U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — Governor Albert Bryan Jr. said during his weekly COVID-19 update that beginning Monday, July 13, individuals who are residents of, or whose travel to the territory originated in Arizona, Florida, or Texas must present test results showing they are negative for COVID-19 or positive for COVID-19 antibodies upon their arrival into the territory.
Tests should be taken within 72 hours of arriving in the U.S. Virgin Islands, or visitors can opt to take a test when they arrive. Individuals who do not show test results or take a test locally must go into a 14-day quarantine.
After two weeks, the new travel policy will be reassessed to determine whether states need to be added to or removed from the list.
“I must note that we had had only three tourists who had tested positive for the virus since June 1, when we reopened,” Governor Bryan said. “We as locals need to be vigilant about our family and friends returning home and insist that they get tested before they come and limit their interaction with the general community for 14 days no matter where they are coming from.”
The Governor said the policy applies to residents of the three states on the list, or to individuals who have spent more than 7 days prior to travel to the territory in any of those states, and not to travelers who are passing through, such as to change planes in Fort Lauderdale or Miami.
“This recent spike in COVID-positive cases in the territory is alarming, yes. But this is what we have been preparing for,” Governor Bryan said. “We built up our capacity and are in a much better position to handle this now than we were in early March. We continue to find ways to expand our testing capacity. We have more beds, more ventilators, and more data on how to control spread and battle surges.”
Limetree Bay Refinery
The Governor also said that increased safety measures have been put in place at the Limetree Bay refinery on St. Croix.
Effective immediately, there is a temporary hold on incoming travel of new contractors into the territory. The refinery also has instituted controls on the movement into and out of the man camp and is trying to restrict as much as possible the people leaving and returning to the facility.
“We continue our efforts to guard against an outbreak in the facility, and after an emergency meeting this weekend with the management of Limetree, we have implemented increased measures to keep the employees and our community safe,” Governor Bryan said.
- Currently tracking 27 active cases
- 3,231 individuals tested to date
- 3,118 of those tests were negative
- 112 tests came back positive
- 56 tests are pending
- 6 fatalities to date
- One COVID-19 patient is hospitalized at Juan F. Luis Hospital on St. Croix.
- No COVID-19 patients are hospitalized at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas.