Governor Bryan Says Territory Will Receive Limited Supply of Remdesivir for COVID-19 Patients

MAY 11, 2020 | 4:25 PM AST

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — During his COVID-19 briefing Monday, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. said that the Territory will be getting a case of the COVID-19 drug Remdesivir this week, and he thanked residents for abiding by the face-covering requirements and other guidelines set forth by his Administration and the V.I. Department of Health.

“The National Institute of Health and Dr. Anthony Fauci have indicated marked progress of this medication improving the health outcomes of COVID-positive patients,” Governor Bryan said. “This is a limited supply with more to come once production is increased.”

Governor Albert Bryan Jr. with Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion (right) and Evet Rivera of the Virgin Islands State Nurses Association.

The Governor also asked employers to allow employees, who now are wearing masks during their entire shift, to take hourly breaks to go outside and get fresh air.

“None of us were designed to work with restricted airflow that is created by the masks, and it will take some time for our bodies to adjust,” Governor Bryan said. “Rotate the shifts a little more so that these employees can maintain their safety and get sufficient breaks and some fresh air as much as possible.”

Stimulus checks

  • Checks are being processed and will be distributed this week.
  • Payments will be made to residents who filed their 2018 taxes in the Virgin Islands and will be received via check.
  • The Lieutenant Governor’s Office is asking stimulus check recipients to use a banking app or an ATM, if possible, to deposit checks.

Veterans testing at VA clinics

  • VA Caribbean Health Care System will begin testing veterans in the Virgin Islands at their clinics in both districts.
  • Testing will be done by appointment only.
  • Testing will take place two days a week for the next four weeks, beginning Monday, May 11.
  • Call the VA Clinical Contact Center at 1-877-741-3400 for further instructions.

Paycheck Protection Program

  • In Round 1 of funding, 240 Virgin Islands businesses received $62,252,612 in Small Business Administration loans.
  • In Round 2 of funding, 723 Virgin Islands businesses received $52,042,710 in SBA loans.
  • Total: 963 Virgin Islands businesses received $114,295,322.

Unemployment benefits

  • Applications continue to be processed, and, to date, the Labor Department has received 8,074 unemployment applications, 3,000 paper applications, and 5,074 online applications.
  • To date, the Virgin Islands Labor Department has processed 3,616 checks totaling $2,557,937 in unemployment benefits.
  • Unemployment benefit checks are a form of taxable income, and a considerable amount of money to be paid in taxes will be required on the next income tax filing for those who don’t opt to withhold taxes from the checks on the front end.

COVID-19 cases

  • There has been a fifth COVID-related death in the Territory: A 72-year-old St. Croix man, who is the husband of the fourth COVID-19 victim.
  • Currently tracking 4 active cases
  • 1,215 individuals tested to date
  • 1,110 of those tests were negative
  • 69 tests came back positive
  • 36 tests are pending
  • 5 fatalities to date
  • One COVID-19 patient is hospitalized and on a ventilator at Juan F. Luis Hospital on St. Croix.
  • One COVID-19 patient is hospitalized in critical condition and on a ventilator at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas. The patient was aboard a vessel in severe respiratory distress and was allowed into the Territory for medical treatment and was immediately quarantined in accordance with strict medical protocol.

Thank you

  • VIYA contributed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to first responders, such as police.
  • Southland Gaming donated infrared thermometers to agencies, including Schneider Regional Medical Center, The Department of Human Services, the V.I. National Guard and organizations in the British Virgin Islands.
  • William Perkins of BrisaMax donated PPEs and five ventilators to Schneider Regional Medical Center.