USVI Health Department urges residents to follow COVID-19 safety protocols heading into Carnival Week, as Governor tests positive
During Tuesday’s weekly Government House briefing, United States Virgin Islands Territorial Epidemiologist Dr. Esther Ellis said the number of active cases of COVID-19 in the Territory has remained higher than health officials had hoped, and she urged residents to take precautions against spreading the virus as Carnival season begins.
The statement came hours before USVI Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. (D) announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to the territory following a weeklong trip to Washington, DC, and Miami. While Bryan is asymptomatic and in good health, in accordance with CDC and VI Department of Health guidelines he has canceled all of his public appearances and is self-quarantining until April 27, 2022.
“As we embark on Carnival on St. Thomas, it is imperative that each of us do what we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” Dr. Ellis said. “Please follow the recommended guidelines on hand-washing and social distancing, especially with persons with whom you do not reside.
“As far as mask-wearing is concerned, we know that masks are not mandated, but please consider your own health and safety. Wear a mask, especially when you are in large crowds,” Dr. Ellis said.
During Carnival, the Department of Health will have a van and a tent at the Carnival Village and will provide COVID-19 vaccines, as well as COVID-19, HIV, and STD testing, each night from 7:00 to 10:00 pm.
Additionally, anyone who becomes fully vaccinated through April 30, whether at the clinics or at the Village or Food Fair, will receive the $250 incentive gift card.