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CDC Issues Warning Against Travel to the USVI, Citing 'High Risk' of Covid-19, Limited Medical Resources

Travel Published On August 07, 2020 09:02 AM
Ernice Gilbert | August 07, 2020 09:02:38 AM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning to Americans not to travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands if they don't have to, with the CDC pointing to a high risk of the coronavirus in the territory and limited medical resources for those who contract the disease.

In the warning, the CDC included these key points:

  • CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential international travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Travelers at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should consider postponing all travel, including essential travel, to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • COVID-19 risk in the U.S. Virgin Islands is high.
  • If you get sick in the U.S. Virgin Islands and need medical care, resources may be limited.
  • Check with the Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health of the U.S. Virgin Islands or the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information page for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers, such as mandatory testing or quarantine.
  • Local policies at your destination may require you to be tested for COVID-19 before you are allowed to enter the country. If you test positive on arrival, you may be required to isolate for a period of time. You may even be prevented from returning to the United States, as scheduled. You might consider getting tested before your trip. If so, see Testing for COVID-19 webpage for more information.

 

"Older adults, people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions, and others at increased risk for severe illness should consider postponing all travel, including essential travel, to the U.S. Virgin Islands," the CDC said. "If you get sick in the U.S. Virgin Islands and need medical care, resources may be limited."

On Thursday, the V.I. Department of Health reported 21 new cases of the virus: 3 on St. Croix, 17 on St. Thomas and 1 case on St. John. D.O.H. is currently tracking 115 active cases. So far 10,520 people have been tested, with 9977 returning negative and 522 positive. D.O.H. said 398 people had recovered as of Thursday. Nine people have died from the virus in the USVI.

Governor Albert Bryan recently indicated during a Monday morning interview with the Consortium that he would employ a shift in strategy moving forward: keeping the USVI open while managing coronavirus infections. "That shift comes as a result of remember, when we started doing this, we thought we would be done by summer and then we would be okay," he said. "The realization that it's not going to end anytime soon — even if we get a vaccine, we still have another year at least — and coronavirus is going to be around for years. So the most important thing now is being able to manage your hospitals and being able to make sure that people stay alive."

The territory recently recorded it 9th coronavirus-related death, a man who was said to be in his 40s and suffered with kidney problems and diabetes. Before him was an older man on St. Thomas, according to Governor Bryan. Before this older individual, the 7th death was a 23-year-old pregnant woman

The virus also killed three member of one family on St. Croix.

Mr. Bryan said his decision to keep the territory open during the pandemic allowed the government to collect much-needed funds to keep government operations afloat.

As for performance in managing the pandemic, Mr. Bryan said, "I think my team has done an excellent job."

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