DOE Responds to Allegations of Employee Testing Positive and Remaining on the Job

Education Commissioner nominee Racquel Berry-Benjamin testifies before the Senate Committee on Education and Workforce Development Wednesday. (Photo by Barry Leerdam for the V.I. Legislature)
Education Commissioner Racquel Berry-Benjamin (Photo by Barry Leerdam for the V.I. Legislature)

The Virgin Islands Department of Education has been made aware of messages circulating via text and social media platforms alleging that one of its employees has tested positive for COVID-19 and continues to perform his/her job duties among other employees and the public.

Education takes these allegations seriously and has launched an internal investigation to confirm whether these claims are factual.

The department reassures the public that it follows all mandates set forth by the V.I. Department of Health to contain the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

It maintains the highest levels of efficiency and transparency in publicly reporting any confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its employees. Employees are aware of the protocols to follow should they develop symptoms related to COVID-19 or if they have been in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.

To date, DOE has been made aware of and publicly reported three confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its staff – one on St. Thomas in July and two cases in December, one on St. Croix and one on St. Thomas. In each of these confirmed cases, the proper protocols were followed to ensure the health and safety of the infected employees and of employees they may have come in contact with.

The Department of Education will provide an update on the alleged case outlined above when the investigation is complete. DOE reminds the community to be responsible and report suspected cases of COVID-19 to local health authorities and refrain from spreading this information on social media or other avenues.