The [US] Virgin Islands (USVI) Department of Health (DOH) has released more information regarding the first person in the USVI to succumb to COVID-19 disease.
He’s identified as an 85-year-old St Thomas resident, with underlying medical conditions.
According to the DOH in a press release on Monday, April 6, 2020, the elderly man unknowingly came into contact with a person who had a confirmed case of COVID-19, after traveling to the island from Anguilla.
He was not hospitalised at the time of his death and died at home, the press release stated.
“The US Virgin Islands Department of Health says it’s deeply saddened to announce confirmation of the Territory’s first confirmed COVID-19 death,” the press release continued.
As of Monday morning, April 7, 2020, the USVI’s confirmed cases stood at 42, 12 on St Croix, 28 on St Thomas, and two on St John.
All USVI beaches closed
On the heels of the COVID-19 death, the USVI Government closed all beaches until April 20, 2020.
In an attempt at curbing the COVID-19 virus and discouraging some residents from ignoring the stay-at-home order, the beach closings are effective immediately, Governor Albert A. Bryan Jr announced Monday, April 6, 2020.
The Virgin Islands National Guard, police and the Department of Public Works and Natural Resources are enforcing the beach shutdown, the VI Consortium has reported.
“We have a considerable way to go before we reach our peak (cases), which is projected not to be here for another two to three weeks,” Mr Bryan said during Monday’s press briefing at Government House in Christiansted.
Overall, 283 people have been tested for the Coronavirus in the USVI, with 222 testing negative. Twenty test results are still pending.
Despite the escalating number of infections, crowds of people have been hanging out at the Territory’s beaches, as has been evident on social media.
“For the most part, we have done good as a community in following the Department of Health and CDC guidance to help contain the spread of the virus, but we still have some in our community who are not taking this seriously enough,” Governor Bryan said.