DOH Advises the Public of the Presence of Omicron Subvariant BA.4 in the Territory

US Virgin Islands — The Virgin Islands Department of Health (VIDOH) announces that COVID19 samples forwarded to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for routine COVID-19 sequencing have identified the presence of the COVID-19 Omicron BA.4 subvariant in the Territory. Preliminary reports also indicate the presence of the BA.5 subvariant, which the VIDOH will confirm when conclusive data is available.

Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are now the dominant strains in the United States, making up over 52% of infections. We might see breakthrough infections meaning that if you are vaccinated you may still become infected, but vaccinations continue to be the best defense against severe illness or death.

The VIDOH continues to encourage the community to remain cautious. “Variants are expected to circulate while COVID remains endemic,” said Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion, “I ask that you continue to practice healthy behaviors and remain cautious in public spaces to prevent exposure and transmission. Vaccines are the most powerful preventative tool that is available to us. I urge the public to remain vigilant, isolate and test when feeling ill, and stay up to date with vaccinations by getting boosters when eligible.”

If you suspect you have COVID-19, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at (340) 712-6299 or (340) 776-1519 for information on scheduling a test. The Hotline is open Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Testing is also available on St. John every Wednesday from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the VI Port Authority (VIPA) Gravel Lot.

If you have a medical emergency, call 911. For more information, visit www.covid19usvi.com.