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Bryan Tells Residents and Visitors COVID-19 Travel Portal No Longer In Effect Tomorrow

CHRISTIANSTED — During today’s weekly Government House briefing, Governor Albert Bryan reminded residents and visitors that, effective Wednesday, June 1, 2022, the USVI COVID-19 screening Travel
Portal will cease to operate.

“As you may know, we are transitioning our response to COVID-19 from pandemic to endemic. What this means, in short, is that we are at a point now where we have the tools and the information necessary to guard
against and protect ourselves from serious illness because of this virus,” Governor Bryan said. “Our travel portal is one of those tools that we have relied on over the last several months. We believe that this tool effectively served its purpose in protecting Virgin Islands residents. But we need to move forward, especially with the advent of the vaccines and all the other information we have available to assist us in making the best decisions to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”

Aliyah Boston Day

Governor Bryan also invited the community out to celebrate “Aliyah Boston Day” on June 4 with a parade starting at Griffith Ball Park on St. Thomas at 11:30 a.m. before ending at the Waterfront promenade, where
there will be a brief ceremony honoring NCAA Women’s Basketball All-American and National Champion Aliyah Boston.

Aliyah, who won almost every national college basketball award this year after leading the South Carolina Gamecocks to the national championship, is a native of St. Thomas. She recently signed a sponsorship with athletic clothing manufacturer Under Armour, which also will host a free basketball clinic for about 50 local young women basketball players – 25 from each district.

Shadya Coureur

Governor Bryan also offered his well-wishes to the Territorial Spelling Bee winner, a 13-year-old eighth-grader from Free Will Baptist Christian School on St. Croix, who is representing the USVI in the Scripps National
Spelling Bee.

“Win, lose, or draw, we are already extremely proud of her. I congratulate her mother Sauda Coureur, her chaperone Deputy Superintendent Carla Bastian, her principal Hannah Postlewaite, her coaches, and the faculty and staff at Free Will Baptist school on her success,” the governor said.

COVID-19 cases as of May 31

• 11.58 percent seven-day positivity rate
• Currently tracking 664 active cases (487 STX; 147 STT; 30 STJ)
• 422,824 tested
• 19,817 tested positive
• 403,007 tested negative
• 70, 294 first doses of vaccine administered
• 57,115 second doses of vaccine administered
• 73.76% vaccination rate
• There are 3 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, with one on a ventilator, at Luis Hospital on St. Croix.
• There are 6 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, with none on a ventilator, at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas. 

More COVID-19 information

Anyone who thinks they may have contracted COVID-19 can call the Epidemiology hotline at 340-712-6299 (STX) or 340-776-1519 (STT-STJ).

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).

Home testing

Positive test results from a home COVID-19 test should be confirmed, and confirmation is absolutely necessary if medical therapeutic treatment with an oral antiviral or monoclonal antibodies are to be prescribed.

Confirmation testing can be arranged by calling the COVID-19 hotline at 340-712-6299 on St. Croix or 340-776-1519 on St. Thomas. The hotline is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and testing appointments
can be made online at http://www.Covid19USVI.com/testing.

Free Vaccinations

The Community Vaccination Center (CVC) at the Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday-Friday and on Wednesdays on St. John at the Virgin Islands Port Authority gravel lot.

Free vaccinations at the CVC at the Charles Harwood Complex on St. Croix are available by appointment, which can be made by calling 340-777-8227 or by going to http://www.covid19usvi.com/vaccines. Walk-ins also are available.

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Health Commissioner Stresses Importance of Self-Monitoring As COVID-19 Goes Endemic

CHRISTIANSTED — During Monday’s weekly Government House briefing, Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion said it was important for residents to self-monitor as the territory transitions from the pandemic phase of COVID-19 to the endemic phase of the virus.

In an endemic phase, a virus will always be circulating among the community in some like, like the flu or the common cold. Some portion of the population will always be positive for infection, whether they know it or not.

“We now need to shift our thinking toward self-monitoring,” Commissioner Encarnacion said. “Right now, while our numbers are high and transition is likely, the department is asking everyone to become vigilant about self-monitoring and respond appropriately with mask-wearing and social distancing when in unsafe, crowded surroundings.”

The Commissioner also said the Department of Health has aligned it’s guidance with that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding isolating and quarantining for those who test positive for COVID-19.

People who test positive, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate for at least five full days and remain quarantined until there are no symptoms.

Those who have tested positive can come out of isolation once they have been fever=free for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol. They also should take precautions for 10 days and wear a mask for the entire 10 days, especially if they are around persons who are immunocompromised.

It is not necessary to re-test for COVID-19 after coming out of isolation, Commissioner Encarnacion said.

Quarantining is for anyone exposed to a positive COVID-19 case, and there are three categories:

  • Persons who are not up-to-date on having the COVID vaccine should quarantine for five days; wear a mask while around others and watch for symptoms for 10 days and get tested on Day 5, even if no symptoms develop.
  • Persons who are up-to-date on vaccines (fully vaccinated and boosted) do not need to quarantine unless symptoms develop, should get tested on Day 5 regardless of whether symptoms develop and wear well-fitted mask for 10 days from the date of exposure.
  • Persons who have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the 90 days prior to exposure do not need to quarantine unless symptoms develop, and they should watch for symptoms for 10 days and wear a well-fitted mask during the period.

Home testing

Positive test results from a home COVID-19 test should be confirmed, and confirmation is absolutely necessary if medical therapeutic treatment with an oral antiviral or monoclonal antibodies are to be prescribed.

Confirmation testing can be arranged by calling the COVID-19 hotline at 340-712-6299 on St. Croix or 340-776-1519 on St. Thomas. The hotline is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and testing appointments can be made online at http://www.Covid19USVI.com/testing

Free Vaccinations

The Community Vaccination Center (CVC) at Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday-Friday and on Wednesdays on St. John at the V.I. Port Authority gravel lot.

Free vaccinations at the CVC at the Charles Harwood Complex on St. Croix are available by appointment, which can be made by calling 340-777-8227 or by going to http://www.covid19usvi.com/vaccines. Walk-ins also are available.

COVID-19 cases as of May 16

• 14.92% seven-day positivity rate

• Currently tracking 901 active cases (362 STX; 518 STT; 21 STJ)

• 54.41% vaccination rate in USVI (43.98% on STX; 46.52% on STT; 73.36% on STJ)

• There are 5 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, with one on a ventilator, at Luis Hospital on St. Croix.

• There are 11 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, with one on a ventilator, at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas. 

More COVID-19 information

The hours for the Department of Health hotlines will change beginning March 2 to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. Anyone who thinks they may have contracted COVID-19 can call the Epidemiology hotline at 340-712-6299 (STX) or 340-776-1519 (STT-STJ). 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).

Governor Bryan Congressional testimony

Governor Albert Bryan is scheduled to testify virtually before the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Natural Resources at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and he will brief the committee on the state of the territory, the Territory’s priorities for 2022, and the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request.

The hearing will be livestreamed on the Committee’s You Tube Page at http://www.youtube.com/user/NaturalResourcesDems