83.9 F
Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
HomeNewsLocal governmentGovernment Agencies Update Changes to Normal Operations in Response to COVID-19

Government Agencies Update Changes to Normal Operations in Response to COVID-19

Government of the United States Virgin Islands

In an effort to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and in adherence to guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several departments and agencies of the Government of the Virgin Islands have implemented steps to minimize person-to-person contact at their offices.

The current operating procedures for Government of the Virgin Islands departments and agencies modifying their operations include:

Bureau of Corrections

The Bureau of Corrections has suspended in-person visitations at all correctional facilities and all volunteer programs, work details and furloughs until further notice.

For more information, visit www.boc.vi.gov.

Bureau of Internal Revenue

The St. John office is closed until further notice. St. Croix and St. Thomas office hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, and cashiering services will be available from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily until further notice.

The income tax filing deadline for 2019 tax returns has been extended to July 15, and the Taxpayer Assistance Program has been suspended until further notice.

Taxpayers who need to clear imported goods through excise tax offices are asked to use the online system at https://excise.bir.vi.gov.

All tax returns that need to be filed should be done by mail, with a certified receipt, if possible. Include an extra copy of the return stamped, self-addressed envelope so the bureau can return a stamped copy.

For more information, call 773-1040 on St. Croix and 715-1040 on St. Thomas. Use the following extensions and email address for specific needs:

Audit Division – St. Croix extension is 4233 and St. Thomas extension is 2271, or send an email to pcranston@irb.gov.vi

Delinquent Accounts and Returns – St. Croix extension is 4254 and St. Thomas extension is 2232, or send an email to secarr@irb.gov.vi

Processing – St. Croix number is 712-2513 and St. Thomas extension is 2223, or send an email to rdavis@irb.gov.vi

Excise Division – St. Croix number is 778-1021 and St. Thomas extension is 3201, or send an email to ghodge@irb.gov.vi

Director’s Office – St. Croix extension is 4225 and St. Thomas extension is 4225, or send an email to cwilliams@irb.gov.vi

The Bureau of Internal Revenue website is www.bir.vi.gov.

Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles will remain closed until May 4. BMV is encouraging the community to take advantage of its online vehicle registration process at bmv.vi.gov.

The bureau will waive the inspection requirement for any customer who registers their vehicle online until May 31, 2020.

All road tests and written tests for the learner’s permit are canceled until further notice, and Governor Bryan has ordered a 60-day extension on all driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals.

For more information, call 713-4268 on St. Croix; 774-4268 on St. Thomas; 776-6262 on St. John; or visit www.bmv.vi.gov.

Department of Education

All public schools are closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, but remote teaching and learning continue.

Distribution of school breakfasts and lunches have been consolidated to a once-daily distribution from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. This schedule will remain in effect for the duration of the feeding initiative, which is expected to conclude on or before June 4.

All in-person interactions at the department’s state and district offices on St. Thomas and St. Croix are postponed until further notice. While offices may remain open, all business will be conducted electronically via email or telephone, whenever possible. For more information, call 774-0100 on St. Thomas and 773-1095 on St. Croix, send an email to public.relations@vide.vi or visit www.vide.vi.

Department of Finance

The Department of Finance is conducting all business electronically whenever possible.

All public and private entities applying for Government Insurance Fund Worker’s Compensation Insurance should use the forms located here, and email them to governmentinsurance@dof.vi.gov.

For W2 and 1099 forms, GVI employees should use the Employee Self Service (ESS) by logging on to usvi.munisselfservice.com. For ESS password resets, contactdophelpdesk@dop.vi.gov or call 714-5049.

Vendor check inquiries can be directed to terry.bridges@dof.vi.gov or 774-4750 ext. 2192.

Payroll check inquiries can be directed to grace.fahie@dof.vi.gov or 774-4750 ext. 2252.

For more information, visit www.dof.vi.gov.

Department of Human Services

The V.I. Department of Human Services Head Start Program has closed classrooms territorywide until further notice.

For information about:

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

St. Croix: 772-7100; certoffice.stx@dhs.vi.gov

St. Thomas-St. John: 774-2399 or 774-0930; certoffice.stt@dhs.vi.gov

Ensure a working telephone number is on new and renewal applications; telephone interviews will be scheduled.

Medical Assistance Program (MAP)

St. Croix: 772-7117 or 772-7100 ext. 7006, 7151, 7120

St. Thomas-St. John: 774-0930 ext. 4308, 4324, 4318

Child Care and Regulatory Services

St. Croix: 772-7147

St. Thomas-St. John: 774-0930 ext. 4181

Block grant applications for child care providers, known as the Friends, Family and Neighbor Care program, are available online at dhs.vi.gov/OCCRS/index or can be picked up at one of the DHS offices.

Head Start Program

Registration for the 2020-2021 school years has begun. Register by phone at 773-1972 on St. Croix or 774-0930 ext. 4201 on St. Thomas.

Senior Disaster Registry

St. Croix: 773-6630

St. Thomas: 715-6935

St. John: 776-6334

Office of the Commissioner

St. Croix: 718-2980

St. Thomas: 774-1166

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.vi

Department of Justice

Department of Justice facilities on St. Thomas and St. Croix, including the Office of the Attorney General, are closed to the public and will not conduct person-to-person services until further notice. Services to be provided electronically or telephonically include administrative claims and questions regarding pending criminal cases.

The Sex Offender Registry also is closed to the public; however, registration requirements remain in place.  Sex offenders who are residing, employed or attending school in the territory and need to register or update their information must do so telephonically or via email.

The Paternity and Child Support Division offices are closed to the public, but in-person services will be provided to accept payments. Services will be provided via telephone, fax, mail and through the internet. Persons who wish to make payments will be allowed inside the offices until the drop box becomes available, at which time, only money orders and checks will be accepted.

For more information, visit www.usvidoj.codemeta.com.

Department of Labor

The V.I. Department of Labor will be open to the public; however, there is a limit on how many clients can be in the lobby and the maximum capacity of the resource rooms varies by district.

Available services are limited, outside of Unemployment Insurance, and clients are encouraged to use the website to obtain information and find resources. Please call ahead to find out the volume of clients.

The hotline numbers for filing unemployment claims by phone is 715-5725 on St. Thomas and 713-3425 on St. Croix.

For more information visit www.vidol.gov.

Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs

The Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (DLCA) is asking the public to use the department’s online website at www.dlca.vi.gov for business license renewals or new business license applications, to schedule appointments and to file consumer complaints online. Appointment also can be scheduled by calling 713-3522 on St. Croix or 714-3522 on St. Thomas, and the department also can be reached at consumerawareness@dlca.vi.gov.

For more information, visit www.dlca.vi.gov.

Department of Planning & Natural Resources

All public libraries and museums will be closed, and pick up, drop off and cashier services will be available to the public only on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For in-person needs other than pick up or drop off services, or for general information, please call 774-3320 on St. Thomas or 773-1082 on St. Croix to schedule an appointment with the appropriate division.

For more information, visit www.dpnr.vi.gov.

Department of Property and Procurement

Temporary hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily and will remain in effect until further notice.

For more information, visit www.dpp.vi.gov.

Department of Public Works

The Department of Public Works will provide essential service only from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday.

In-person complaints are suspended until further notice; however, complaints will continue to be accepted by telephone, email and online.

All VITRAN routes have been suspended until further notice.

Cemetery office guests will be limited to two guests per visit.

For more information, call 773-1290 on St. Croix, 776-4844 for the St. Thomas-St. John District or visit www.dpw.vi.gov.

Department of Tourism

The Department of Tourism has closed its offices until further notice.

Visitors or residents who have tourism-related inquiries can visit www.usviupdate.com or send an email to info@usviupdate.com.

Messages also can be left by calling 774-8784 in the St. Thomas-St. John District, 772-0357 on St. Croix or toll-free at 1-800-372-USVI (8784).

For more information, visit www.usviupdate.com.

Division of Personnel

All in office visits have been suspended, and all business will be conducted electronically and telephonically whenever possible.

For more information, forms or policies, call 718-8588 on St. Croix or 774-8588 in the St. Thomas-St. John District or visit www.dopusvi.org.

Energy Office

All individuals with applications for the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Financial Incentive Program are required to submit them by email, fax or mail service until further notice.  The VIEO has waived the 30-day application deadline so that customers who purchase qualifying items can capitalize on these rebates, which include items purchased as of March 1, 2020.

For more information, visit the Energy Office Facebook page.

Juan F. Luis Hospital & Medical Center

General visitation hours have been revised to 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. unless the visitor is a parent or guardian of a pediatric patient or infant.

Prior to being allowed to enter the facility, each visitor will be screened. Isolation patients will be allowed only one visitor at a time for up to two hours per day. Visitors will be given special protective masks, gloves and gowns that must be worn at all times.

For more information, visit www.jflusvi.org.

Judicial Branch of the Virgin Islands

Remote hearing protocols have been implemented for all or most essential emergency matters, including but not limited to Advice of Rights, emergency petitions for Abuse and Neglect, Domestic Violence and Stalking. Public traffic to the courts will be limited to these essential and emergency matters only.

Essential employees will work remotely and report to court facilities only in accordance with established emergency schedules.

The Raymond L. Finch Supreme Court Building in Frederiksted will be closed for the duration of the pandemic. There will be no drop box at that location, and the public is advised to use the drop box at R.H. Amphlett Leader Justice Center at RR1 9000 Kingshill on St. Croix.

All deadlines in all pending Supreme Court appeals and all deadlines in pending Superior Court cases that have not passed as of April 23 will automatically be extended for 14 days or to June 1, whichever is longer, which is an extension from the earlier administrative order issued on March 20

For inquiries, please use the following numbers:

St. Croix District

Court Administration – 340-713-6627

Office of the Clerk of Superior Court – 340-713-6626

Probation and Pre-trial Services – 340-713-6642

St. Thomas-St. John District

Court Administration – 693-4110

Office of the Clerk of Superior Court – 693-6403

Probation and Pre-trial Services – 693-6429

Supreme Court

Office of the Clerk of Supreme Court – 693-4100

Office of Bar Admissions – 693-4120

Office of Disciplinary Counsel – 693-4127

Additionally, the following email addresses are available for the submission of filings:

Advice of Rights and Arraignments – remoteaorstx@vicourts.org and remoteaorstt@vicourts.org

Complex Litigation Filings – CLDCourtesyCopy@vicourts.org

All other filings – superiorcourtfile@vicourts.org.

The Judiciary website is www.visuperiorcourt.hosted.civiclive.com.

Lieutenant Governor’s Office

The Offices of the Lieutenant Governor will operate from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, and cashier services will be available from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The following divisions will be closed to public access: V.I. State Health Insurance Program/Medicare; Corporations and Trademarks; and Passport Acceptance Facilities.

The following divisions will provide limited public access: Office of the Tax Assessor, Office of the Tax Collector and the Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation.

The following divisions will allow members of the public to drop off documents for processing but will otherwise be closed to the public: Recorder of Deeds; Cadastral; and Notary Services.

Customers can visit the Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation by appointment only.

Drop off boxes will be made and customers will be asked to drop off documents and collect them at a designated time as services are completed. Customers must provide contact information with their drop off packages.

The drop off box for the Cadastral office will be at the Cadastral offices in each district.

The drop off box for the Recorder of Deeds for the district of St. Thomas-St. John will be at the Recorder of Deeds office on St. Thomas. The drop off box for the Recorder of Deeds office for the district of St. Croix will be at the Office of the Tax Assessor in Christiansted.

Customers in need of assistance can call 774-2991 for the St. Thomas-St. John District and 773-6449 for St. Croix or visit www.ltg.gov.vi.

Office of Collective Bargaining

The Office of Collective Bargaining will be closed until further notice.

Calls may be made from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, to 713-0735 on St. Croix or to 774-6450 in the St. Thomas-St. John District.

Office of the Territorial Public Defender

Offices are closed to the public through April 6, and all services will be provided telephonically and electronically when possible until further notice.

For more information, call 340-773-6312 on St. Croix or 340-774-8181 in the St. Thomas-St. John District or visit www.vipublicdefender.com.

Office of Veterans Affairs

The Office of Veterans Affairs is limiting in-person operations territorywide. Every attempt will be made to take of requests electronically or by phone.

For more information, call 773-8387 on St. Croix or 774-8387 in the St. Thomas-St. John District, send an email to info_va@va.vi.gov or visit the Office of Veterans Affairs Facebook page.

V.I. Economic Development Authority

The V.I. Economic Development Authority has discontinued walk-in customer services, in-person appointments and manual delivery of documents and other items until further notice. To make a payment, file a document, or make any additional inquiries, please send an email to info@usvieda.org or call 714-1700 in the St. Thomas-St. John District or 773-6499 on St. Croix or visit www.usvieda.org.

V.I. Fire Service

The Virgin Islands Fire Service’s Prevention and Administrative Offices in both districts have limited hours of operation and are open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays only until further notice.

Businesses that have fire certificates that have expired or will expire during the current state of emergency will be given a 60-day extension.

The Fire Service’s emergency response operations will remain uninterrupted.

For more information, visit the V.I. Fire Service Facebook page.

V.I. Housing Finance Authority

All EnVision Tomorrow recovery centers are closed until further notice. EnVision Tomorrow will continue to serve applicants online and by phone, and they may submit documents electronically or by a scheduled appointment only.

For more information, call 1-888-239-3387 or visit www.vistormrecovery.com.

V.I. Legislature

The Legislature of the Virgin Islands has postponed all hearings and meetings in both districts and is restricting visitation to its facilities, which are closed to the public.

For more information, visit www.legvi.org.

V.I. Lottery

The Virgin Islands Lottery offices in both districts operate from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. three days a week – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – until further notice. V.I. Lottery drawings have reconvened with a temporary period of one monthly drawing as opposed to biweekly drawings.

The next drawing will take place on May 28. Tickets are available for purchase.

Only five customers are allowed in the lobby at any given time.

Dealers are asked to provide requested ticket numbers in advance to avoid line delays and ensure expedient service, and Virgin Islands Lottery staff will provide dealers with their listings to make those selections once requested in advance.

On-site sales on St. John are postponed until further notice.

For more information, call 774-2502 on St. Thomas or 778-6360 on St. Croix or visit www.winvilottery.com.

V.I. Police Department

The Central Records Bureau offices, Firearms Bureau offices and fingerprinting services territorywide will be closed until further notice.

For more information, visit www.vipd.gov.vi.

V.I. Public Services Commission

Offices are closed on St. Thomas and St. Croix and the PSC’s walk-in services will be restricted until further notice.

All documents can be submitted electronically by calling 776-1291 on St. Thomas, 776-1391 on St. John and 778-6010 on St. Croix.

Utility complaints will be accepted by phone.

For more information, visit www.psc.vi.gov or the PSC Facebook page.

V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency

All in-person business operations and public access to VITEMA facilities territorywide, acceptance and processing of curfew pass applications and in-office appointments are suspended.

For more information, call 773-2244 on St. Croix, 776-6444 on St. John or 774-2244 on St. Thomas or visit www.vitema.vi.gov.

V.I. Waste Management Authority

Solid Waste disposal will adhere to the following operating hours:

Anguilla Landfill on St. Croix will be open 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Bovoni Landfill on St. Thomas will be open 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Mandahl Convenience Center on St. Thomas will be open 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Peter’s Rest Convenience Center on St. Croix will be open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Susannaberg Transfer Station on St. John will be open 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The VIWMA recently issued bid packages for various projects and all pending bid packages and open solicitations will be accepted via email only. The solicitations shall adhere to the previously established date and time as indicated on the respective advertisement. Please forward the completed document to sdavid@viwma.org and/or jthomas-blyden@viwma.org. For more information visit www.viwma.org.

V.I. Water and Power Authority

Limited customer service and cashier services are available at the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) offices at Port of Sale Mall on St. Thomas, Sunny Isle on St. Croix, and The Marketplace on St. John.

Customers are urged to transact business online at www.viwapa.vi or via the telephone.

Call the Customer Service Department at 774-3552 or 773-2250; select option 5.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.