Legislature Corner: How to Bring the Number of COVID Cases Down

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Kurt Vialet (File photo by the V.I. Legislature)
Senator Kurt Vialet (File photo by the V.I. Legislature)

Senator Kurt Vialet expresses concern on the recent spike in COVID cases. On May 5, Governor Bryan requested an extension to the “State of Emergency” with the main reason for the extension being the post carnival surge. The senator is very alarmed at the absence of implemented initiatives to curtail the surge considering the steadily rising positivity rate of 13.06% as of Thursday, May 5th, with almost 1,000 cases on the island of St. Thomas.

Senator Vialet is calling on the governor to reinstate some of the mandates used to manage this deadly disease to expeditiously get the territory back to a less than 5% positivity rate. Perhaps, indoor masking, postponement of non-ceremonial activities, events with unmanageable crowds, “fetes” etc. for a period of two weeks would provide an immediate reduction on the current spread.

“With graduation season upon us, I implore all event coordinators to do their part by requiring masks and negative tests, performing temperature checks, and sanitizing guests’ hands upon entry into venues. I also plea with graduates, participants and well-wishers to be respectful and honest regarding their COVID status. Let us not put each other at risk,” said Vialet.

Additionally, the Senator noted that the hospitalization rate now stands at 11, with four being hemodialysis patients. Senator Vialet urges the governor to not throw caution in the wind and not allow the political season to compromise decision-making and the most vulnerable of this community. The elderly and immunocompromised population must be taken into consideration!

Lastly, the senator encourages the community to be vigilant: “Avoid crowded places, when possible, practice social distancing, wear masks over your nose and mouth, sanitize, wash hands frequently, and take every precaution to protect yourself and every person you come in contact with.”

Sen. Kurt Vialet