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USVI hospitals report hospitalizations due to COVID-19

by | Jul 2, 2024 | Coronavirus, Science and Environment, United States Virgin Islands | 0 comments

The US Virgin Islands Department of Health recently received reports of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 from both of the territory’s hospitals. USVI Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion reminded the public that COVID-19 is still circulating in the territory, especially now with an influx of summer visitors.

The Juan F. Luis Hospital in St. Croix reported three (3) hospitalizations, with one patient on a ventilator, while the Roy Lester Schneider Hospital in St. Thomas reported six (6) hospitalizations, with none on ventilation.

“COVID-19 is still with us, and it remains a deadly virus,” said Encarnacion. “The COVID[-19] vaccine is the most effective method to prevent severe symptoms and to curb the spread of the virus. However, we must also continue to do all the things necessary to stay safe – washing and sanitizing hands often, using the inside of the elbow to cover a cough or sneeze, staying home when feeling unwell, and feel free to wear a mask for protection in public places.”

The commissioner also emphasized that older adults and individuals with a weakened immune system are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. 

“If you suspect you have COVID-19 and live with an elderly person or someone who is immunocompromised, please be extremely cautious,” the commissioner said. “Limit any close contact and wear a mask.”

Dr. Tai Hunte-Ceasar, Chief Medical Officer for the USVI Department of Health, added that “if you feel you have COVID-19, get tested immediately. Getting tested will help determine whether you need treatment and what you need to do to prevent the spread.”

COVID-19 is easily transmitted and spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. Symptoms may include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

The USVI Department of Health offers the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to the uninsured population and to individuals who are underinsured, meaning their insurance does not cover the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID vaccine is available on St. Croix from 9 am to 1 pm, Monday through Thursday, at the Department of Health’s clinic located on the second floor of Castle Coakley Unit 5, known as the Old Caribe Home Center building.

On St. Thomas, for adults, vaccinations are available from 9 am to noon, Monday to Thursday, at the Community Health Clinic located at the Schneider Regional Medical Center.

The department is also working to provide the COVID-19 vaccine for individuals covered by insurance during the month of July. Until then, insured individuals are advised to visit their private provider or an urgent care facility for the COVID-19 vaccine.



William-Jose Velez Gonzalez

William-Jose Velez Gonzalez

William-José Vélez González is a native from Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and a graduate from Florida International University in biomedical engineering, engineering management, and international relations. A designer with a strong interest in science, policy, and innovation, he previously served as the national executive vice president of the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association. William-José lives in Washington, DC, where he works at the Children's National Research Institute and runs Opsin, a nonprofit design studio dedicated to making design more accessible. You can see him on Love is Blind as Lydia's brother. He is the founder and Editor in Chief of Pasquines.


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