The USVI Department of Health clarified Tuesday that the ship that accounted for six new cases of COVID-19 in the territory was a cargo ship at a secure marine facility, inaccessible to the public.
The U.S. Virgin Islands recorded 14 new cases of COVID-19, DOH reported Friday, bringing the number of active cases in the territory to 37.
Six of the new positive tests were on St. Croix, the DOH said in a news release issued on Sunday. The other eight were on St. Thomas.
The department said a vessel in the Charlotte Amalie harbor accounted for six of the St. Thomas cases, and all positive cases from that vessel and their close contacts are safe and in quarantine.
Tuesday’s statement clarified the nature of that ship.
“To clarify, the vessel mentioned in the press release is not a sailboat or charter boat in Long Bay (Charlotte Amalie Harbor),” Tuesday’s DOH news release said.
Territorial Epidemiologist Dr. Esther Ellis encouraged the public to be vigilant as cases continue to peak in the U.S.
The Health Department said there is no significant common risk factor for the six new St. Croix cases, which is why it is so important to follow prevention guidelines, which are:
– Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others,
– Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public settings,
– Avoid close contact by staying at least six feet apart from anyone you do not live with,
– Wash your hands often with soap and warm water,
– Avoid contact with anyone who is sick, and
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Residents can report a suspected case of COVID-19 by calling 340-712-6299 or 340-776-1519. More information is available online at the DOH website.