Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
The Ministry of Health and Social Development is urging the community to take precautions following a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the Territory.
Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ronald Georges confirmed that there are currently 49 confirmed cases with more cases expected as contact tracing continues.
“The team lead by National Epidemiologist Ms. Harmonie Massiah is actively engaged in contact tracing and active case finding in the community. We are encouraging all persons to cooperate with the public health team including being transparent with their contacts, places visited and adhering to the stipulated quarantine protocols,” Dr. Georges said.
The community is urged to continue to follow established protocols and guidelines for their own protection. These protocols include hand washing and sanitising, wearing masks properly, physically distancing and covering sneezes and coughs regardless of your vaccination status.
“When we do not adhere to these guidelines and protocols we drastically increase our vulnerability to contracting COVID-19, and it is this behavior that has contributed to the current surge,” Dr. Georges said.
The acting Chief Medical Officer also noted that while there are still a few more days left to get the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, getting vaccinated at this point will not help to reduce this current surge.
According to Dr. Georges, currently, only one third of the population has taken their first dose of the vaccine. “While this is a good start we would need at least 75-85% of the population to be fully vaccinated to give the community a layer of protection from future waves in positive cases.
Being fully vaccinated reduces your chance of becoming sick and lowers the probability of you spreading the virus to others if you contract it. Therefore, we are still encouraging persons to get vaccinated before the deadline of July 3,” Dr. Georges said.
Persons who develop any symptoms of COVID-19 which include headache, runny nose, nasal congestion, fever, dry cough, muscle aches, vomiting, loss of taste, smell or appetite should immediately contact the Public Health Unit at 468-4936, 468-2274, 468-2285 or the Medical Hotline 852-7650 for any necessary advice.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to improving the health of the people of the Virgin Islands.