Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Marlon Penn has announced that protocols are being relaxed including legal mask mandates and that the ministry also will no longer be issuing quarantine, and isolation orders to persons who test positive for COVID-19.
According to Honourable Malone protocols will also be relaxed for the entry portal for travelers and the requirement for PCR testing for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated persons prior to entry.
Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ronald Georges has the following advice for persons testing positive for COVID-19 by Rapid Antigen test of rt-PCR:
1. Self-isolate for a period of 10 days and may end their isolation at Day 7 if they test negative by Rapid Antigen test, or after ten days with no test once they are symptom free for at least 24 hours;
2. At the end of their isolation, they should contact their medical provider to provide a recovery letter to return to work or school, depending on the policy of their employer or school;
3. Contact their healthcare provider if their symptoms are concerning them, to determine if they may be eligible for antiviral or other treatment;
4. Wear a well-fitted mask for a period of 14 days and avoid contact with vulnerable persons during this time;
5. Contact their medical provider if they require sick leave or social security certificates to cover their absence from work or school.
“Persons who test positive for COVID-19 should be aware that they may continue to test positive for up to 90 days by rt-PCR and that in some cases even rapid tests may be persistently positive as well. Therefore, repeat testing after recovery, or to return to work is not required and can be misleading. For these purposes a letter of recovery from a medical provider is sufficient,” Dr. Georges further stated.
The Acting Chief Medical Officer further advised anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more without wearing a mask should do the following:
- Wear a well-fitted mask for a period of 14 days when around others and especially when around vulnerable persons;
- Make arrangements to have a Rapid Antigen test or rt-PCR test at Day 5 to 7 after exposure to a positive case or at any time if they develop symptoms;
- Be aware that home test kits are available for purchase at stores locally, and testing is available in both the public and private sector throughout the Territory.
The public is reminded that COVID-19 continues to be present and that persons should continue to take necessary precautions and follow the advice described above if they think they may have become infected, or exposed to the disease. Everyone is also reminded to wash their hands regularly, cover their cough, wear face masks when necessary, and be mindful of the risk of their surroundings.
The Government of the Virgin Islands is committed to improving the health of the people of the Virgin Islands.