CHRISTIANSTED — The Virgin Islands Department of Health on Monday confirmed two new COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the total number in the territory to 75.
One of the two victims was identified as a 59-year-old woman from St. Thomas, while the other was identified as a 37-year-old man on St. Croix, according to the VIDOH.
During today’s Government House weekly press briefing, Communications Director Richard Motta and Verita Carmichael, of the Virgin Islands Lottery, announced the winners of the special drawing for health care workers who are fully vaccinated.
Employees of the health care sector who became fully vaccinated during the specified time frame were eligible in each district to win a $25,000 first prize, a $10,000 second prize or a $5,000 third prize.
Those winners are:
1st prize – Rebecca Bailey, Luis Hospital
2nd prize – Tiesha Ballantine, Luis Hospital
3rd prize – Eugenie Graham, Frederiksted Health Center
St. Thomas-St. John District
1st prize – Roberta Francis-Thomas, Schneider Hospital
2nd prize – Jessica Wilson, Schneider Hospital
3rd Prize – Duanne Jones, VI Dental Center
Taking simple precautions
Motta also noted that of the 161 active cases in the territory, 134 — or 83 percent — are on St. Croix, and he urged all Virgin Islanders to follow the simple precautions that have proven effective against spreading the virus for the past 20 months: wear a mask; practice social distancing; avoid mass gatherings; get vaccinated.
“We are urging St. Croix residents to take precaution. You are at risk, and you should take particular caution until the numbers on St. Croix start to subside,” he said. “But even for residents of St. Thomas and St. John, don’t let the ebb and flow in the number of active cases on a particular island determine how you should protect yourself. Today, our message is to urge you not to think that because there are a certain number of cases on the island you reside in, you are safer or are less at risk and therefore don’t have to take those simple precautions.”
$250 Vaccination Checks
Distribution of the $250 vaccination checks continues from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays-Fridays on St. Croix and St. Thomas at the Community Vaccination Centers and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Morris de Castro Clinic on St. John.
These sites will be open until November 30 and recipients should bring their vaccination card or digital vaccination record, and a valid picture ID.
Homebound persons who are unable to retrieve their gift card at the distribution sites can send someone on their behalf with a notarized letter of authorization or attestation. If a verification letter cannot be notarized or an attestation attained, then the recipient can be called for verification and provide verbal authorization. The pick-up person will be issued the card and the homebound person must sign a receipt that is returned to the distribution center.
Alternatively, homebound persons who can’t get a letter notarized can have the $250 card delivered by Department of Health staff.
Deployed soldiers, persons off-island for medical reasons or persons in school off-island can send someone on their behalf with a notarized attestation to pick up the card
Parents or guardians are permitted to pick up their child’s gift card in the child’s absence but must present a valid picture ID and the child’s valid picture ID or birth certificate, which should correspond with the information in the Department of Health system. Children under 18 cannot pick up the card without an adult.
Residents can get vaccinated at no cost at the Community Vaccination Center (CVC) located in each district; both facilities accept scheduled appointments and walk-up requests for the vaccine.
The Department of Health will also provide free COVID-19 vaccines:
• Every Monday in October from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Market (formerly known as Plaza Extra at Tutu) on St. Thomas
• Every Wednesday in October from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Market (formerly known as Plaza West) on St. Croix
• Every Saturday in October from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Farmers Market at the Agricultural Fairgrounds on Centerline Road on St. Croix.
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 340-776-1519. 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.
COVID-19 cases as of October 12
• 2.77% seven-day positivity rate
• Currently tracking 161 active cases (134 STX; 25 STT; 2 STJ).
• 191,254 individuals tested to date.
• 6,965 individuals tested positive.
• 6,729 individuals have recovered.
• 75 fatalities.
• There are six COVID-19 patients hospitalized, with one on a ventilator, at Juan F. Luis Medical Center on St. Croix.
• There are two COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas.