78.3 F
Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 24, 2021
HomeNewsLocal newsGovernor Orders Bars, Casinos Closed and Extends Travel Restrictions for 10 States

Governor Orders Bars, Casinos Closed and Extends Travel Restrictions for 10 States

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. announces additional restrictions meant to limit the spread of COVID-19 as the number of positive cases continues to increase. (Photo courtesy of Government House)

With the number of positive COVID-19 cases up to 153 by Thursday evening, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. shut down bars in the territory again, extended travel restrictions for 10 states and ordered beaches closed by 4 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Gaming centers and casinos are also closed, effective immediately.

During a press conference, Bryan said 157 tests were conducted Wednesday and, of those, 22 were positive, representing a 14 percent positive rate and an average testing rate five times the previous average, when the territory was conducting about 30 tests per day. Approximately 80-90 tests are now conducted daily, and Bryan said Thursday he expects that to ramp up to about 200 per day. There were 98 tests scheduled to be conducted Thursday and 57 active cases being tracked, among them 13 on St. Croix, seven on St. Thomas and two on St. John.

While there are about 8,000 tests on hand territory-wide, Bryan said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is working to bring more in, along with the machines needed to produce results. At this point, tests are being administered to everyone in need instead of just those most likely to have the virus, the governor said.

The goal is to get the positive rate to about three percent, Bryan said during Thursday’s press conference. To do that, three hotspot areas were targeted: beaches, which will now close on weekends and on holidays at 4 p.m.; bars, which are now closed; and the Limetree Bay refinery and storage terminal on St. Croix, which is testing all of its employees and closing off travel for new contractors and contact tracing within the community.

Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)

Bryan said that all travelers above the age of 15 coming in from Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas must also, starting Wednesday, produce a negative COVID test taken five days prior to their arrival or a positive antibody test, or prepare to self-quarantine. A test can be taken in the territory but has to come back negative in order for the self-quarantine to end, he explained.

Meanwhile, restaurants can remain open, but all bars within them – or bars outside – must remain closed, Bryan said.

“There will be no counter service,” Bryan said. “You cannot sit or stand at the bar and order a drink. Whether inside or out, there will be no congregating.” All sales of alcohol within the territory must also stop at 11 p.m.

Preventing mass gatherings is part of the rationale behind the limited weekend beach hours until the number of positive tests decreases significantly. The governor also discouraged residents from having mass gatherings – above 50 people – at home and advised residents to wear masks as much as possible.

And, should the numbers continue to increase by next week, the governor said his team is looking at the possibility of stopping hotel reservations again and going back to the “Safer at Home” designation, though he stressed the need to maintain a balance between public health and making sure local business owners, front-line workers and residents, in general, have money to take care of themselves and their families.

“Finding a balance between public health and the livelihood of our community is not an easy feat,” he said. “It is a fine line and COVID changes that line daily. But tread that line we must if we are to make it to the other end of this pandemic.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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.





Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
11 hours ago
Virgin Islands Source

Juju & Cece’s Lemonades and Treats is hosting a "Freco and Lemonade" event today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cultured Naturals Body Care located on Company Street in Christiansted, St. Croix.

The business, Juju & Cece’s Lemonades, evolved from a summer project put together by 4-year-old Juliett Reid-Ventura and 3-year-old Gracie Reid-Ventura. #visource #usvi #supportlocalbusiness
... See MoreSee Less

Juju & Cece’s Lemonades and Treats is hosting a Freco and Lemonade event today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cultured Naturals Body Care  located on Company Street in Christiansted, St. Croix. 

The business, Juju & Cece’s Lemonades, evolved from a summer project put together by 4-year-old Juliett Reid-Ventura and 3-year-old Gracie Reid-Ventura. #visource #usvi #supportlocalbusiness

Comment on Facebook

Cute as a button. Darling little princess. Please protect them

Make sure they Mask 😷 up.

Loving and trusting someone is such a risk and i don't wish any woman to be in the same shoes as i was sometime back when I caught my husband red-handed with my own best friend in our own bed. I couldn't believe it when I saw it and my heart started beating so fast and felt like my body is shaking then I ran straight to my elder sister's house. I cried so much and my sister left me to cry and told me it would help ease the pain I was feeling. Then she sat me down and asked me if I still love my husband and I told her yes of course, and she told me that we all learn and grow through mistakes and no one is perfect and told me that if I wanted my man back I should fight for him and never trust friends again.My sister told me to contact profisma+27783320386 who had helped her husband with financial issues and told me he will help me bring my man back. It took me weeks to think about it because we come from a strong religious background but things worsened because I could not even concentrate at work and i got fired, and after that, i remembered what my sister had told me about consulting with him. That's when I contacted him and told everything, he listened, and told me that he will solve all my problems in 48 hrs. Since it was my first time doing this, i could not believe his words just like that but i had to wait until the time he had promised. I was asked to buy materials to help me which I did, we begun the prayer and results were delivered in three days. My husband called me and asked me where I was, and he came straight to me and confessed how my best friend seduced him, and he was sorry to fall into her trap and showed me all the messages my best friend was sending to him and promised never to see her again and promised to love me and only me. That evening he took me to a romantic dinner, Since prophet isma helped me, I got a better paying job than the previous one, my husband is back to the old man I used to know and he loves me so much and does everything to see that am happy. Thank you so much prophet, your spells indeed work. If you're going through struggles, you can text him on WhatsApp +27783320386 or call him

Load more
Print Friendly, PDF & Email