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HomeNewsLocal newsHealth Department Urges Vaccinations as Territory Records 127th COVID Death

Health Department Urges Vaccinations as Territory Records 127th COVID Death

Assistant Health Commissioner Reuben Molloy gives an update on the territory's COVID-19 numbers at Monday’s weekly Government House press briefing. (Screenshot from Facebook)
Assistant Health Commissioner Reuben Molloy provides an update on the territory’s COVID-19 case numbers at Monday’s weekly Government House press briefing. (Screenshot from Facebook)

An 83-year-old man on St. Thomas has died of complications from COVID-19, the territory’s 127th fatality linked to the virus, the V.I. Health Department reported on Monday.

While extending its condolences to the man’s family and friends, the department reminded the public to continue to be vigilant against COVID-19 by becoming fully vaccinated and boosted and following safety measures such as social distancing, sanitizing frequently, and masking in crowded areas.

There are currently 37 active COVID-19 cases in the territory, with 21 on St. Croix, 15 on St. Thomas, and one on St. John, said Assistant Health Commissioner Reuben Molloy, speaking at Monday’s weekly Government House press briefing. One person is hospitalized on St. Thomas, he said.

“It is important to note that while the Virgin Islands’ hospitalizations are presently low, death rates are higher when hospitalizations occur,” said Molloy, while also warning that the seasonal flu and the respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, are also circulating in the territory.

“The Department of Health reminds everyone that COVID, the flu and RSV have similar symptoms and it’s possible to become infected with more than one of these respiratory viruses at the same time, resulting in worsened outcomes,” said Molloy. “This is why the Department of Health recommends everyone get vaccinated for both COVID-19 and the flu — especially children ages 6 months and older. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for RSV.”

Free COVID-19 and flu vaccines are available for adults at the territory’s community health clinics at the Charles Harwood Complex on St. Croix and the Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas, and both shots can be administered at the same time, said Molloy. Those who need boosters should bring their vaccination card and a photo ID, he said.

On St. Croix, the hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with no appointment needed for the flu vaccine.

On St. Thomas, COVID-19 vaccine hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. However, patients should call 340-774-7477 for a flu vaccine appointment.

COVID vaccines are available for children age 6 months and older at the Maternal Child Health Clinics in both districts. Call 340-244-0016 on St. Croix, 340-777-8804, ext. 2600, on St. Thomas, and 340-776-6400 on St. John.

COVID-19 testing is available Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 10 a.m. at the Charles Harwood parking lot on St. Croix; on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the loading dock at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas; and on Wednesdays from noon to 3 p.m. at the V.I. Port Authority gravel lot on St. John.

While there are no confirmed cases of monkeypox in the territory, said Molloy, vaccines are available to anyone who needs one by calling 340-690-6301 for an appointment.

“As we gather to celebrate the holidays, the St. Croix Festival, and other celebrations, we wish everyone a healthy, happy season. Please remember to protect yourself and your loved ones by taking all the necessary precautions to make sure you stay safe,” said Molloy.

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