The US Virgin Islands (USVI) Department of Health said Wednesday, March 18, 2020 that it has received confirmation of a third confirmed case of the coronavirus in the US Virgin Islands. This brings the territory’s total confirmed cases to three-one in the St Croix district and two in the St Thomas/St John district, the department said.
Health officials released no additional information about the patients’ medical condition or how they might have contracted the fast-spreading, deadly virus.
As of Monday, March 16, 2020, twenty one (21) residents have been tested in recent weeks. Three people tested negative. Three are positive for COVID-19. D.O.H. said Monday it was awaiting results from testing of eight suspected cases, called “Persons Under Investigation”; nine more lab samples have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On Friday, March 13, 2020, Governor Albert Bryan Jr declared a State of Emergency in the territory as part of the effort to mitigate the spread disease.
He announced early in the day Monday at a press conference in St Thomas that all public schools, including Head Start programs will close for at least three weeks beginning Wednesday.
On Wednesday Mr Bryan said the confirmation of a third case in the territory comes as no surprise and underscores the need for residents in the community to continue following the Department of Health’s guidance.
“Unfortunately, we know that we will have more cases in the territory. We expect that at least two additional cases will be confirmed positive based on the proximity of those individuals to the territory’s first two cases," the governor said.
Carnival VI on St Thomas, slated to begin in April, was postponed indefinitely by the central government, Mr Bryan also announced at the press conference.
The governor announced a ban on gatherings of groups or individuals of more than 50 persons, following guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He later told the Consortium that if residents were not adhering to the ban, a curfew would be put in place.