U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — During the Government House Weekly Press Briefing on Tuesday, January 4, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. announced he is postponing the resumption of in-person learning for public school students until January 24 while he waits to see whether the exponential spreading of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic is beginning to subside in the Territory.
“I don’t want to speak too quickly, but it does appear that we are beginning to see a slight plateau to that surge, and we hope that this trend continues,” Governor Bryan said.
The Governor said that beginning Monday, January 10, all of the Territory’s public school students in grades pre-K through 12 will return to school virtually through online classes. Private and parochial schools should check with the Department of Health for determining the best course of action for their students, faculty and staff.
“We understand that there is still a number of students eligible for the vaccines who are not yet vaccinated. So, if you’re a parent out there, we want to keep your children safe,” Governor Bryan said. “We want to make sure we have as safe as possible of a learning environment for all of our students, as well as our administrators and our teachers.
“I agree with everyone that the classroom is the best setting for learning. You don’t have any argument there,” Governor Bryan said. “In-class learning will resume for all public school students on January 24.”
The Governor also said that all Education personnel are to report to their schools beginning on Friday, January 7.
Governor Bryan said the Administration continues to monitor the Omicron variant’s spread in the Territory and make any re-evaluations every two weeks.
During a recent call with the nation’s governors, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the important thing to watch with the Omicron surge is not the number of cases there are, but instead to watch the load the hospitals have to bear.
Governor Bryan said that the Territory is seeing an increase in the number of hospital visits for people with COVID-like symptoms, but most of the patients coming do not require hospitalization.
Department of Health Medical Director Dr. Tai Hunte-Ceasar said that while there is a high number of active cases, the Department of Health is seeing a high number of daily recoveries.
Governor Bryan said that beginning Monday, January 10, all the agencies and departments of the Government of the Virgin Islands will resume their regular operating hours.
Here are the pop-up testing locations:
St. Croix – 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at the Charles Harwood Complex.
St. Thomas – 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at the Schneider Hospital parking lot (drive-thru).
St. John – Noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at the V.I. Port Authority gravel lot.
Residents 5 and older 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.
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 covid19usvi.com/vaccines. 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 covid19usvi.com.
COVID-19 cases as of January 3
- 24.34% seven-day positivity rate
- Currently tracking 2,111 active cases (998 STX; 1,017 STT; 92 STJ).
- 256,112 tests administered.
- 10,290 individuals tested positive.
- 8,090 individuals have recovered.
- 89 fatalities.
- There are 3 COVID-19 patient hospitalized at Luis Hospital on St. Croix.
- There are 7 COVID-19 patients, with 2 on a ventilator, hospitalized at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas.
The Bryan-Roach Administration is investing in the Territory’s people, infrastructure and future through transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit transparency.vi.gov