Governor Albert Bryan on Tuesday sent a request to the 33rd Legislature asking for an extension to the current State of Emergency Order, which currently is in effect until Monday, August 10, Government House has announced.
The governor is requesting an extension for the order to October 9.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that as of August 3, 2020, the Coronavirus Disease, the sever acute respiratory illness that can spread among humans through respiratory transmission and presents itself with symptoms similar to those of influenza, has sickened more than 4,649,102 people and killed over 154,471 in the U.S. alone,” Mr. Bryan wrote in his transmittal letter to Senate President Novelle Francis Jr.
“Because the USVI is a travel destination it is not immune to COVID-19 and will remain at risk as long as it remains rampant throughout the U.S. and the world,” the governor wrote. “The threat of COVID-19 is even more impactful to our Territory as the 2020 Hurricane season is actively upon us, with the early arrival of storms and hurricanes looming out at sea.”
In his letter, Mr. Bryan requested that the Legislature suspend the portion of Title 23 of the V.I. Code limiting declared states of emergency to 30-day renewal periods.
“COVID-19 is unpredictable at this time but projected to last another several months, up to a year,” Mr. Bryan wrote.
The governor said a 60-day extension is more feasible and avoids having to call a Legislative session every month so as not to expose the Legislature and its staff to COVID-19.