The US Virgin Islands Department of Health (VIDH) has reported that there are now 10 active coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on the territory, which represents a “slight uptick” in infections.
Justa Encarnacion, the USVI’s Health Commissioner, said the territory has a positivity rate of 3.3 per cent.
Six of the infections are on St Croix while four are on St Thomas. The VIDH also reported that a 62-year-old woman, who was infected with COVID-19, died on St Thomas.
Since the start of the pandemic, the US Virgin Islands has recorded 24,936 infections and 131 deaths.
As the territory prepares to end the COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11, Encarnacion is encouraging Virgin Islanders to get vaccinated.
“COVID-19 remains a public health priority; thus, the VI Department of Health will continue to provide the COVID vaccine to the community and in line with the US [Department of Health and Human Services]. This will continue free for as long as supplies last to everyone age six months or older,” she said.
She also stated that the USVI will continue to track coronavirus spread and vaccine data when the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) ends its local monitoring.
“The VI Department of Health will continue to track and report active COVID cases moving forward,” Commissioner Encarnacion said. “Each State and Territory gets to decide if COVID-19 remains reportable in their jurisdiction and for the USVI it will remain a reportable disease. Most States and territories are leaving it as reportable and will release their data just as they have been doing.”
The effects of long COVID will receive special a from VIDH.
VIDH said long COVID is known to impact nearly every organ in the body and typically appears four weeks after the initial phase of the infection as a brand-new onset chronic disease, including heart disease, diabetes, kidney, hematologic (blood) diseases or as mental and neurological conditions.
“These diseases can simultaneously involve multiple systems including cardiovascular, respiratory, or the nervous system,” Commissioner Encarnacion said. “And, very important to know, the Long COVID symptoms can relapse and then reoccur with progressive worsening over time, leading to the possibility of severe and life-threatening episodes sometimes months or years after infection.”
The commissioner urged anyone experiencing long COVID to seek medical attention.
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