84.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
HomeNewsLocal governmentGovernment Agencies Announce Changes to Operations in Response to COVID-19

Government Agencies Announce Changes to Operations in Response to COVID-19

Government of the United States Virgin Islands

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

The following are the current modified operating procedures for the Government of the Virgin Islands’ departments and agencies:

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 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.

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.

For more information, call 773-1040 on St. Croix or 774-1040 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 has resumed all services, with some restrictions. BMV is encouraging the community to take advantage of its online vehicle registration process at www.bmv.vi.gov.

Customers who want to renew vehicle registrations, obtain moving permits, permits to ship vehicles off-island, title transfers of new and used vehicles and duplicate documents must drop off the required documents to a designated drop box at any bureau office, in a sealed envelope. Customers also must provide contact information, and the bureau will schedule an appointment for each customer to pick up their documents and pay any fees. Applications and a list of the required documents is available on the BMV website.

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

For drivers’ licenses and disabled placards and related services, customers are required to make an appointment by calling 7134268 on St. Croix, 774-4268 on St. Thomas or 776-6262 on St. John.

All road tests and written tests for the learner’s permit are canceled until further notice.

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.

The department’s New Schools Advisory Board will host a series of virtual meetings on its Facebook page June 9-11 and June 16-18 to update the public on recent developments. Full details are available at www.vide.vi.

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.vior 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 www.usvi.munisselfservice.com. For ESS password resets: dophelpdesk@dop.vi.gov or call 714-5049.

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

GVI vendors should use the Vendor Self Service (VSS) online portal at www.usvi.munisselfservice.com/Vendors/ for access to relevant accounts payable and purchasing information in the GVI’s financial management system.

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

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 territory-wide 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: 340-772-7117 or 340-772-7100 ext. 7006, 7151, 7120

St. Thomas-St. John: 340-774-0930 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 www.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

Almost all services are available however, clients are encouraged to use the website to obtain information and find resources.

The Department of Labor call center is available 24/7 to applicants who need to apply by phone. The call center can be accessed at 1-877-374-0356. For answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding expanded benefits, see the FAQ on the Labor Department website: www.vidol.gov and on the VIDOL Facebook page: @USVIDOL.

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. Appointments also can be scheduled by calling 713-3522 on St. Croix or 714-3522 on St. Thomas; the department also can be reached at consumerawareness@dlca.vi.gov.

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

Department of Planning and Natural Resources

The Department of Planning and Natural Resources has resumed regular hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

The reopening includes Fort Frederik on St. Croix and Fort Christian on St. Thomas; however, no tours will be provided at this time.

Public libraries will resume regular operations later in the month.

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

All divisions of the Department of Property and Procurement (Property, Procurement, Transportation, The Print Shop and Central Stores) have returned to regular operating hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

All divisions may not be fully staffed, so the department is asking for the public’s patience as it resumes services.

All in-person visitors should adhere to the safety guidelines established by the Office of the Governor and the Virgin Islands Department of Health.

For more information or business services, please call at 774-0828 on St. Thomas or 773-1561 on St. Croix or visit www.dpp.vi.gov.

Department of Public Works

The Department of Public Works will resume normal operating hours, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

Public Works will continue to limit in-person interactions and practice social distancing.

For assistance, call 773-1290 on St. Croix or 776-4844 on St. Thomas or visit www.dpw.vi.gov.

Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation

Until further notice, the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation’s administrative offices in the St. Thomas District will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays.

In the St. Croix District, administrative office hours are 8 a.m. to noon, Mondays through Fridays.

Tennis courts are open to the public; however, all other recreational facilities are closed to the public until further notice.

The department reminds the public to practice social distancing in the parks and on the beaches.

For more information, call 774-0255 in the St. Thomas-St. John District or 773-0160 in the St. Croix District.

Department of Tourism

The Department of Tourism offices on St. Thomas and St. Croix have reopened, and hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

On St. John, office hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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 in the St. Croix District 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 and 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 Virgin Islands Energy Office 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 and Medical Center

General visitation is restricted 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

All proceedings other than jury trials, bench trials and certain substantive hearings will be heard remotely, with calendar preference given to criminal and other priority cases.

In-person court proceedings will resume on June 15, with the exception of trials, which will resume on Aug. 1. Even when authorized, in-person hearings will only be held if it is possible to hold the hearing while complying with social distancing protocols, federal and territorial health regulations, and the policies enacted by the Judicial Branch Administrative Office.

New policies include, but are not necessarily limited to, sanitation of common and high-traffic areas; erection of appropriate physical barriers and placement of social distancing tape; health screenings for those entering Judicial Branch facilities; implementation of federal and territorial public health guidelines; and appropriate training for judicial officers and court personnel in the proper use and implementation of such protocols.

The Superior Court now accepts online credit card payments for traffic, litter or conservation citations. The online payment processor is available at http://www.paymentsvicourts.org. All major credit cards are accepted; there is a 4.5 percent service charge for online payments.

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.

Conventional filings continue to be accepted via drop box at all Superior Court locations and at the Supreme Court located at Crown Bay on St. Thomas.

For inquiries, please use the following numbers:

St. Croix District

Superior Court – 778-9750

Probation and Pre-trial Services – 713-6642

St. Thomas-St. John District

Superior Court – 774-6680

Probation and Pre-trial Services – 693-6429

Supreme Court

Supreme Court – 774-2237

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.vicourts.org.

Lieutenant Governor’s Office

The Offices of the Lieutenant Governor in both districts will operate from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., daily.

The V.I. State Health Insurance Program/Medicare Division will remain closed to public access until further notice.

All persons entering Offices of the Lieutenant Governor will be required to wear a mask or face covering.

Customers in need of assistance can call 774-2991 for the St. Thomas-St. John District and 773-6449 for the St. Croix District 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 774-6450 in the St. Thomas-St. John District.

Office of the Territorial Public Defender

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

To contact the office and leave a detailed message, call 773-6312 on St. Croix or 774-8181 in the St. Thomas-St. John District.

For more information, visit www.vipublicdefender.com.

Office of Veterans Affairs

The Office of Veterans Affairs will limit in-person operations territorywide until further notice and every attempt will be made to take care of requests via telephonic or electronic means. Call before going to either office; if necessary, alternate arrangements will be made to ensure that all inquiries are addressed. Call 773-8387 on St. Croix or 774-8387 in the St. Thomas-St. John District.

Veterans’ license plates are being issued on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the VA offices in both districts. Only two sets of license plates will be issued per veteran, who must have a DD214 on file at the office or bring one when you go. Veterans wanting to register a newly imported vehicle must have proof of sales tax being in addition to eligibility documents.

The Office of Veterans Affairs has resumed burial honors for deceased veterans. Only the lawful next-of-kin is eligible to make these arrangements.

For more information, send an email to info_va@va.vi.gov or visit the Office of Veterans Affairs Facebook page.

Public Services Commission

Offices have returned to regular hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

The agency will adhere to social distancing, face mask use, and limiting the number of office visitors allowed.

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

Schneider Regional Medical Center

Schneider Hospital has resumed scheduling non-high-risk patients for outpatient and elective procedures. To schedule a procedure, call 776-8311 ext. 2157, 2168, 2171 or 2211.

The following services will be available:

SRMC Heart and Lung

Laboratory Services (including testing for food handler’s cards)

Rehabilitation Services (physical, occupational, speech and cardiopulmonary therapy)

Dietary and nutrition consultations

Mastectomy and medical compression garment fittings

Limited elective surgical procedures

Schneider Regional Medical center’s safety protocols for resuming services include:

All individuals entering Schneider facilities, including all staff, will be screened for COVID-19.

All individuals entering will be asked to wear a mask or cloth face covering.

Visitors are prohibited. A support person will be allowed for surgical patients; delivering OB mothers; children younger than 18; patients with confusion, altered mental status or developmental delays; and end-of-life patients.

All outpatient services, tests and procedures are done by appointment only.

All individuals are required to practice social distancing.

Extra cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces will continue.

Infectious patients will continue to be cared for in isolation, away from non-infectious patients.

For more information about Schneider Regional Medical Center, go to www.srmedicalcenter.org.

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, 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 on all islands have resumed services to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All persons entering V.I. Police Department facilities are required to wear a face covering. In the St. Thomas-St. John District, only one person will be allowed service at a time; in the St. Croix District, two people will be allowed service at a time.

Firearms Bureau offices have resumed by appointment only. Firearms Bureau offices are open Mondays through Thursdays, with appointments starting at 8:30 a.m. Issuance of new and renewal applications also are by appointment only. Call the Firearms Bureau at 774-2211 on St. Thomas or 778-2211 on St. Croix to make an appointment.

To contact the Records Division, call 774-2211 on St. Thomas or 693-8880 on St. John or 778-2211 on St. Croix. The public also can email requests to sttvipdrecordsrequest@usvi.onmicrosoft.com or stxvipdrecordsrequest@usvi.onmicrosoft.com.

For more information, go to www.vipd.gov.vi.

V.I. Port Authority

The Virgin Islands Port Authority has resumed normal administrative operations, and all administrative staff territorywide have returned to their offices.

Offices are open normal working hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

Masks are required to enter all V.I. Port Authority offices.

Airports and seaports are open, except for the Blyden Terminal on St. Thomas, which is closed until further notice.

For more information, visit www.viport.com.


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 until further notice.

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.

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.

Walk-in customers are restricted at the St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix offices.  All customers, including those residing on Water Island, should call or email requests or concerns at the Waste Management hotline at 844-962-8784, the St. Thomas-St. John mainline at 715-9100 or the St. Croix mainline at 712-4962 and/or e-mail the Authority at communications@viwma.org.

V.I. Water and Power Authority

Limited customer service and cashier services are available at the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority 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).

Sign up today for WAPA ALERTS and stay connected.

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.