The V.I. Department of Health on Saturday confirmed the territory’s fifth death from COVID-19.
In a news release issued Saturday evening, the DOH said the U.S. Virgin Island’s fifth and most recent death from COVID-19 is a 72-year-old male from St. Croix who died at the Juan F. Luis Hospital. He was the husband of the woman who was reported last week as the fourth death from the disease.
The most recent territory resident to fall victim to the disease had two underlying health conditions; hypertension and diabetes. Suspicion about his health condition arose when it was confirmed that his wife died of the disease.
“The entire Department of Health family joins me in conveying our heartfelt condolences to this family and friends of both this gentleman and his wife,” said Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion.
While most Virgin Islanders should now be familiar with the preventative measures prescribed by the Department of Health, the department again reminded residents that each of Virgin Islander has the real possibility of coming in contact with someone who, unknowingly, is infected. For that reason, in its news release the department again advised residents to avoid close contact with others and avoid non-essential travel.
The department also advised everyone over the age of two years to always wear a face mask while in public, to consistently practice good hand hygiene, and to refrain from touching their mouth, nose or eyes.
Further, the department urged residents to continue following all other precautionary measures such as practicing social distancing and continuing to shelter in place when practical.
“Not only do we need to remain vigilant as we reopen our territory, but it is imperative that we all continue to limit our risk of either spreading or acquiring this disease,” Encarnacion said.
The DOH statement urged residents who experience such symptoms as a cough, fever, or shortness of breath, and who have traveled anywhere in the last 14 days, or who have had contact with a confirmed case, to self-quarantine and call 340-712-6299 or 340-776-1519 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Those numbers are only to be used by those who meet the criteria above and suspect they may have the virus. Callers will be given instructions on what to do next, and that may include isolating yourself from others, the DOH said.
The department added that a person who has a medical emergency, to call 911.