Administration Reminds Families About P-EBT, Shares Data on Pandemic Cases, Unemployment

Richard Motta, director of communications for Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. Bryan, addresses the media at Government House, St. Croix. (Source photo by Susan Ellis)
Richard Motta Jr., director of communications for Gov. Albert Bryan Jr., updates the territory on P-EBT. (Source file photo by Susan Ellis)

During the Government House weekly press briefing, Richard Motta Jr., director of communications for the Office of the Governor, reminded the community that the Pandemic Electronic Benefits (P-EBT) program continues to issue cards to eligible students and asked for the public’s patience as the V.I. Department of Education begins the 2020-2021 school year with a two-week soft-opening period.

“Today is the first day of school for the territory’s public school students, and I want to wish all our students, teachers, faculty and staff a warm welcome back,” Motta said. “Parents and guardians, teachers and other support staff: This week and this soft-opening period will not be without its share of challenges. I beg your indulgence on behalf of the governor and the Department of Education, as we all navigate this unchartered territory, and ask for your continued cooperation toward our shared goal of ensuring our students have a safe and successful start to the 2020-2021 school year.”

Motta also announced that the Department of Human Services continues to issue P-EBT cards to families of students who are eligible. The federal funding under the P-EBT program is tied to the Department of Education’s school lunch program, which is why the federal government has structured the benefits in a way that issues those benefits to the individual students as opposed to the head of household as is done under the SNAP program.

“By now, most of you have received your P-EBT benefits in the mail,” he said.

Anyone with questions or concerns, including lost or damaged cards or difficulty creating a pin, should call the P-EBT hotline at 340-772-7120 or send an email to [email protected] with P-EBT in the subject line, according to Motta.

Pandemic Update

Currently tracking have 43 active cases

18,682 individuals tested to date

17,440 of those tests came back negative

1,232 came back positive

1,170 individuals have recovered

19 fatalities to date

The 19th fatality was an 82-year-old male on St. Thomas, who passed away shortly after being admitted to Schneider Regional Medical Center in respiratory distress.

There are no COVID positive patients at the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital and just one COVID positive patient at the Schneider Regional Medical Center.


To date, the Virgin Islands Department of Labor has issued 36,291 unemployment insurance checks totaling $27,772,302 to V.I. residents impacted by COVID-19-related job losses.

The department has also issued an additional 26,814 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments totaling $40,814,880.

Labor has issued $2,446,101 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and $1,000,005 in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

In total, the Bryan-Roach administration has issued 64,463 unemployment benefit payments to Virgin Islands residents totaling $72,033,288, up $2 million since last week.