So far, the Virgin Islands has not recorded the newest COVID variants – BA-4 and BA-5 – the V.I. Health Department reported at the Government House weekly press briefing Monday.
COVID cases have declined somewhat with 173 infections in the territory, yielding an 8.97 positivity rate, Reuben Molloy, DOH assistant health commissioner, said. There are 135 cases on St. Croix, 36 on St. Thomas, and St. John has two infections. One person on St. Croix is hospitalized with the coronavirus.
In anticipation of St. John Carnival, Molloy announced additional hours for testing on St. John. Tests will be available Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 3 p.m. at the Port Authority gravel Lot.
“The Department of Health also would like to again urge those expecting to attend St. John Carnival events to monitor your environment and respond appropriately when in crowded areas,” Molloy said.
The Pfizer and Moderna pediatric vaccines are available now for children 6 months old to 4 years of age, Molloy said. Parents can schedule a shot online or by calling 340-777-8227. They must have identification and a birth certificate for the child and identification for themselves. The shots will be administered on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on St. Thomas (first floor of Schneider Regional Medical Center) and St. Croix (Charles Harwood Medical Center). The vaccines for children on St. John will be given on Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m.
Molloy announced that the incentive gift cards for certain vaccinated children and adults are still not available, but the Health Department will alert the public when they arrive.
Richard Motta, communications director for Gov. Albert Bryan Jr., made several announcements involving other government departments, including an information session offered by the V.I. Office of Management and Budget Wednesday from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at Yacht Haven Grande on St. Thomas.
On behalf of the Education Department, Motta asked that residents living near Evelyn Williams Elementary contact them to allow contractors to inspect their homes before the school undergoes demolition. Notices were sent to the residents in May in hopes of making appointments in June. The residents are asked to call Eleven Construction, LLC (340-713-1100) or BuildTech LLC (340-513-6918) to schedule an inspection.
Motta also announced that the deadline to apply for a two-year GVI Fellowship is July 15. Bryan started the program last year and chose 12 college graduates to work under the supervision of various departments to train and learn business practices by rotating through agencies such as the Finance Department, Office of Management and Budget, and the Bureau of Internal Revenue. The fellows will work full-time at a salary of $55,000 and health benefits. Information can be found at www.dopusvi.org.
Ending the briefing, Motta said the governor will have an announcement within the next few days about the 175th celebration of Emancipation on July 3, 2023.