Bryan Urges Virgin Islanders To Observe 'A Thanksgiving Day of Reflection' In 2021

Bryan Urges Virgin Islanders To Observe ‘A Thanksgiving Day of Reflection’ In 2021

CHRISTIANSTED — During the Government House weekly press briefing today, Governor Albert Bryan wished all residents of the community a safe and blessed Thanksgiving and urged them to observe “A Thanksgiving Day of Reflection” by stopping to reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic while spending time with family, friends and relatives on Friday, November 26.

“As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with our loved ones this Thursday, I want to ask all of you to remember those families here at home with one less seat at the table this Thanksgiving due to COVID-19 or any other unforeseen tragedy,” Governor Bryan said. “I encourage you all to take a little time this week or on Thanksgiving to perform an act of kindness. Extend a helping hand to someone in need. Call a family member or friend whose Thanksgiving this year may not be the same as before the pandemic started. Volunteer a couple of hours to a charity or community group.”

The Governor also reminded residents that Government of the Virgin Islands offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, and he asked them to use Friday as an opportunity to reflect on how their lives have been affected and changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Friday is really a day of reflection. I want people to really just spend some time just being grateful and thinking about what they have, where we are in the world and what we can do to help other people as we go into this holiday season,” Governor Bryan said. “We’re slowly creeping, trying to get back to normal. But certainly we still are in the pandemic, and the fourth surge in Europe is definitely graying my hair a little bit more. But we have a lot to be thankful for.”

The governor urged everyone to enjoy Thanksgiving safely and to follow the health guidelines during their celebrations.

Bryan Urges Virgin Islanders To Observe 'A Thanksgiving Day of Reflection' In 2021
Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion

Diabetes Awareness Month

The governor also noted that November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and said he will be announcing next week a public-private partnership that will bring added health care specialists and clinical care to individuals in the territory who have diabetes and also increase educational outreach and support services.

“As many of you know, diabetes awareness is something rather near to my and my family’s heart and important issue in the territory for which we could use more advocacy,” he said. “Additional health care specialists are needed.”

The governor also invited Virgin Islanders to join First Lady Yolanda Bryan and their daughter, Aliyah Bryan, on “The Press Box,” which will be streamed live at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday on the Government House Facebook page at

“I know that this is something that most of us have in our families of people who suffer from diabetes, either type I or Type II. We’ve been dealing with it in our family since Aliyah was 12,” Bryan said. “It’s daily and it never goes away. There are a lot of issues, people aging out of health insurance at age 26. There are no pediatric doctors down here that deal with diabetes. That’s a real challenge and it has been for our family.”

COVID-19 cases as of November 20

• 2.33% seven-day positivity rate
• Currently tracking 94 active cases (80 STX; 12 STT; 2 STJ).
• 218,565 individuals tested to date.
• 7,446 individuals tested positive.
• 7,268 individuals have recovered.
• 85 deaths.
• There is one COVID-19 patient hospitalized, who is not on a ventilator, at Juan F. Luis Medical Center on St.
• There are no COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas.

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.

Anyone five years old 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 bring an ID for both the minor and the parent or guardian.

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 The Department of Health will bring the COVID-19 vaccine to children and adults who are homebound.

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