Governor Bryan Discusses Recent Cases of COVID-19 Virus

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — During his weekly update Monday on the status of the COVID-19 virus in the Territory, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. Discussed the recent cases of COVID-19 that have appeared since the Territory entered the “Open Doors” phase of its path to a new normal, and reminded residents that they must continue to be on guard against the virus.

“We knew that the inevitable result would be travel-related incidents of the virus entering our Territory,” Governor Bryan said. “But we also know that we are much better prepared for these occurrences now in June than we were back in March when we effectively closed the economy.”

The Governor noted screening procedures at the airports, extra ventilators, and personal protective equipment at the territory’s hospitals and stronger contact-tracing resources as indicators of the territory’s increased capacity to care for COVID patients and the administration’s efforts to prepare for an inevitable spike in Coronavirus cases.

However, the Governor also pointed out that the vast majority of active Coronavirus cases in the Territory, including the most recent cases, have been local residents. He also urged residents not to become complacent to the spread of the virus, particularly when it pertains to adhering to social and physical distancing guidelines in and around bar establishments.

“We had to close one establishment this weekend and will do so again if it means protecting the health of our community,” Governor Bryan said, noting he is willing to considered closing the bars while leaving the restaurants open if it means protecting the health and safety of the community.

“We have always been clear that it requires the full cooperation of all of us. We have a personal responsibility to each other to do our part to make this work,” Governor Bryan said. “We must adhere to the social distancing guidelines and stop fraternizing with strangers without proper spacing and facial coverings.”

Stimulus checks

  • To date, 28,263 stimulus checks totaling $45.9 million have been issued.

Paycheck Protection Program

  • To date, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved 1,620 loans totaling more than $120.3 million to local businesses in the Territory.

Unemployment benefits

  • As of June 19, the Virgin Islands Department of Labor has issued 15,996 unemployment insurance checks totaling $11.9 million dollars.
  • The Labor Department has issued 11,290 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation checks totaling $19.6 million dollars.
  • The Department of Labor has secured a contract with InTouch Call Center, and the public can get information about any COVID-19-related employment security issues and unemployment benefits by calling 1-877-374-0356. The call center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

COVID-19 cases

  • Currently tracking six active cases
  • 2,593 individuals tested to date
  • 2,502 of those tests were negative
  • 76 tests came back positive
  • 15 tests are pending
  • Six fatalities
  • One COVID-19 patient is hospitalized at Juan F. Luis Hospital on St. Croix.
  • One COVID-19 patient is hospitalized at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas.

Governor Bryan’s next COVID-19 update is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, June 29.