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2 DEATHS IN 2 DAYS! 63rd COVID-19-Related Death Confirmed In The Territory

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Virgin Islands Health Department said today that 63 people have now died from COVID-19 in the territory,

The 62nd patient to die from coronavirus was an unvaccinated 57-year-old man on St. Thomas, according to the VIDOH.

“After further investigating cause of death and ensuring notification of next of kin, the Virgin Islands Department of Health is saddened to confirm the territory’s sixty-third death related to COVID-19,” VIDOH said today. “The deceased is a 63-year-old female on St. Croix.”

Meanwhile, Government House said there are no plans to lift or modify any current restrictions regarding the ongoing pandemic.

There are currently 193 active cases, including 120 on St. Croix, 68 on St. Thomas, and five on St. John, Health Department Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Tai Hunte-Ceasar said during Tuesday’s weekly press briefing.

While the seven-day test positivity rate has dipped slightly to 3.05%, Government House spokesman Richard Motta said that Governor Albert Bryan prepared to relax coronavirus protocols.

“While the decrease in positivity rate and active cases is a welcomed sign, there are no immediate plans to lift any of the current restrictions,” Motta said.

Hunte-Caesar said that for every known, active case of COVID-19, there “may be an additional 10 or more people infected who they may have exposed.”

She also read a statement from Christopher Finch, chairman of the V.I. Government Hospital and Health Facilities Corporation board.

Finch’s statement detailed the high number of hospitalizations in the last month, and said that “we are seeing one death per day on average” from COVID-19.

There were 19 deaths over the month of August, “by far our highest monthly total,” and “if it wasn’t for the monoclonal antibody treatments — over 575 so far — the numbers would have been even higher.”

There have been 200 to 400 active cases daily since July, and despite vaccines having been available in the territory for nine months, the death tolls continues to rise.

Finch wondered, “What are the acceptable death number to convince others to do the right thing?” according to Hunte-Caesar.

Vaccines are “the best tool we have. I’s free and easily available,” she added.

Vaccinations and Testing

Anyone 12 and older is eligible to receive the vaccine. Please make sure to have a parent or guardian accompany any minor wishing to get vaccinated and must bring an ID for both the minor and the parent or guardian. 

Anyone who thinks they may have contracted COVID-19 can call the Epidemiology hotline at 340-712-6299 or 340776-1519. For more information, visit covid19usvi.com.

For information about the COVID-19 vaccines or to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated, call the VITEMA hotline Mondays-Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 340-777-VACS (8227). Vaccination appointments also can be scheduled online at covid19usvi.com/vaccines.

Residents can pre-register for testing online at www.covid19usvi.com/testing and free vaccines are available at the pop-up testing sites.

Pop-Up Testing

1-4 p.m. Wednesday, September 8, at the V.I. Port Authority Gravel Lot on St. John

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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