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Update: Three More STX COVID-19 Deaths Bring USVI Toll to 78 – Nearly All Among Unvaccinated

Getting vaccinated nearly eliminates the chances of severe illness or death from COVID-19. (Shutterstock)

The territory’s COVID-19 tragic death toll climbed to 78 on Thursday with the death of a 59-year-old woman, a 78-year-old male and a 39-year-old male. All three deaths were on St. Croix, the Department of Health reports.

A majority of U.S. Virgin Islands COVID-19 deaths have taken place in the past two months, long after several free, safe and effective vaccines against the illness became readily available throughout the territory. The Health Department has not reported whether the most recent person to die was vaccinated and the department does not release individual case information for privacy reasons.

To date, there has been only one report of a vaccinated Virgin Islander dying of the illness and Health Department officials have repeatedly said almost none of the Virgin Islanders hospitalized for the illness were unvaccinated. This means a majority of USVI COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations were preventable.

There are no confirmed reports of any Virgin Islander dying or suffering long-term effect from the several COVID-19 vaccines.

Before this latest tragedy, a 59-year-old St. Thomas woman and a 37-year-old St. Croix man were confirmed to have died of the disease on Oct. 11, and a 78-year old St. Croix woman died a few days earlier.

According to Health Department data, community transmission and close contact account for the majority of COVID-19 cases in the territory. Around 83 percent of new cases are on St. Croix, after hitting St. Thomas harder for most of the past year. The community is urged to continue following precautionary measures to slow the spread of the virus, including social distancing, wearing a mask when in the company of others outside of your household, cleaning frequently used areas thoroughly, and washing your hands often with soap and warm water.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can prevent severe illness and death, the department said. To schedule an appointment, call 340-777-8227 or visit covid19usvi.com/vaccines. Walk-ins are also accepted at the territory’s Community Vaccination Centers.

St. Croix’s Community Vaccination Center is at the Nissan Center in Estate La Grande Princesse, adjacent to the Honda Dealership and The Paint Shop, on the same side of the street as Food Town.

On St. Thomas, the Community Vaccination Center is at the Community Health Clinic on the second floor at the Schneider Regional Medical Center.

To report a suspected case of COVID-19, call 340-712-6299 or 340-776-1519. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. For more information, visit covid19usvi.com. For COVID 19 updates, text COVID19USVI to 888777.

Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to say the territory’s death toll from the COVID-19 virus now stands at 78 people, not 79 as initially reported.

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