The ongoing epidemic of the new coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease and its confirmed presence in the U.S. Virgin Islands has led to a wave of closures, cancellations and postponements, such as the territory has not seen outside of a natural disaster like a hurricane.
Here is a partial list, which the Source will update regularly. New items will go to the top of the list.
– Oriental Bank has announced that as of Monday, March 30th they will be limiting service in their branch lobbies to clients with appointments in order to protect the health of the community. Customers are asked to schedule an appointment online or by calling their local branch: St. Thomas: 340-774-0037 or St. Croix: 340-778-5350. Appointments will be scheduled Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
– Magens Bay Authority, operational organization of Magens Bay Beach and Smith Bay Park, has suspended the collection of admission fees on both properties until further notice.
Although Magens Bay Authority has suspended admission fees, they would like to make it clear that this occurrence is not an invitation to visit the beaches. This decision came after an emergency board meeting in which the board and general manager agreed that adjusting operations was necessary in order to allow staff to stay home during the COVID- 19 outbreak and adhere to the precautionary measures published by the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization and the Government of the United States Virgin Islands.
As the beaches won’t have their usual complement of staff, Magens Bay Authority advises that the public will be swimming at their own risk until further notice. While normal operations are being suspended temporarily, bathroom facilities will remain open and will continue to be cleaned to assist in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Magens Bay Authority also urges those who choose to visit to maintain social distancing guidelines between themselves and other parties, employ other necessary safety precautions and as always do their part to maintain the beauty and cleanliness of our beaches and parks.
– The Paternity and Child Support Division: Facilities of Paternity and Child Support that will be closed to the public include offices located on the 2nd floor of Nisky Shopping Center, St. Thomas and No. 3018 Estate Orange Grove, St. Croix. However, in-person services will be provided to accept payments.
Services will be provided via telephone, fax, mail and internet. Persons who wish to make payments will be allowed inside the offices until a drop box becomes available, at which time, only money orders and checks will be accepted.
Customers with scheduled court hearings will be contacted to discuss rescheduling options. Child Support Hearings and pre-trial conferences are suspended until further notice.
For status and case updates or to submit questions, please email [email protected]
Customers are encouraged to utilize the following contact information:
Telephone No.: (340) 775-3070 Fax No.: (340) 775-3808
Mailing Address: Department of Justice, Paternity and Child Support Division
8000 Nisky Shopping Center, Suite 500, 2nd Floor
St. Thomas, V.I. 00802-5844
Telephone No.: (340) 778-5958 Fax No.: (340) 779-3800
Mailing Address: Department of Justice, Paternity and Child Support Division
#3018 Estate Orange Grove, Suite 4
Christiansted, V.I. 00820
– Landfills and Trash Disposal: Effective Tuesday, solid waste disposal at the following facilities will adhere to the following operating hours:
– Anguilla Landfill on St. Croix will be open 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
– Bovoni Landfill on St. Thomas will be open 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
– Susannaberg Transfer Station on St. John will be open 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
– Peter’s Rest Convenience Center on St. Croix will be open 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
– Mandahl Convenience Center on St. Thomas will be open 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
In an effort to employ the Waste Management Authority’s social distancing protocol and minimize social contact with our most vulnerable population, the Waste Management Authority has suspended the Special Needs Bulk Waste Collection Program. Seniors and the disabled are asked to please hold bulky items until further notice.
Wastewater disposal at the Mangrove Lagoon Wastewater Treatment Plant on St. Thomas remains closed to finalize repairs to the septage receiving areas.
– VITEMA: All in-person business operations and community access to VITEMA facilities territorywide, acceptance and processing of Curfew Pass Applications and in-office appointments are suspended until after April 6.
– The Department of Tourism is closing its tourism offices effective immediately until further notice.
Visitors or residents who have tourism-related inquiries are asked to visit usviupdate.com or email [email protected]
Messages can also be left using the tourism department’s voicemail system, which are routed to the department’s email system and accessed regularly.
To contact the Department of Tourism’s office in the St. Thomas-St. John district, call 340-774-8784. The St. Croix office can be contacted at 340-772-0357.
The department’s toll-free number can be accessed at 1-800-372-USVI (8784).
– Vision Center St. Croix: Only the Sunny Isle office is open and only for limited hours, 9 a.m. to noon, for emergencies only. Examples of emergencies: Eye infection, metal or other debris in the eye, pain or swollen eye, glaucoma complication, loss of vision, flashes of light.
The doors will be locked. You will need to call 340-773-2020 to speak to a staff member. If you are sick with fever, cough, cold symptoms or the like, please go to the emergency room.
– Elections Office: Closed until April 6.
– ALL Public Libraries in the territory will be closed to the public.
– Both Fort Frederik in St. Croix and Fort Christian in St. Thomas will be closed to the public.
– Department of Planning and Natural Resources: Pick up, drop-off and cashier services will be available to the public only on Tuesdays and Fridays during regular office hours 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Cashier closes at 3 pm. Please adhere to the safety precautions established by the department with regards to submitting documents.
For in-person needs other than pick up or drop-off services, or for general information, call 340-774-3320 on St. Thomas and on St. Croix call 340-773-1082 to schedule an appointment with the appropriate division.
Visit DPNR at dpnr.vi.gov for forms and other information relative to each division.
–The Fire Service’s Prevention and Administrative Offices in both districts will have limited hours of operation. Effective immediately, the offices will be open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays only. The reduced hours will remain in effect until further notice.
Businesses that have fire certificates that have expired or will expire during the current state of emergency will be given a 60-day extension.
The Fire Service’s emergency response operations will remain uninterrupted.
– The Office of Collective Bargaining will be closed, beginning Tuesday, March 24, until April 6 because of the COVID-19 outbreak and state of emergency.
– V.I. Lottery: Effective Wednesday, March 25, the offices of the V.I. Lottery will only operate three days a week, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“We urge our dealers and customers to continue adhering to our five customers at a time policy and that our dealers request their tickets and packages in advance so not to hold up the line,” the Lottery said in its announcement.
The V.I. Lottery has offices at 3081 Kronprindsens Gade on St. Thomas and in the Sunny Isle Shopping Center on St. Croix. For further information call the offices at 340-774-2502 (St. Thomas) and 340-778-6360 (St. Croix).
– The dental office of Dr. Donald Pomeranz will offer limited hours to complete open cases effective Monday. For endodontic and emergency patients, restrictive hours will be determined, the office announced.
Patients who need further information can call the office at 340-775-1826.
The curtailed operation is in accordance with the National Public Health Emergency and American Dental Association and the American Dental Hygiene Association recommendations.
– The Buccaneer on St. Croix on Saturday, March 21, closed all its facilities to the public for at least two weeks in its effort to protect guests and employees from the novel coronavirus, the resort announced.
In a statement issued Saturday, the resort said the closure “includes, but is not limited to,” the spa, golf, restaurant and beach access through the property.
“The Buccaneer will continue to evaluate the situation and will provide an update on April 6 regarding the status of the property,” the report’s statement said.
– The Offices of the Lieutenant Governor will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All cashier services will be available from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The modified schedule will remain in effect until Friday, April 3, and is subject to change based on any new developments owing to COVID-19.
– The following divisions will be closed to public access: V.I. State Health Insurance Program/Medicare; Corporations and Trademarks; and Passport Acceptance Facilities. Customers in need of assistance from these divisions can utilize any of the following options available to them for services and information:
Calling the Office of the Lieutenant Governor at 340-774-2991 (St. Thomas/St. John) and 340-773-6449 (St. Croix).
Go to the website: ltg.gov.vi for Information for all divisions of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor can be found online, to include forms, documents and applications.
– The following divisions will provide limited public access: Office of the Tax Assessor, Office of the Tax Collector and the Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation.
Customers can visit the Office of the Tax Assessor and the Tax Collector from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Customers can visit the Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation by appointment only. Please call the numbers provided above for further detail.
– The following divisions will allow members of the public to drop-off documents for processing but will otherwise be closed to the public: Recorder of Deeds; Cadastral; and Notary Services. All documents left in the drop boxes will be kept confidential. Drop off boxes will be made available in accordance with the following procedures:
Customers will be asked to drop-off documents and collect them at a designated time as services are completed. Customers must provide contact information with their drop-off packages.
The drop-off box for the Cadastral office will be located at the Cadastral offices in each district.
The drop-off box for the Recorder of Deeds for the district of St. Thomas/St. John will be located at the Recorder of Deeds office on St. Thomas. However, the drop off box for the Recorder of Deeds office for the district of St. Croix will be located at the Office of the Tax Assessor in Christiansted.
– The U.S. Department of State Passport Services has closed passport agencies until further notice, and appointments will not be accepted. This closure is a result of the public health measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
If a customer applied for a passport on or before March 20, Passport Services will honor the commitment.
All public lobbies are now closed and all passport agencies, including the Passport Acceptance Facilities in the St. Thomas and St. Croix Districts, will only be providing in-person service to those applicants with a Life/Death situation abroad and who will need a passport to travel internationally within 72 hours for that purpose. Customers with any life or death situation that require international travel (I.E. Funerals/critical illness) must first call the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) 1-877-4872778 for instructions.
For status on passport agencies and centers, please visit the website at travel.state.gov. For general questions, customers may call the Passport Acceptance Facility in St. Thomas at 340-774-2991.
– Labor Department:
Any employer that needs to reduce hours give furloughs, layoffs, or a possible reduction in hours, the Virgin Islands Department of Labor is requesting that employers do the following:
1. Send a letter to the Office of the Commissioner that includes the names of the affected employees in advance of the reduction of hours to twenty (20) a week, discharge or layoff.
Contact the Department of Labor directly at the following numbers:
– St. Thomas 340-776-3700 at the following extensions: 2094 or 2013
– St. Croix 340-773-1994 at the following extensions: 2152 or 2154
3. File quarterly reports on time to make sure people receive the correct unemployment compensation.
4. Send a notice to the employee with the reason for the separation before reducing in hours, discharge, or layoff.
The Division of Labor Relations will be limiting in-person interactions with the general public. The Division will be communicating with customers by telephone and email, instead of coming into the Division. They say they will respond to all inquiries within 24 hours. Please make sure to leave your name, phone number, email, and reason for calling.
For information, inquiries, and concerns, contact Director Gwen Steele at 340-773-1994 ext. 2124 or via email at [email protected] on St. Croix and Ms. Rhonda Frazer Labor Relations Specialist at 340-776-3700 ext. 2028 [email protected] on St. Thomas.
The Division of Worker’s Compensation Administration will be limiting in-person interactions with the general public. Use their drop box located in the lobby of their main building and phone at (340) 713-3413 STX and (340) 715-570 STT for general inquires. They are also asking providers continue to contact them via email and fax (340) 713-3421 STX and (340) 715-5743 STT.
– Housing Finance Authority: The Housing Finance Authority office will remain open, but in-person customer/client contact will be significantly curtailed for the next 30 days beginning March 20.
In-person vendor check pickups are immediately suspended. All checks will be mailed to vendors. Vendors will be given wire and direct deposit options through the office of the chief financial office.
All vendor quotes and bids must be submitted via mail and email.
Employment application packages must be submitted by mail and email with all original documents being submitted on a later date as directed by the Human Resources Office.
In-person home buyers education classes are suspended until further notice. But an online home buyers education class is available here. In-person interviews and counseling sessions must be rescheduled to phone conferences. Homeownership applications are available on the www.vihfa.gov website.
Training and conference room rentals are suspended.
Emergency Housing maintenance and repairs to tenant units are restricted to emergencies only.
Mortgage and Rental Payment Options
The Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority and the Virgin Islands Housing Management, Inc. recommends the use of the following mortgage and rental payment options:
Online payment portal – go to the website, select pay your bill and read all the instructions before proceeding to make your mortgage payment. This option gives you 24/7 accessibility to make your mortgage payment online.
Pay-by-phone – Payments can be made over the phone using your credit card (Visa/ MasterCard/ Discover or Diner’s Club International) by contacting the St. Thomas Office at 777-7743 or the St. Croix Office at 772-4432.
Online bill pay and pay-by-phone – Borrowers or tenants who have a Banco Popular account 24/7 access to make payment from their checking or savings account. This service can be accessed at www.bppr.com. This option can be utilized to pay your mortgage payment to VI Housing Finance Authority and rental payments to VI Housing Management Inc.
Direct Debit – Authorize VIHFA or VIHM to electronically withdraw funds from your checking or saving account on a monthly basis.
Mail-In – Mail your payment and attach the bottom portion of the statement along with a check or money to the mailing address on your statement. Don’t forget to write your account number in the memo section.
Credit Card Authorization – Electronically pay your mortgage or rent by authorizing VIHFA or VIHM to charge your Visa, MasterCard, Discover or Diners Club International each month. Payments are withdrawn on the 1st and 15th of the month.
Payroll Deduction – Employees can voluntary opt to have a payroll deduction plan by giving written permission to have payment automatically deducted from their paycheck. This plan is a convenient way to automatically contribute income toward an ongoing expense. Check with your employer for availability.
– Water and Power Authority: Update:Cashier services at the Port of Sale Mall Customer Service office on St. Thomas will close at noon Friday and reopen at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020. The customer service offices on St. Croix and St. John will operate under normal business hours.
According to WAPA, Friday’s early closure is needed so they can make to strengthen disease prevention.
But WAPA customers can now utilize a newly installed outdoor payment kiosk at Port of Sale Mall to make cash, credit card or check payments. Also there are payment kiosks located at Petrus Plaza and customers have the option of making payment on their electrical and water accounts at local bank branches of Popular and First Bank. Other payment options include: pay by phone, online, or depositing a check or money order in drop boxes at all customer service locations at Sunny Isle on St. Croix, Port of Sale Mall on St. Thomas, and The Marketplace on St. John.
Customer service offices territorywide will offer only limited services to walk-in visitors. To safeguard the public and its employees from potential exposure to the coronavirus, WAPA is recommending that all business transactions be conducted either online or via telephone. This limitation will remain in place until further notice.
While in-person visits and transactions will not be facilitated, customers requiring service, including applications for new service and service transfers, can call either 340-774-3552 or 340-773-2250 and select option 5. A larger number of customer service representatives will be assigned to the telephone system in anticipation of increased public demand.
Cashiers will be available at all customer service locations to accept payments, and self-service payment kiosks will remain operational, allowing customers to make payment on accounts. Payment kiosks are accessible to the public at Petrus Plaza on St. Thomas from 6 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily, and during normal business hours at The Marketplace office on St. John and at the Sunny Isle office on St. Croix.
Customers wishing to conduct business online should visit the WAPA website. Clicking on the “Pay Your Bill Online” button provides several options for online transactions. Other payment options include pay by phone, placing a check or money order in drop boxes located at customer service offices, as well as making payments at branches of First Bank and Popular.
– FirstBank: Effective March 24, 2020, FirstBank will observe the following operational hours at 8 locations:
St. Thomas-St. John: Monday- Friday
Waterfront Branch(Lobby) : 8:30am-1:00pm
MarketPlace, St. John (Lobby) : 8:30am-1:00pm
FirstBank Plaza (Lobby & Drive Thru): 8:30am-1:00pm
Port of Sale (Lobby & Drive Thru): 8:30am-1:00pm
St. Croix: Monday – Friday
Orange Grove (Lobby) : 8:30am-1pm
King Street (Lobby & Drive Thru): 8:30am-1pm
Sunny Isle (Lobby & Drive Thru) : 8:30am-1pm
Tortola: Monday – Friday
Road Town Branch (Lobby) : 8:30am-3pm
Effective, March 28, 2020 FirstBank will not observe Saturday hours until further notice.
Clients are strongly encouraged to utilize the wide array of digital service channels available that provide the ability to manage finances and banking transactions from anywhere without the need to visit the bank. For more information on the available services, please visit www.1firstbank.com or call 1.866.695.2511.
For more information on the available services, visit www.1firstbank.com or contact FirstLine Solutions Center at 1-866-695-2511.
– Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital: General visitation hours have been revised to 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., unless a parent or guardian of a pediatric patient or infant. Prior to being allowed to enter the facility, each visitor will be screened. If you are sick, have a fever or a confirmed case of COVID-19, you cannot visit or accompany a patient. Contact Department of Health at 340-712-6699. Patients may only have one visitor with them during visiting hours. No visitors under the age of 18 or over the age of 65 will be allowed to visit patients. Persons with any compromise to their immune systems will not be allowed to visit patients. Persons who are pregnant will not be allowed to visit patients. Visitors must wash their hands (or use sanitizer) before entering and after leaving rooms and hospital buildings. Isolation patients will be allowed only one visitor at a time for up to two hours per day. Visitors will be given special protective masks, gloves and gowns that must be worn at all times. No personal items, bags or cell phones will be allowed into the room of isolated patients. As such, all items must be left in your vehicle.
If a visitor begins to show signs and symptoms of COVID-19, you will be asked to depart promptly and notify the V.I. Department of Health. Any visitor that causes disruption or fails to comply with the new visitor protocol will be immediately removed from hospital premises.
– Schneider Regional Medical Center: Until further notice, visitors and employees may only access Schneider hospital through the designated entry point at the front lobby on the first floor of the hospital. All persons entering the hospital will be screened for flu-like symptoms. Persons with visible signs of illness such as fever, cough and shortness of breath will be instructed to contact their primary care provider or the Department of Health for further evaluation. If you are a Schneider employee, you will be asked to notify your immediate supervisor and contact the Employee Nurse at extension 5084 for further instructions.
Schneider will continue to provide emergency room services. If you are experiencing any life-threatening condition, please call 911.
Visitor restrictions: Hospital visiting hours are now limited to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. – ONE visitor per patient.
– No visitor under the age of 18 is permitted.
Schneider is postponing elective, outpatient, non-emergent services. They will continue to provide hemodialysis, wound care services and infusion therapy. Patients who have scheduled procedures will be contacted by their physicians’ offices for next steps.
Schneider has discontinued the use and access to public spaces, such as its cafeteria, gift shop and meeting spaces, which includes canceling all events open to the public and/or community groups and meetings at any of our facilities.
– Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center on St. John: Services at the clinic have been suspended, with limited exceptions. Patients with standing orders will be able to continue to complete their labs. Outpatient laboratory services have been suspended. Keating Smith is also not taking any new appointments or processing any WIC or health cards at this time. Keating Smith patients are asked to call 340-776-8311 ext. 6606 before walking in or for prescription medication refills. Keating Smith will continue to see emergency cases.
– U.S. District Court: Those who may be infected and those who have cold or flu symptoms are not to enter the federal court buildings. All civil and criminal jury and bench trials in both Divisions of the Court from March 18, 2020 through April 16, 2020, pending further Order of the Court; provides that the time period of March 18, 2020 through April 16, 2020 will be “excluded time” in criminal matters for Speedy Trial Act purposes; suspends the convening of the grand juries and precludes the empanelment of new grand juries in both Divisions of the Court from March 18 through April 16; maintains all deadlines set by federal or local rules or court orders, including, but not limited to scheduling orders in all civil and criminal cases; and encourages the parties to utilize teleconference, videoconference and other similar means that facilitate the effective accomplishment of assigned tasks without compromising the health and safety of those involved. Similarly, the Court will conduct conferences and hearings telephonically when it is practicable and efficient to do so.
– V.I. Courts: All in-person proceedings scheduled to commence on or before April 1, 2020, before any judicial officer in any judicial branch facility are postponed, and no new proceedings will be scheduled. The only exception to the suspension of in-person proceedings are advice of rights, stalking and domestic violence matters, which will continue to be heard in-person subject to limitations set by the presiding judge of the Superior Court. On March 16, the presiding judge announced that advice of rights will only take place at 9 a.m., on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
– Public Works: As we work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 the DPW is limiting in-person interactions in offices territorywide. In-person complaints are suspended until further notice. Complaints will continue to be accepted via telephone, email and online.
Cemetery office guests will be limited to two guests per visit.
Customers are asked to call the following numbers for assistance: St. Croix 340-773-1290 or St. Thomas-St. John 340-776-4844
Links to cemetery services and permit applications are available online at: www.dpw.vi.gov.
Visit the USVI Department of Health website www.doh.vi.gov/coronavirus or text COVID19USVI to 888777 for more information on COVID-19.
– Licensing and Consumer Affairs:
1. Use DLCA’s online website at www.dlca.vi.gov for business license renewals or applying for a new business license. A licensing officer will call or respond via email within 24 hours. Please have your unique five-digit control number available when the licensing officer calls. 2. Schedule an appointment. DLCA licensing officers will now be using appointment times. This will give the business owners uninterrupted personal time with their licensing officer. Appointment times will also include telephone conversations. 3. File consumer complaints online. Consumers can now file a complaint through our online website at www.dlca.vi.gov. A consumer compliance officer will call you within 24 hours to schedule an in-house or telephone appointment on a case to case basis. You may also call at 340-713-3522 on St. Croix; 340-714-3522 on St. Thomas or 340-693-8036 on St. John to schedule your appointment or discuss your case. 4. The PSI testing center located in the St. Croix office is closed until further notice. 5. For walk-in customers, the receptionist will help you schedule you an appointment for DLCA to contact you and assist you with your inquires. If you have any questions, concerns or issues, contact the Office of the Commissioner or Assistant Commissioner on St. Croix at 340-713-3522; St. Thomas/St. John at 340-714-3522. You may also email them at [email protected] or visit the website or follow on Facebook @dlcavi.
– St. Croix Women’s Coalition: All previously scheduled fundraising events for the Women’s Coalition have been postponed until further notice. Their 2020 major fundraiser the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix Presents LUNAFEST® Film Festival will be rescheduled.
– Department of Finance: The Department of Finance is trying to move most interactions to online and mail-in services.
Once your application is received, the office will contact you with the amount due. Recommended payment options are as follows:
Credit card – via the form on the website
Drop off at one of our convenient drop boxes at each office
Mail to our office
St. Thomas: 2314 Kronprindsens Gade Charlotte Amalie, USVI 00802
(DROP BOX AT SECURITY)
St. Croix:4008 Estate Diamond Lot 7b Christiansted, USVI 00820
(DROP BOX AT WEST WINDOW BEFORE ENTRANCE)
March 31st is the due date for all payments.
W-2 and 1099 forms:
GVI employees should utilize the Employee Self Service (ESS) for copies of W-2’s and paycheck advices by logging on to https://usvi.munisselfservice.com. For ESS password resets, contact [email protected] or call 340-714-5049.
Inquiries for W-2s can be directed to the Payroll Division:
[email protected] or 340-774-4750 x 2252
Inquiries for 1099s can be directed to the Accounting Division:
[email protected] or 340-774-4750 x 2262
Government Agencies picking up checks:
On St. Thomas use the walk-up window located inside the third door on the left when entering the complex.
On St. Croix use the receptionist window inside the main entrance to the building.
Vendor check inquiries can be directed to the Treasury Division:
[email protected] or 340-774-4750 x 2192
Payroll check inquires can be directed to the Payroll Division:
[email protected] or 340-774-4750 x 2252
– Humane Society: Effective immediately the Humane Society of St. Thomas is limiting intake of both owned and stray animals until at least the end of March. They will continue to serve the people and pets of St. Thomas through adoptions, fostering, transports and other services. At this time, all volunteers must be 18 years or older. All visitors and volunteers to the campus must sign in. Access to kennel areas is restricted to staff only. Please do not visit the Humane Society if you have any symptoms of illness. New hours are Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. to allow additional appointments for adoptions. Closed to the public on Sundays until further notice.
All owner surrender and stray intakes will be by appointment only. Appointments must be made in advance by calling 340-775-0599. The Humane Society will accept only limited numbers of animals on a case-by-case basis.
Foster, volunteer and advocate. If you are interested in volunteering or fostering please contact our shelter ASAP. We need foster homes to help immediately reduce our shelter population. Schedule a shift as a dog walker. Tech savvy people can help promote our animals online with videos and pictures. Please contact our shelter for more information on how you can help.
If you see a healthy-looking adult stray dog, please do not pick it up and bring it to the shelter. Currently, they have no capacity to care for these animals.
– VITEMA Cancels Upcoming Drills
The Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency cancelled the upcoming Caribe Wave Tsunami Drill as well as the Operation Extra Credit: Active Shooter Exercise for high schools which were both scheduled for Thursday, March 19.
Due to the recent federal and territorial emergency declarations and in support of social distancing practices to address the COVID-19 pandemic, both drills have been cancelled, the agency said in a news release issued Tuesday.
– Caribe Wave, a regional tsunami exercise, planned to execute an Integrated Public & Warning System test along with a territorywide exercise of residents’ emergency evacuation plans. This exercise was expected to include schools and other public and private stakeholders, which would have resulted in a mass gathering exceeding the limit of 100 people for social distancing.
– Operation Extra Credit: The active-shooter exercise, was also scheduled for Thursday but cannot be assembled at this time due to the closures of public schools.
VITEMA encouraged residents to continue performing good hand hygiene and to keep up with updates from the Virgin Islands Department of Health as the territory continues to respond to COVID-19.
More information, updates and alerts on COVID-19 in the U.S. Virgin Islands, residents are encouraged to text COVID19USVI to 888777 and to visit doh.vi.gov/coronavirus.
– Economic Development Authority: Staff will operate remotely by telecommuting to continue serving its clients, stakeholders and the community.
The EDA will discontinue walk-in customer services, in-person appointments and manual delivery of documents and other items effective Tuesday, March 17, until further notice.
To make a payment, file a document or make any additional inquiries, please email [email protected] or call 340-714-1700 (St. Thomas) and 340-773-6499 (St. Croix).
– National Parks on St. Croix: The following temporary closures will be put in place for Christiansted National Historic Site: All park events have been cancelled until April 12 or until rescinded. Park administration buildings will be closed to the public; please call park staff at the number provided for assistance with activities or questions related to park operations. You may also reach out to us through our Facebook page. Fort Christiansvaern will be closed to visitors; repairs on exterior masonry will continue as planned. Fort Parking Lot will be closed until April 12 or until rescinded. Public bathrooms will be closed until April 12 or until rescinded. Eastern National Bookstore will remain open and serve as park point of contact for visitor information. Information on any additional closures will be provided through all media outlets and posted as necessary. Buck Island Reef National Monument will remain open to visitation. The park superintendent has limited concessions boating operations to a 10-person maximum including captain and crew, until further notice. The National Park Service strongly urges all public boat operators to observe Centers for Disease Control recommended maximum group size of no more than 10 persons per boat and to maintain recommended social distancing when on the beach. The following closure remains in effect for Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve: Salt River Visitor Contact station remains closed from damage caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria.
– V.I. National Park St. John: As of Wednesday, March 18, the Cruz Bay Visitor Center is closed until further notice. Guided hikes and other programs are cancelled. Food service at Trunk Bay will not be available. Where it is possible to adhere to the latest health guidance, the park will remain open to provide healthy options for the public. Park trails, beaches and waters remain open. The waters of Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument remain open.
Friends of the Park will be discontinuing the Reef Bay hike and all scheduled events and seminars through the end of April, or until guidance from the Governor and CDC deems it safe to resume.
While the Earth Day event will be cancelled, they are planning virtual ways to celebrate during the month of April and are planning to hold beach clean-ups in April.
– The Cruz Bay Visitor Center is closed. Information and services will not be available.
– The park dock and bulkhead at the Cruz Bay Visitor Center is closed to commercial activity.
– No more than two individuals may occupy a dinghy when traveling to or from the NPS dock.
– All restrooms and porta johns in the park are closed.
– Guided hikes and other on-site public or educational programs are cancelled.
– Food service and water sports rentals at Trunk Bay will not be available.
– The park will not issue special visitor use or business permits.
– Trash will not be collected. When visiting the park bring garbage bags so you can take your trash with you. Pack it in, pack it out!
– Trash receptacles will not be available for boater trash. Boaters must make other arrangements for trash disposal. Do not leave trash on shore.
– The pavilions at Trunk, Maho, and Hawksnest Bays are closed, as are changing rooms and showers.
– The park will not operate or provide restrooms, maintain roads or walkways.
For more information and updates visit online.
– Bureau of Motor Vehicles: Update: The bureau is closed until April 6. Once reopened the bureau will be serving a limited number of customers daily, no more than six persons at a time will be allowed in the Vehicle registration renewal offices.
The BMV is encouraging the community to take advantage of the bureau’s online vehicle registration process. During the period from March 18 to May 31, the bureau will waive the requirement for inspection for any customer that renews their vehicle registration online. If customers need assistance in setting up an account or for technical assistance, please email the bureau at [email protected] All road tests and written test for the learner’s permit are cancelled until further notice.
In coordination with the Virgin Islands Police Department, the bureau will automatically extend customers driver’s licenses that expired between March 16 and May 31, 2020 to June 15, 2020. Customers will not be charged late fees during this period.
In the case of customers who are traveling and may need to renew their driver’s license or obtain an ID card, the customer must present proof of travel and will be seen by appointments only. To make an appointment, please call 340-713-4268 on St. Croix, 340-774-4268 on St. Thomas and 340-776-6262 on St. John.
– Head Start: The Department of Human Services Head Start Program will temporarily close classrooms territorywide beginning Wednesday, March 18, to follow precautionary federal guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
– University of the Virgin Islands: Classes are canceled. The annual Afternoon on the Green fundraiser scheduled for Sunday, March 22, has been canceled. UVI’s Research Day scheduled for April 24 is canceled.
–Oriental Bank: Oriental branches will be open to the public at 8:30 a.m. and close at 1:00 p.m. and the drive-thru will be operating from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. On
Saturdays, the branch lobby and drive-thru will operate from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. To
ensure the safety of our clients, access to branches will be controlled and guided by
our employees. Antibacterial hand sanitizer will be offered to every customer visiting
– Medicare Offices: Effective Wednesday, March 18, the Virgin Islands State Health Insurance Assistance Program (VI SHIP) Medicare offices will restrict walk-in customers and in-person business services to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Beneficiaries are asked to conduct business via telephone and avoid in-person visits to the VI SHIP Medicare offices on St. Thomas and St. Croix. Customers in need of assistance or information are asked to call the following numbers:
St. Thomas/St. John
340-774-7166 ext. 4505 or 4507
340-778-6311 ext. 3110 or 7396
– V.I. Lit Fest: The sixth annual Virgin Islands Literary Festival and Book Fair has been postponed until further notice. The V.I. Lit Fest had partnered with the Caribbean Philosophical Association for the 2020 festival originally scheduled for April 1 to 4.
– Schools: Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. has closed V.I. public schools indefinitely. The University of the Virgin Islands will extend spring break for students until Sunday, March 22, and transition to online learning for all graduate and undergraduate classes on Monday, March 23. The V.I. Montessori School has closed and is preparing to move classes online. The territory’s other private schools are likely to follow suit in light of the national and territorial state of emergency and national recommendations that U.S. citizens avoid gatherings of more than 50 people. All Saints Cathedral School has postponed this year’s international gala, Pista Sa Nayo.
– Carnival: The V.I. Carnival on St. Thomas, scheduled for April, has been postponed indefinitely. The status of the July St. John Carnival is yet to be determined.
–VITEMA: Tsunami preparedness trainings for March 26 and 27 on St. Croix and April 1 and 2 on St. Thomas are canceled.
– The Waste Management Authority: Effective Tuesday, the Waste Management Authority will restrict walk-in customers at its Demarara, Susannaberg and Estate Glynn offices on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix respectively. All customers, including those residing on Water Island, are urged to call or email requests or concerns and avoid in-person visitation to VIWMA offices and satellite locations.
Members of the public requesting services provided by the VIWMA are urged to call their hot line at 844-962-8784, the St. Thomas/St. John main line at 340-715-9100, or the St. Croix main line at 340-712-4962 and/or email requests to [email protected] Service requests can be, but are not limited to, wastewater or solid waste issues, obtaining sewer permits, hauler permits, landfill operations, accounts payable or any other VIWMA related service.
– The St. Thomas East End Medical Center has instituted these changes until further notice:
All medical and dental patients will be pre-screened before being allowed to enter the center.
The clinic will see medical and dental patients who are sick or require immediate medical attention.
The clinic will see patients with scheduled immunizations.
The clinic will see obstetric patients with scheduled appointments.
The center urged residents who are sick and display any flu-like symptoms to call 340-775-3700 for instructions before coming to the center. Those who have a scheduled medical or dental appointment and are not sick or display any symptoms are asked to stay at home. Their medical or dental provider will contact them on or around the appointment time to address any concerns as well as provide prescription refills.
– Delegate Stacey Plaskett: Plaskett’s offices in the territory are closed until further notice to minimize risk of exposure to the staff and community. However, she can still be reached by calling any of their offices and leaving a message. For urgent matters send email [email protected]
– Limetree Bay has announced restrictions on travel for employees and contractors unless it is of an urgent nature, and implemented the following guidelines:
Business travel by air is prohibited, unless there is an urgent business need to do so, and any travel must be approved by Limetree’s management.
Attendance at any large-scale meetings or gatherings (more than 50 people) must be approved in advance.
Visits by consultants, specialty contractors or vendors to perform work on St. Croix will require a coronavirus risk review and approval at the vice president level or above.
Personnel who have been in any of the following countries in the last 45 days should be excluded from working at Limetree Bay – China, Italy, Iran, Korea, Spain, Germany or France.
Any new or returning arrivals to the island who are working for Limetree or are living in Limetree housing, will complete a health and travel questionnaire that will be reviewed by medical personnel and approved prior to their departure from their point of origin. On arrival, they will be required to report to Pro Health for a temperature screening before returning to work.
Personal travel to areas that are hard hit by the coronavirus should be avoided (as of 3/12/20, this includes China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, France and the states of California, Washington and New York). If any personnel travels to one of these locations, they will not be permitted back into Limetree Bay’s facility until they have been quarantined for 14 days.
If personnel come into contact with anyone who is suspected of having the coronavirus, is symptomatic or has come into contact with others that have the coronavirus, the supervisor should be alerted immediately.
Limetree Bay also implemented prevention measures within the facility several weeks ago. Anyone entering the cafeteria whether server or patron, is required to put on gloves while handling food. Signs have been posted encouraging good hygiene to prevent the spread of any infectious diseases.
– Broadband VI: Customers can use the customer portal and pay their bill online at www.broadband.vi or pay by phone at 340-719-2943 on St. Croix or 340-774-5780 on St. Thomas or St. John and avoid person-to-person contact. They may be reached for technical support or questions regarding service at the telephone numbers shown above or via email at [email protected]
– Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands has extended its scholarship deadline to April 30. It is asking people to call first before visiting the offices in person. While the CFVI office remains open, they are monitoring the situation daily as to whether the office will remain open or they will have staff work remotely. Their main phone number, 340-774-6031, will be answered as normal from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and staff remains accessible. You can also email them at [email protected]
If you work with or for a nonprofit organization and you identify an increased need in your services because of COVID-19, or your operations are significantly impacted by the virus, contact CFVI.
– St. Croix Special Olympics, scheduled for March 21 at the Renaissance Park has been postponed. No date has been selected yet.
– USVI Soccer Association has canceled all events for the next 30 days, through April 16.
– 2020 St. Thomas International Regatta, originally scheduled for March 27-29, has been postponed and a new date has not yet been selected. Updates will be published on the event’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/stirvi and website: www.stthomasinternationalregatta.com as information becomes available.
– 2020 St. Croix Food & Wine Experience, originally scheduled for April 2-5, is postponed indefinitely.
– Canceled: Emotional Wellness Workshop on March 19 at the Gov. Juan. F. Luis Hospital.
– Canceled: Art Thursday Gallery Walk: The monthly Art Walk in Christiansted scheduled Thursday, March 19, will be canceled in support of the necessary social distancing required to keep the community at lessened risk.
– Love City Car Ferries announced it will provide full refunds to those who reserved places before having flights canceled, but they ask for at least three days’ notice.
– The Department of Education will postpone the administration of SY 2019-2020 Smarter Balanced Assessments and the Alternative Assessments, which was scheduled for a testing period of March 16-June 4.
The standardized tests that track student learning in English Language Arts and Mathematics will be administered at the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
– Health Department Food Handler Training Town Halls: Town halls planned for St. John on March 17, St. Croix on March 20 and St. Thomas on April 3 have been postponed indefinitely.
– Sugar Mill Veterinary Center is asking clients to please stay at home if experiencing flu-like symptoms. If you absolutely must bring your pet to the veterinary office and are coughing or sneezing, please wear a face mask.
At this time, infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence that leads us to believe that our pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they can spread it to other animals or to people. However, out of an abundance of caution, the American Veterinary Medical Association is recommending that people who test positive for COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.