Majority of Cases Last Week Was in 0-17 Age Group; Median Age of all Positive Cases is Now Only 27.5 Years Old
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – During the Government House weekly press briefing on Monday, September 27,
Territorial Epidemiologist Dr. Esther Ellis delivered the sobering news that the Virgin Islands Department of Health is seeing a consistently high number of positive COVID-19 cases among children and young adults, particularly in the St. Croix District.
According to Dr. Ellis, the majority of positive cases last week was in the 0-17 age group, And the median age of all positive cases in the Territory is 27.5 years old. Contributing factors are outbreaks at day care centers and among school-age children, and those are attributed mostly to household exposures to confirmed cases, she said.
“If you are the parent or guardian of a child age 12 and up, please vaccinate your child and be sure to accompany the child to his or her vaccination visit and bring an ID for both the child and you as well as the child’s birth certificate,” Dr. Ellis said. “It is especially important for children 12 and up, as well as those who work with children, to get vaccinated to keep our schools open and our students safe.
“To the parents of those aged 11 and under who can’t get the COVID-19 vaccine yet, please get vaccinated to protect the most vulnerable in our community,” Dr. Ellis said.
Since Monday, the Department of Health has been providing booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine to persons who are immunocompromised, age 65 or older or who are healthcare or long-term care facility workers.
Additionally, Pfizer has announced it is submitting its application for approval for a vaccine for children ages 5-11. More details will be made available when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approves the use of that vaccine.
Beginning Monday, October 4, the Department of Health will begin offering booster shots at its Community Vaccination Centers in each district to certain populations who have been fully vaccinated for at least six months and who present a doctor’s note or prescription for a shot. All other vaccination providers are authorized to begin vaccinating as soon as they have the capability.
$250 Vaccination Checks
Starting Tuesday, September 28, the Department of Health will distribute $250 gift cards to people who:
- Received one dose of a 1-dose vaccine series, such as Janssen, between August 9 and September 30.
- Received two doses to complete a vaccine series of any 2-dose vaccine between August 9 and September 30.
Those who are eligible can pick up their check at the Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) in each district and the Morris de Castro Clinic in Cruz Bay, St. John, and must have their vaccination card or electronic vaccination record and a government-issued ID.
On St. Croix, the Community Vaccination Center is located at the Nissan Center which is in La Grande Princesse, adjacent to the Honda Dealership and The Paint Shop, on the same side of the street as Food Town.
On St. Thomas, the Community Vaccination Center is located at the Community Health Clinic on the 2nd floor at the Schneider Regional Medical Center.
Checks will be available for pick-up from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday on St. Croix and St. Thomas and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday on St. John. The pick-up sites will be open until November 30, and further information will be made available for persons unable to pick up their check by that deadline.
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 current schedule for pop-up vaccinations is:
- St. Croix – Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Charles Harwood Complex
- St. Thomas – Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 3 p.m. at Cost-U-Less
- St. John – Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Port Authority Gravel Lot
The Department of Health will also provide free COVID-19 vaccines on St. Croix at The Market (formerly known as Plaza West) every Wednesday in September from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at the Farmers Market at the Agricultural Fairgrounds on Centerline Road every Saturday in September from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
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.
Supplemental Executive Order
Last week, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. issued a supplemental executive order modifying some of the current COVID-19 protocols in the Territory. His 28th Supplemental Executive Order:
- Extends the local moratorium on evictions until December 31, 2021.
- Removes the restrictions on the number of people who can attend a funeral.
- Suspends the requirement for inspections for personal vehicle registrations until March 15, 2022.
The Governor’s executive order also clarifies that protocols for organized sports in the Territory.
There are no restrictions on training exercises for high-risk contact sports, including but not limited to, football, basketball and volleyball, including all leagues, “pick-up” leagues and scholastic athletic organizations as long as no player contact is made. However, there is a ban on games and organized group events for those sports.
There are no restrictions on training, games and organized group events for low-risk sports, which include but are not limited to, baseball, softball, bowling, golf, cross-country, swimming, tennis, table tennis, pool, track and field, and competitive cheerleading as long as no player contact is made and health guidelines for masking, social distancing and mass gathering are followed.
Workforce Development Summit
Governor Bryan will host his 2nd Annual Workforce Development Summit on St. Croix at the Caribbean Cinema on October 6 at 8:45 am; on St. Thomas at the Caribbean Cinemas on October 7 at 8:45 am; and on the island of St. John at the Legislature Building on October 8 at 9 am. To register, visit vidol.gov/workforcesummit2021.
“The month of September is Labor month, and this week, we are celebrating Workforce Development Week. The Administration and Department of Labor, through the Skills for Today program, has invested $10 million in training our people for the recovery jobs and private sector opportunities that are coming online,” Government House Communications Director Richard Motta Jr. said.
For more information on the Labor and Management Awareness Month events and registration information, contact the Workforce Development Division at 340-776-3700 in the St. Thomas-St. John District, 340-773-1994 on St. Croix or visit the VIDOL website at www.vidol.gov.
COVID-19 cases as of September 25
- 3.58% seven-day positivity rate
- Currently tracking 190 active cases (139 STX; 46 STT; 5 STJ).
- 182,522 individuals tested to date.
- 6,631 individuals tested positive.
- 6,372 individuals have recovered.
- 71 fatalities.
- There are 3 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, with one on a ventilator, at Juan F. Luis Medical Center on St. Croix.
- There are 2 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, with 1 on a ventilator, at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas.
The Bryan-Roach Administration is committed to transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit transparency.vi.gov