Department of Health Hails Community Response to Back-to-School Testing and Extends Appreciation to Staff Involved

US Virgin Islands — The VI Commissioner of Health is expressing her sincere appreciation to Dr. Jessica Wilson, AeroMD, St. Croix Clinical Laboratory, and Acute Alternative Medical Center who worked diligently with the staff of the Departments of Health and Education to test all Territorial public school teachers, staff and children over the last two days.

“This was an awesome effort on everyone’s part,” stated Commissioner of Health Justa Encarnacion, “The individuals involved in the testing did an incredible job keeping things moving smoothly, performing the tests, and responding with results in a timely manner. “I can’t thank these community minded businesses enough for partnering with our DOH/DOE staff members in this effort. Without them this mass testing event may not have been possible,” continued Commissioner Encarnacion.

On Monday 5,572 students, teachers and school staff were tested on all three islands. Tuesday, we tested a total of 3,921.

Many individuals scheduled for testing on Tuesday were instead tested on Monday. This caused a backlog, long lines and a long wait time for all,” continued the Commissioner, Commissioner Encarnacion also wants to thank Dr. Esther Ellis and her Epidemiology team for their continued support and hard work during this pandemic.

Of the total VIDE population tested thus far (additional testing is occurring on Wednesday), 290 individuals tested positive and are now isolated. “Our goal,” continued Commissioner Encarnacion, “Is to do everything possible to make the in-person instruction experience safe and healthy for students and teachers alike. If we can identify and isolate active cases from the student population at the schools, we stand a far better chance of reducing the transmission of COVID-19.

The public is reminded if you feel sick, get tested. If you are sick, stay home. If you suspect you may have been exposed, please call the COVID19 Hotline at (340) 712-6299 or (340) 776-1519. The Hotline is open Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. For more information, visit covid19usvi.com. For COVID19 updates, text COVID19USVI to 888777.