CHRISTIANSTED — During the Government House weekly press briefing, Richard Motta Jr., Director of Communications for the Office of the Governor, said that the Pandemic Electronic Benefits (P-EBT) program continues to issue cards to eligible students and asked for the public’s patience as the Department of Education begins the 2020-2021 school year with a two-week soft-opening period.
“Today is the first day of school for the territory’s public-school students and I want to wish all our students, teachers, faculty and staff a warm welcome back,” Motta said. “Parents and guardians, teachers and other support staff: This week and this soft-opening-period will not be without its share of challenges. I beg your indulgence on behalf of the governor and the Department of Education, as we all navigate this unchartered territory, and ask for your continued cooperation toward our shared goal of ensuring our students have a safe and successful start to the 2020-2021 school year. “
Motta also said that the Department of Human Services continues to issue P-EBT cards to families of students who are eligible. The Federal funding under the P-EBT program is tied to the Department of Education’s school lunch program which is why the federal government has structured the benefits in a way which issues those benefits to the individual students as opposed to the head of household as done under the SNAP program.
“By now most of you have received your P-EBT benefits in the mail,” Mr. Motta said.
Anyone with questions or concerns, including lost or damaged cards, or difficulty creating a pin, should call the P-EBT hotline at 340-772-7120 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with P-EBT in the subject line, he said.
Currently tracking have 58 active cases
18,354 individuals tested to date
17,120 of those tests came back negative
1221 came back positive
1,144 individuals have recovered.
19 fatalities to date.
The 19th fatality was an 82-year-old man on St. Thomas, who died shortly after being admitted to the Schneider Regional Medical Center in respiratory distress.
There are no COVID-Positive patients at the Juan F. Luis Hospital and just one COVID-positive patient at the Schneider Regional Medical Center.
To date, the Virgin Islands Department of Labor (VIDOL) has issued 36,291 unemployment insurance checks totaling $27,772,302 million dollars to VI residents impacted by COVID-19 related job-losses.
The department has also issued an additional 26,814 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments totaling $40,814,880 dollars.
VIDOL has issued $2,446,101 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and $1,000,005 in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.
In total, the government has issued 64,463 unemployment benefit payments to Virgin Islands residents totaling $72,033,288. Up $2 million since last week.