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COVID-19 Cases On The Decline In The USVI Despite A Majority Of Anti-Vaxxers

CHRISTIANSTED — During today’s Government House weekly press briefing, Assistant Health Commissioner Dr. Nicole Craigwell-Syms reported that active COVID-19 cases continued to decline territory-wide.

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 5 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.

The current vaccination schedule for children ages 5-11 is Tuesday and Friday at the Maternal Child Health on St. Thomas from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Monday-Friday at the Community Vaccination Center on St. Croix from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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

Just 47 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ population is fully vaccinated, according to Our World In Data. Governor Albert Bryan set a goal of 75 to 80 percent of the population vaccinated by this fall — but the territory has not yet responded to his repeated calls to action.

By contrast, Governor Pedro Pierluisi has convinced some 74.2 percent of Puerto Rico’s population to take the COVID-19 vaccine — the highest vaccination rate in the United States.

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

COVID-19 cases as of November 15

•    1.57% seven-day positivity rate

•    Currently tracking 56 active cases (44 STX; 8 STT; 4 STJ).

•    215,275 individuals tested to date.

•    7,370 individuals tested positive.

•    7,230 individuals have recovered.

•    84 deaths.

•    There are two COVID-19 patients hospitalized, with none on a ventilator, at Juan F. Luis Medical Center on St. Croix.

•    There are no COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas.

8 Percent Wage Repayment

Motta also expressed the appreciation of Governor Bryan and Lt. Governor Tregenza A. Roach for the many kind words and notes of gratitude from recipients of the 8 percent wage repayments from the 2011 V.I. Economic Stability Act (VIESA), which were sent to eligible recipients last week.

“Since the issuance of the 8 percent last week, a lot of our retirees and active government employees reached out to Government House through various means to express their gratitude, with some even sharing heartfelt stories of what they are now able to do for themselves and their loved ones as a result of those repayments,” Director Motta said. “I want to take this opportunity to say thank you. Governor Bryan has committed to making whole the employees affected by the VIESA 8 percent and got to work immediately after taking office in 2019 to make it a reality.”

On behalf of Governor Bryan, Director Motta also thanks Senate President Donna Frett-Gregor and the members of the 34th Legislature for helping the administration make the repayments possible.

Midre Cummings Park Volunteers

In conjunction with the renovation of the Midre Cummings Recreational and Youth Facility in Frederiksted, which kicked off on Friday, November 12 and continue for one week, Our Town Frederiksted and Children First St. Croix are still looking for volunteers to help assemble and install the new playground equipment. Governor Bryan said this effort is a community project, and he urged individuals and organizations to lend a few hours of support.

There are three shifts per day: 8 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Volunteers can show up at the west entrance of the park, across the street from Fort Frederik.

To volunteer, please contact Administrator Sammuel Sanes at 340-773-1404 or Sana Joseph Smith at 340-201-3791.

Personnel Virtual Career Fairs

As part of its efforts to recruit employees to work for the Government of the Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands Division of Personnel is holding the first of a series of virtual career fairs on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, from 10 a.m. to noon via Zoom.

The Zoom meeting ID for the career fair is 83047500694.

“Last year, a similar event netted upwards of 5,000 participants engaged in a series of breakout room sessions with government Human Resources officers,” Director Motta said. “This week’s fair involves a similar format, with platform and featured speakers, interactive dialogues and the opportunity to learn more about the 300 available career opportunities in the Government of the Virgin Islands.”

Participating agencies include the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Labor, Waste Management Authority, Virgin Islands Department of Education, Department of Human Services, the Schneider Regional Medical Center and many, many more.

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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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