Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Ronald Georges made that public announcement in another COVID-19 update this morning, Tuesday, December 28.
And while confirming that the territory now has ‘clusters’ of COVID-19 cases in sections of the territory, Dr Georges said the majority of these cases are on the main island of Tortola with 218.
A COVID-19 cluster is said to occur when there is a concentration of infections in the same area at the same time.
“In the Virgin Islands, clusters of cases have been identified among businesses, related to social gatherings, events, nightspots and other areas where persons congregate,” Dr Georges stated.
“In this holiday season and during this period of increased transmission, as we prepare to engage in the many family and social gatherings and enjoy the holiday season with our friends and families, let us remember that COVID-19 is still present amongst us, and we are to intentionally take the necessary precautions for our health and safety,” he added.
The CMO further said all samples previously sent to Caribbean Public Health Agency in Trinidad & Tobago for typing were positive for the Delta variant.
He said samples continue to be sent for typing on a regular basis.
Persons are reminded that they can access PCR testing at the Dr D Orlando Smith Hospital Tent by registering at https://althea.bvi.care and by calling the Medical Hotline at 852-7650 if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.
Alternatively, private medical establishments also provide PCR testing, and rapid antigen type tests, and many persons have access to home self-test kits. The PCR test remains the ‘gold standard’ for diagnosis.
The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhoea.
“If you or anyone you know have these symptoms you or they should immediately isolate and seek to be tested either by rapid test or PCR test … Given the increased COVID activity in the territory, all residents are asked to continue to be vigilant and abide by the established public health measures,” Dr Georges urged.