Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, Limetree Collaborate to Ensure Adequate Screening of Contractors Returning to St. Croix

May 8, 2020 | 5:30 PM AST

US VIRGIN ISLANDS — Governor Albert Bryan’s COVID-19 task force, led by Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion, is working closely with Limetree Bay to enforce protocols in place to ensure new contract workers and contract workers returning to St. Croix from the U.S. Mainland are adequately screened and monitored for COVID-19.

The protocols set for returning contractors include a pre-approval for travel by Limetree and a requirement to provide the Department of Health with their on-island address and flight itinerary prior to arrival.

In addition to the pre-screening protocols prior to travel, which includes the COVID-19 PCR test, contractor employees must also submit to temperature screening and adhere to mandatory isolation until a negative test is received.

Governor Bryan reiterated Friday that, based on the data, the territory’s airports remain its most vulnerable point of entry, noting that all but one of the territory’s 23 travel-related COVID-19 positive patients have arrived through the territory’s two airports. 

“With the overwhelming majority of our travel-related COVID patients having arrived in the territory by air, our airports remain our most vulnerable point of entry,” said Governor Bryan. “We have been successful in reducing air travel to the territory by banning leisure travel bookings at our hotels, but we still have contractors and other emergency and essential personnel coming in daily, and having these protocols in place has proven successful thus far in protecting against the spread of this virus in our community.”

Additional protocols require contractor employees to wear a facial covering while at work for 14 days after arrival, to report any symptoms or illnesses when they first occur immediately, and to stay at home if they feel ill. 

New and returning contractors must also submit to daily temperature screening at a designated area upon entering the Limetree facility and will have their temperatures recorded in a log each day.

In the event a contractor employee tests positive for COVID-19, he or she will immediately be sent to Limetree’s quarantine wing, or local address listed, and will require a letter of release from DOH before they can be released from quarantine and return to work. 

The majority of the workers will be isolated within the Limetree Bay Village.