptoms, they should monitor them and follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and the Department of Health.”
“No matter how careful we think we are, anyone can be infected,” he said. “I ask everyone to keep me in their prayers for my continued health and strength as I go through this situation. God Bless and stay safe.”