Background: After a surge in cases particularly on St. Thomas, bringing the island over the recommended 10% test positivity levels, Governor Bryan held a press conference today and announced new measures

Current Covid-19 cases, August 10th, 2020

Total confirmed cases USVI total 547, 6 in hospitals, 2 on ventilators.

St. Croix:

Total: 294
Active: 30
Fatality: 5

St. Thomas:

Total: 234
Active: 94
Fatality: 4

st. thomas covid-19 cases

chart compiled by david silverman, st. john

St. John:

Total: 19
Active: 4
Fatality: 0

usvi test positivity rate

chart compiled by david silverman, st. john


New Measures announced in Governor Bryan’s press conference August 10, 2020

Governor Bryan said there were many calls for closing the borders and re-iterated the USVI do not have authority to do that. He presented the case data, of all the cases 268 were close contact, 145 community spread and 69 travel related and 65 are still under investigation. He said “we must let the data be the guide” and based on the data the main spread is through social events in the community.  Based on this he announced the following measures:

  • funerals: attendance max 10 people
  • restaurants: allowed to remain open for eat in but strict enforcement of existing guidelines, violations will lead to 30 day shut down and fine, no questions asked. He said they debated a 8pm curfew and take-out only but decided against it but it is a possible next step-
  • boating: absolutely no rafting (tying boats together). 12ft distance between vessels must be kept at all times, no anchoring in swimming zones, 10.000$ fine and possible seizing of boat.
  • masks: strict enforcement, first mask wearing violation 50$, each following 100$.

“We have not cracked down enough on this nonsense, this stops now!”

“We will find you, confiscate your boat and close your business!”

“This too shall pass, we will get back to a new normal. Please wear your mask and we can all make it together to the end of this”

“It is unfortunate that we have to police adults like that!”

“We are going to try this, and if this does not work more measures will be implemented”

To report violations:

When asked by a reporter of what to do to report violations, the governor said for businesses call DLCA hotline 713-DLCA and for boaters he suggested to call 911.

Further to that they presented the predictions for a very active hurricane season and presented the details for the sand bag distribution

There is a tropical wave Invest 95L crossing the Atlantic that might reach us next weekend.

The Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) is announcing that sandbags and sand will be distributed territorywide on 

Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, and Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020,

to residents whose property is susceptible to flooding. “Normally, we issue sandbags and sand only when there is an imminent threat of flooding during the hurricane season,” said Daryl Jaschen, VITEMA Director. “However, in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to take precautions to protect both personnel working at our distribution sites and the general public, we have adjusted our procedures to distribute sandbags and sand safely under blue skies – where there is no immediate threat of flooding.” VITEMA, in collaboration with the departments of Public Works, Health and Police and the V.I. Fire Service, has updated the territory’s Sandbag Distribution Plan to include new protocols specific to the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new guidelines direct that mitigation strategies such as social distancing, increased hygiene, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), be followed during the distribution of sandbags and sand. All personnel providing support at distribution sites are required to don PPEs and social distance in accordance with the VI Department of Health’s guidance. Sandbags and sand will be distributed between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, and Tuesday, August 18, 2020, to residents only, and a total of six (6) bags will be allotted per household. Residents will be required to place the sand in sandbags themselves, however, special assistance will be given to the elderly and the physically challenged population. Sandbags and sand will be distributed at the following sites:

St. Croix Department of Public Works, Estate Anna’s Hope Department of Public Works, Estate Concordia West Renceliar Gibbs Fire Station, Cotton Valley Charles A. Seales Fire Station, Grove Place

St. Thomas Department of Public Works, Subbase Fortuna Fire Station Curriculum Center (Tutu) Omar Brown Fire Station, Estate Taarneberg

St. John Coral Bay Fire Station Department of Public Works, Susannaberg