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Senator and gubernatorial candidate Kurt Vialet on Thursday called on Governor Albert Bryan to implement measures to curtail the current surge in Covid-19 infections territory-wide, with St. Thomas experiencing a bulk of the new cases which the V.I. Dept. of Health has said is a direct result of carnival activities.
Mr. Vialet said the governor requested an extension to the current Covid-induced state of emergency because of the post-carnival surge. "The Senator is very alarmed at the absence of implemented initiatives to curtail the surge considering the steadily rising positivity rate of 13.06 percent as of Thursday, with almost 1,000 cases on the island of St. Thomas," reads the release.
The release further stated, "Senator Vialet is calling on the Governor to reinstate some of the mandates used to manage this deadly disease to expeditiously get the Territory back to a less than 5 percent positivity rate. Perhaps indoor masking, and postponement of non-ceremonial activities [and] events with unmanageable crowds, “fetes” etc. for a period of two weeks would provide an immediate reduction on the current spread."
Mr. Vialet said, “With graduation season upon us, I implore all event coordinators to do their part by requiring masks and negative tests, performing temperature checks, and sanitizing guests’ hands upon entry into venues. I also plead with graduates, participants, and well-wishers to be respectful and honest regarding their Covid status. Let us not put each other at risk."
Of the current 1,246 active Covid-19 infections, 953 were reported in St. Thomas followed by 277 on St. Croix, and 16 on St. John, according to D.O.H. data. The territory's positivity rate climbed to 13.06 percent. The Schneider Regional Medical Center reported ten Covid-19 infections, including four hemodialysis patients and six in-house patients. The Juan F. Luis Hospital hasn't updated its Covid data on social media for sometime now, but according to Mr. Molloy, there were 11 total patients hospitalized territory-wide as of Monday.
According to the release, Mr. Vialet is urging the governor to "not throw caution in the wind and not allow the political season to compromise decision-making and the most vulnerable of this community. The elderly and immunocompromised population must be taken into consideration."
The lawmaker also encouraged the wider community to be vigilant. “Avoid crowded places when possible, practice social distancing, wear masks over your nose and mouth, sanitize, wash hands frequently, and take every precaution to protect yourself and every person you come in contact with," he said.