US Virgin Islands postpones in-person school learning
During the Government House Weekly Press Briefing on Tuesday, January 4, United States Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. (D) announced he is postponing the resumption of in-person learning for public school students until January 24 while he waits to see whether the exponential spreading of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic is beginning to subside in the territory.
“I don’t want to speak too quickly, but it does appear that we are beginning to see a slight plateau to that surge, and we hope that this trend continues,” Governor Bryan said.
The Governor said that beginning Monday, January 10, all of the territory’s public school students in grades pre-K through 12 will return to school virtually through online classes. Private and parochial schools should check with the Department of Health for determining the best course of action for their students, faculty, and staff.
“We understand that there is still a number of students eligible for the vaccines who are not yet vaccinated. So, if you’re a parent out there, we want to keep your children safe,” Governor Bryan said. “We want to make sure we have as safe as possible of a learning environment for all of our students, as well as our administrators and our teachers.
“I agree with everyone that the classroom is the best setting for learning. You don’t have any argument there,” Governor Bryan said. “In-class learning will resume for all public school students on January 24.”
The Governor also said that all education personnel is to report to their schools beginning on Friday, January 7.
Governor Bryan said the Administration continues to monitor the Omicron variant’s spread in the territory and make any re-evaluations every two weeks.
During a recent call with the nation’s governors, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the important thing to watch with the Omicron surge is not the number of cases there are, but instead to watch the load the hospitals have to bear.
Governor Bryan said that the territory is seeing an increase in the number of hospital visits for people with COVID-like symptoms, but most of the patients coming do not require hospitalization.
USVI Department of Health Medical Director Dr. Tai Hunte-Ceasar said that while there is a high number of active cases, the Department of Health is seeing a high number of daily recoveries.