21 Suspected Coronavirus Cases From the USVI Have Been Sent to CDC For Testing. So Far 3 Have Returned Negative, 2 Positive and 16 Pending (Updated)

Coronavirus Published On March 16, 2020 08:05 PM
Staff Consortium | March 16, 2020 08:05:45 PM

Update: Just over an hour after this story was published, the Dept. of Health confirmed the second case of the coronavirus in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The original story quoted Governor Bryan, who had spoken at a press conference Monday afternoon. There, he stated that 3 cases had returned negative and 1 positive. Furthermore, the Dept. of Health, he said, was awaiting the results of eight additional cases, and on Monday had sent nine more samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing — bringing the total to 21 suspected cases: three negatives, two confirmed positive, and 16 pending.

Original Story: The Virgin Islands Department of Health has sent a total of 21 suspected coronavirus cases — called "Persons Under Investigation" — for testing, according to information provided by Governor Albert Bryan during a press conference today at the University of the Virgin Islands ACC Room in St. Thomas.

He revealed that the Department of Health as of Monday was awaiting results of tests conducted on eight individuals, and today sent another nine samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing. The Dept. of Health has so far received results for four tests, three of which came back negative while one tested positive for the coronavirus. The person who tested positive has been self-quarantining at home and is expected to fully recover, the governor said. The Consortium has learned that the person in self-quarantine is on St. Croix. Dept. of Health said Friday that this person is a resident with some recent international travel history to one of the five locations with widespread transmission of the disease.

This brings the total number of cases sent for testing so far in the USVI to 21 — three of which have returned negative, one positive, and the remaining 17 outstanding, according to information provided by the governor. 

According to John Hopkins University, the coronavirus as of Monday has infected 181,377 people worldwide. It has killed 7,119 people and 78,085 have recovered from the pathogen.

During the press event, Mr. Bryan announced that effective immediately, all public schools territory-wide would close on Wednesday — an action Mr. Bryan said was encouraged by President Donald Trump, representing the administration's goal to contain the virus before it spreads, instead of being reactionary and acting after cases have been detected.

The governor also announced the postponement of the VI Carnival "indefinitely," indicating that the administration had no idea when — or if — this year's festivities would be held.

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