The Virgin Islands Department of Health said on Thursday that two out of four suspected cases -- called "Persons Under Investigation -- being tested for the coronavirus have returned negative, with two more pending.
The department also stressed that so far there have been no confirmed cases of the pathogen in the U.S. Virgin Islands. D.O.H. did not say when results for the remaining two cases would be available.
"This should not alarm the public, but be an indication of the high level of alert and stringent preventative measures the Health Department is proactively taking in response to this global outbreak" the department said.
D.O.H. said that in light of increased worldwide spread, as an extra precaution, the testing criteria has been widened to include severe respiratory cases that did not travel to affected areas. "It is also important to note that influenza activity is also at high levels and may present with similar symptom," the department added.
The D.O.H. release went on to say that health officials know that early discovery and isolation are critical to preventing the spread of this disease. "As the symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to many other respiratory illnesses, including the common cold and influenza, it is expected that with time more persons who meet the testing criteria will be tested," D.O.H. said.
You can protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 and other diseases by doing the following, according to D.O.H.
If you or someone you know has traveled to a location with human to human transmission of COVID-19 within 14 days of becoming ill with fever and respiratory symptoms call ahead before going to see a doctor or emergency room and tell them your symptoms and where you traveled from.
To report a suspect case, call the Department of Health’s Epidemiology Division at (340)-712- 6299 or (340)-774-7477 extension 5647.