A 57-year-old man from St. Croix has become the 62nd U.S. Virgin Islander to die from COVID-19, the V.I. Department of Health announced Tuesday.
According to the Department of Health’s statistics, there have been 40 COVID-19 deaths on St. Thomas, 20 on St. Croix and two on St. John.
On its website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed three “Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines.”
– COVID-19 vaccines are effective at helping protect against severe disease and death from variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 currently circulating, including the Delta variant.
– If you are fully vaccinated you can resume many activities that you did before the pandemic, but you should wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission to maximize protection from the Delta variant and possibly spreading it to others.
– You may have side effects after vaccination. These are normal and should go away in a few days.
V.I. Health Department officials continue to urge Virgin Islanders to get vaccinated against the pandemic, calling it an important step to preventing the spread of the virus in the community.
“The vaccine is safe, and works to save lives,” Dr. Esther Ellis, the territorial epidemiologist, has said. “Vaccination is one of the greatest public health achievements in the 20th century, which has helped to build a society free of vaccine-preventable diseases and save millions of children and adults across the globe. The COVID-19 vaccine is one of those vaccines that is working against a preventable illness that can continue to save lives during this pandemic, and everyone has access.”
Since the introduction of the vaccines last winter, COVID-19 has begun to be described as a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” because the vast majority of the new cases and almost all the serous cases and all the deaths have been among people who, for one reason or another, have chosen not to get vaccinated.
Those who want to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment can call 340-777-8227 or go online to covid19usvi.com/vaccines. Walk-ins are also accepted at the Health Department’s Community Vaccination Centers.
– St. Croix’s Community Vaccination Center is at the Nissan Center in La Grande Princesse, adjacent to the Honda Dealership and The Paint Shop, on the same side of the street as Food Town.
– On St. Thomas, the Community Vaccination Center is at the Community Health Clinic on the second floor at the Schneider Regional Medical Center.
The Health Department urged residents to continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask when in the company of others outside of those in their household, clean frequently used areas thoroughly, and wash their hands often with soap and warm water.
To report a suspected case of COVID-19 call 340-712-6299 or 340-776-1519. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. More information is online at covid19usvi.com. For COVID 19 updates, text COVID19USVI to 888777.
The deceased’s name was not released by Health, in accordance with department policy.