Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) has seen official documents that the individual in question was reportedly issued a ‘certificate of release’ after a negative Sars-CoV-2-RT-PCR test result via a Nasopharyngeal swab where the sample was taken on March 23, 2021, and the tests result received on March 24, 2021.
Three days later on March 27, 2021, the individual attended a funeral at the Sea Cows Bay Methodist Church, where authorities are treating the exposure as a possible super-spreader event, urging all individuals who attended to take precaution and watch out for COVID-19 symptoms.
So far, information has pointed to the individual in question being a returning resident.
Current policies stipulate a COVID-19 test and travel certificate at least two days before arrival to the territory, another test on arrival to the territory, and a third test on Day 4.
Policies say that on the Day 4 test, “If positive, the traveller will be isolated and care provided as needed for a minimum of 10 days [and] If negative, the traveller will be allowed free movement within the Territory.”
It is unclear if the PCR test returned a 'false negative' as authorities have not addressed that concern.
During a Facebook Q&A entitled ‘COVID-19: Ask the Experts,” broadcasted last evening, March 30, 2021, via the Government of the VI Facebook page, Special Advisor to the Ministry of Health, Dr Ronald E. Georges said so far all the close contacts of the individual have been issued legal documents to undergo ‘mandatory’ quarantine.
‘We are not talking about voluntary quarantine isolation like some of the other people…those folks would already be in mandatory quarantine,” he said.
After being released on the 4th day, individuals are not usually subjected to another COVID-19 test as outlined in the policy; however, their movement is monitored and persons are urged to report any symptoms of COVID-19 to local authorities.
VINO reached out to Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) and Special Advisor to the Ministry of Health, Dr Ronald E. Georges, for comments; however, no response was received up to publication time.