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Thursday, January 28, 2021
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New Hospitals on the Horizon, Pandemic Restrictions Begin to Loosen

Plans for the construction and repair of local hospitals and clinics are moving forward, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. said on Tuesday, and the territory's pandemic restrictions are being eased in light of an apparent reduction of COVID-19 cases.

Legislature Rejects Another Anti-Corporal Punishment Bill

History repeated itself during Friday’s Legislative session, where once again prohibiting the use of corporal punishment in a school setting was struck down by legislators, this time by a 12-2 vote.

‘Stop Infecting Vulnerable Populations,’ Health’s Medical Director Urges

In a candid plea Monday, Health Department Medical Director Dr. Tai Hunte-Caesar said irresponsible behavior within the USVI community is causing the spread of COVID-19 to the elderly and other vulnerable populations and needs to stop.

Senators Push to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools

The Committee on Health, Hospitals and Human Services moved forward legislation Wednesday that, among other things, would strictly prohibit corporal punishment in school settings.

Southland Gaming Donates Screening Thermometers to USVI

Hospitals, clinics and government entities in the Virgin Islands received a donation of 70 noncontact infrared thermometers from Southland Gaming. The thermometers, which read temperatures from the forehead, are being used for screening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
V.I. Department of Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion testifies during Thursday’s Health, Hospitals, and Human Services Committee hearing. (Photo by Chaunte Herbert for the V.I. Legislature)

Mental Health Disparities Still a Concern in Territory

To bolster awareness and address the stigma surrounding mental health, a Senate panel voted Thursday to forward a bill declaring the month of May as Virgin Islands Mental Health Awareness Month.

House Passes Spending Bill With V.I. Medicaid Money

Medicaid funding for the USVI appears safe now that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the fiscal year 2020 federal government funding bill including the money. The Senate is expected to pass it and President Donald Trump has indicated he will sign it.
Sen. Allison Degazon (D-STT) questions Callwood and O'Neal at Tuesday's Finance Committee hearing. (Photo by Barry Leerdam, V.I. Legislature)

Senate Panel OKs Bill on Exploitation of Seniors

People who take advantage of seniors unable to care for themselves are the target of a bill approved and moved forward Monday by the Senate Committee on Health, Hospitals and Human Services.
U.S. Capitol

Tiptoeing On the Edge: V.I. Medicaid Funding Extended One Month

On Thursday, Congress extended vital Medicaid funding for the U.S. Virgin Islands by one month, briefly holding off damaging cuts to critical health services to the territory's most vulnerable, but also to hospital funds and, ultimately, tax revenues and economic activity.
Schneider Regional Medical Center is the hospital for St. Thomas. (Source file photo by Kelsey Nowakowski)

Hospital Dialysis Units Are Surviving, Not Thriving

Hemodialysis units at the territory's two hospitals have undergone extreme challenges since the days of hurricanes Irma and Maria, and while they have stabilized, they still have a long way to go before they are successfully serving the USVI.

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