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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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COVID Cases Spike After Carnival

Assistant Health Commissioner Reuben Molloy updates the territory on current COVID statistics. (Screenshot from Government House FaceBook page)

In the two weeks since St. Thomas Carnival, the number of COVID infections jumped to 50 after three weeks of single-digit numbers, announced the V.I. Health Department’s Assistant Commissioner Reuben Molloy during the weekly Government House media briefing Monday. 

“Our active cases continue to tick up following carnival festivities,” Molloy said.

There are 44 cases of the coronavirus on St. Thomas with three people in the hospital at the Schneider Regional Medical Center. St. Croix has 6 cases with no one hospitalized and there are no reported infections on St. John. The latest positivity rate is 11.5 percent, Molloy reported.

Even though the pandemic has ended, and the public health emergency was discontinued on May 5, Molloy said there is still danger from being infected and residents should remain cautious. 

The assistant commissioner announced the Department of Health will begin tracking so-called long COVID cases and the several overlapping conditions. As data accumulates, and recommendations are developed, DOH will provide support to Virgin Islanders suffering from the virus.

Health will continue to provide free flu and COVID vaccines as long as the supply lasts. St. Croix residents can call 340-718-1300 for locations and times the inoculations are available. Thomians should call 340-774-7477 and on St. John, the immunizations will be given at V.I. Port Authority gravel lot on Wednesdays from 1-4 p.m.

Since May is Mental Health Awareness month, Molloy said the Health Department will host Mindfulness Monday at 6 p.m. on their Facebook page. The program will also be available on the Government Channel 27. Discussions during the first episode will center on the signs and symptoms of suicide. Dr. Chantal Noel and Zulima Webster, of DOH’s Behavioral Health unit, will lead the sessions. 

Molloy warned about hot weather and reminded people to stay hydrated, stay where it is cool, and wear light clothing. Additionally, he advised checking on family members, watching for signs of heat stroke, and seeking medical help if necessary. 

Richard Motta, Government House Communications director, said the governor has returned from a week in Boston where he promoted economic development and sports tourism. Gov. Albert Bryan, Jr. met with the representatives from Fenway Sports and with Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte with the chief executive officer of JetBlue to discuss flights from New York to the Virgin Islands.

Motta said Bryan will leave again, traveling Saturday to his alma mater, Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, to deliver the graduation keynote address. At the same time, he will be awarded an honorary degree in humane letters from Wittenberg. 

On behalf of the governor, Motta extended congratulations to the territory’s 2023 graduates and their families. He also wished a Happy Mother’s Day and Nurses Week.

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