Updated List of USVI Events Canceled and Agency Hours and Procedures Changed Due to Epidemic

(Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)
(Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

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.

 

– 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, 2020; 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: Alll 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 territory-wide. 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 773-1290 or St. Thomas-St. John 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 owner 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 consumerawareness@dlca.vi.gov 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.

Government Insurance Fund Workers’ Compensation Insurance:
Everyone should use the forms located on the Finance Department website and email them to governmentinsurance@dof.vi.gov

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.

W2 and 1099 forms:
GVI employees should utilize the Employee Self Service (ESS) for copies of W2’s and paycheck advices by logging on to https://usvi.munisselfservice.com.For ESS password resets, contact dophelpdesk@dop.vi.gov or call 340-714-5049.

Inquiries for W2s can be directed to the Payroll Division:
grace.fahie@dof.vi.gov or 340-774-4750 x 2252

Inquiries for 1099s can be directed to the Accounting Division:
vanessa.williams@dof.vi.gov or 340-774-4750 x 2262

Checks:
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:
terry.bridges@dof.vi.govor 340-774-4750 x 2192

Payroll check inquires can be directed to the Payroll Division:
grace.fahie@dof.vi.gov 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 info@usvieda.org 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 pageFort 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.

For more information and updates visit online.

– Bureau of Motor Vehicles: 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 info@bmv.vi.gov. 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.

– Office of the Lieutenant Governor: All Offices of the Lieutenant Governor will remain open. There are no scheduled closures or reductions in operating hours. “Specific precautionary measures will be implemented effective immediately to limit extended time periods of in-person visits to our offices and actively reduce large numbers of persons in small office spaces,” said Lieutenant Governor Tregenza Roach.

Customers in need of assistance 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).

Visiting the website: ltg.gov.vi
Information for all divisions of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor can be found online, to include forms, documents and applications.
Scheduling an appointment.
To reduce the number of persons in small confined spaces at one time, appointments should be made with various divisions to conduct business, receive services and information.

Drop off services.
At various divisions, customers will be asked to drop off documents and collect them at a designated time as services are completed, to limit in-person contact at offices.

–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
the branch.

– 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

St. Croix
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.

– Water and Power Authority: 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 at www.viwapa.vi. 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.

– 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 communications@viwma.org. 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 askstacey@mail.house.gov.

– 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 office@broadband.vi.

– 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 general.info@cfvi.net.

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.