Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronald E. Georges reported that out of eight Covid-19 samples sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHPA) for genetic typing on August 4, 2021, one sample tested positive for the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) while all other samples identified no variants of concern or variants of interest.
According to Dr Georges, in a press release on August 15, 2021, the identified case had no travel history and the household included two other positive contacts, one of whom met criteria for sequencing and tested negative for the Delta variant.
“These cases and contacts were all quarantined and cleared in accordance with established protocols,” he said.
Dr Georges stated that the community should continue to take personal responsibility and adhere to public health measures and quarantine guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19.
He said all positive cases should ensure that they follow the isolation guidelines and continue to take every opportunity to get vaccinated.”
After the Virgin Islands experienced a COVID-19 outbreak where cases surged to over 1600 and over 30 COVID-19 related deaths were recorded in June-July 2021, many had come to the conclusion that the Delta variant or some other highly contagious strain had reached the territory’s shores.
Delta (B.1.617.2) is a sublineage of B.1.617, which was first detected in India.
According to research, Delta spreads more easily and may lead to more severe disease for unvaccinated people.