Ministry of Health & Social Development
Release Date:
Thursday, 14 May 2020 - 6:49pm



14th MAY 2020

I extend warm greetings to everyone in the Virgin Islands, the Region and the World. As you are aware, Government has pledged to disclose the results of ALL COVID-19 results when verified by CARPHA.

Since our last report and over the course of this week twenty-two (22) samples from the British Virgin Islands were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing. Of the new samples 21 were returned as negative and one sample was returned as positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. These findings were consistent with local lab results, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases recorded in the Territory to eight (8). The test results also confirmed the recovery of a sixth case.

In summary, the Territory has conducted tests of 157 persons. While 149 persons were returned as negative, the territory has recorded eight (8) COVID-19 cases to date, with six (6) recoveries, one (1) death and one (1) case remaining active.

Case #8 had been kept under quarantine as a close contact of a previously announced case and has exhibited only mild symptoms of the disease. I am pleased to report that the primary case has now been declared, fully recovered. We extend our prayers and best wishes for a full and rapid recovery of case #8 as the sole active case.

This report speaks highly of the excellent work of our team comprising

The Health Emergency Operations Center

The staff of the Dr. D Orlando Smith Hospital

The Government and the entire Civil Service

The People of the Virgin Islands and

Highly of YOU for doing your part.

The detection of this new case is a reminder to us all that we must remain vigilant and take all recommended precautions to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this deadly virus. It is real.

As highlighted in a recent WHO Situation Report, “the COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant loss of life, disrupting livelihoods, and threatening the recent advances in health and progress towards global sustainable development goals.”

Over Eighty-one thousand (81,000) new cases were reported to the WHO on May 13th, bringing the total to 4.2 million cases recorded globally.  Four thousand, Two hundred and Forty-five (4,245) of these infections have resulted in deaths and approximately 1.7 million recoveries.

The Caribbean region also continues to be affected, with 17,751 cases recorded as of the 13th of May, with 739 deaths, and 5,662 recoveries. These numbers continue to climb at an alarming rate. In my report yesterday, condolences were extended to a family in the United States Virgin Islands who lost 3 members, a dad, a mom and a son.

The collective financial and moral support of public and private sector participants are required in this battle. Your government has committed over $15 million dollars in this fight against COVID-19.

Public Health England continue to give tangible support in the supply of ventilators, test kits, emergency medical tents and critical PPEs. We extend words of gratitude and would continue our line of communications in areas that will directly benefit the fight to defeat the spread of this deadly virus. A number of private sector companies, non-profit organisations and individuals have given generously but it is critical as I have said before to note that we can only be assured that we have all of the equipment and supplies that we need if we need none of the equipment and supplies that we have. You must continue to do your part.

As Public Health professionals here in the Virgin Islands continue to conduct vigorous case finding, contact tracing, monitoring, quarantine and isolation measures, we all must do our part to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. 

As you go about your daily activities of life, and put arrangements in place to welcome our relatives home during for the phased re-opening of the Territory’s borders, this is not the time to become complacent in your efforts to:

  • wash and sanitize your hands,
  • avoid touching your face with unwashed hands,
  • use a tissue or bent elbow to cover sneezes and coughs;
  • sanitize frequently used surfaces;
  • only leave home when necessary,
  • wear a face mask when in close proximity to others; and
  • practice physical distancing of at least six feet apart.

Details on registering those persons who are making arrangements to return home when the borders are opened will be communicated shortly. The process of certifying home quarantine spaces is critical to our preparation. This battle is far from over!

I will close by repeating that If you experience any symptoms; fever, cough, headache, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, muscle aches, or difficulty breathing; please call the Health Hotline at 852-7650. We have come this far by observing the many protocols and curfew orders that were issued. Case #8 was already in quarantine and as a result it lessened the risk of community spread.

This battle is far from over but for the grace of God, we will see this through. Thank you, and may God continue to bless the people and bless the British Virgin Islands.