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Health Confirms 2 More COVID Deaths In The Territory, Total Now Stands At 71

CHRISTIANSTED — The Virgin Islands Department of Health on Monday confirmed two COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the total number in the territory to 71.

The dead are an 89-year-old man on St. Croix and a 44-year-old woman on St. Thomas, according to a Health Department press release.

Territorial Epidemiologist Dr. Esther Ellis said Monday that health officials have seen a high number of active COVID cases among children and young adults on St. Croix. She said the majority of cases identified last week were in the 0-17 age group.

Dr. Ellis said that the current median age of all positive cases in the USVI was 27.5 years as of Monday, and that contributing factors include outbreaks within daycare centers and school-aged children, with outbreaks among the latter being attributed to household exposures.

A third shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for COVID-19 are being given to people who are immune-compromised, Ellis said, emphasizing that is not the same as a booster.

Ellis said the third shots are only for those with weakened immune systems, with a doctor’s note, and the boosters are for those adults over the age of 65 who received two shots six months ago – and other individuals specified by the government.

“It is especially important for children 12 and up as well as those that work with children to get vaccinated and keep our schools safe and our students safe,” she said.

Dr. Ellis also urged parents with children 11 and under to get vaccinated themselves, which she said would help keep the children safe.

There are currently 190 confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in the territory: 139 on St. Croix, 46 on St. Thomas and five on St. John.

According to health officials, there are currently two COVID patients at Schneider Regional Medical Center in St. Thomas, one of them is on a ventilator. At the Juan F. Hospital on St. Croix, one patient is on a ventilator.

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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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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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