Keeping our doors open for “safe tourism”

Keeping our doors open for “safe tourism”

According to Governor Bryan, the regulations we have put into place regarding our efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 continue to appear to be working, as our active number of cases in the territory has decreased from last week.   There are currently five active cases on St. John at this time, and no new cases this week.

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Location of positive COVID-19 cases on St. John

The Governor assured our local residents that he is listening to their comments and concerns about tourism, and said that our governmental agencies are working as hard as possible to ensure that we have the resources needed to protect all of our entry points in an effort to keep our residents and guests as safe as possible.  We have requested additional testing supplies – especially for St. John – and recently added four testing machines that produce same-day results in the territory.

As we announced yesterday, the US Virgin Islands took a new step in furtherance of our COVID-19 efforts.  This marks the beginning of our multi-tiered plan to make the screening process easier and more efficient for travelers.  Additionally, a hybrid mobile app is being developed and is anticipated to be released soon.  Those who are traveling to the territory from the states – particularly those considered ‘hot spots’ – can complete their travel health screenings here.

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The travel portal allows travelers to upload their screening results in advance of travel

The governor emphasized that there is no playbook to this pandemic; we do not know if we are in the beginning, the middle, or the end, and we must draw up these plays as they are running. The input and cooperation of the residents and guests will determine our level of success.

“We are just trying to keep open. The end is nowhere in sight so we have to learn how to live with this virus.  We are going to try to keep our doors open for safe tourism.”

5 thoughts on “Keeping our doors open for “safe tourism””

  1. As a visitor and a Fish Bay homeowner, I consider myself both a resident and a visitor. I think the Governor is doing a terrific job keeping everyone as safe as possible while, at the same time, balancing the economic realities of how much tourism means to the islands and it’s residents. Not an easy task!

  2. A visitor in town told me they “didn’t come here to have to wear masks”, then said I could go #@$% myself, when I asked them to wear their masks. They are all over the island without masks! We don’t know who these people are, whether they’ve come from places with high virus count or if they even bother to wash their hands!

    I have not given up working, kept isolated, followed strict sanitizing regimes, etc so a person on vacation can kill me.

    This attitude is prevalent on both “sides” and no one is enjoying the experience.

    Better to have waited this out, put ourselves to work restoring from the storms of 2017 with the funds meant for that. When we can and should reopen, we could do it without tarped roofs; vacant historic structures falling to ruin; gunshot dead young men in the every day news; without trash on every roadside and corner; with colorful plants on roadsides and in yards; with our beaches cleaned; pruned trees in parks; children’s playgrounds repaired and made safe and clean; parking meters installed for future revenue; and on and on. Think of what we need done; what would get it done and do it! There are many who want to work and will be happy to get a real industry going.

    Do a mini Franklin Roosevelt WPA on St. Thomas! When will we ever have a better opportunity and available labor force?
    Susan Hunter
    340 244-8610

  3. As a visitor, I certainly appreciate these efforts. I love St John and it’s people. I have been coming for years, and there is no place I would rather spend my money. I feel really safe here!

  4. I live here in a hotspot Florida right now we are in the keys at a home my fear is flying from here to there and catching Covid from the airport though everyday I think of St John .. we had a trip booked cancelled 3 times and asked our homeowner to keep our payment until we can return just not sure when yet ..

    it is the same thing here in Florida people are moving in by astronomical numbers from up north some wear masks some don’t ..

    Even here were mandatory in south Florida time will tell the damage ..

  5. Love, love, love the USVI. Have visited once or twice a year for 25 years. IMHO, caution, not panic, is an appropriate response to COVID19. Every person should make his or her decision as to what is right for him or her. Unless a person has co-morbidity issues (obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc.), it is highly unlikely that COVID 19 will cause significant issue. Really dig into the data; don’t be mislead by those wanting to engender and sustain panic. Over 95% of people recover from COVID19. I come from a state that is considered a “hot spot.” It is true that we are discovering more cases. It is also true that, at the same time, the death rate (CASE Fatality Rate) is under 2%, less than half what it was in March!! And if one factors in all of the cases that are likely going undetected (as according to the CDC’s estimate that likely 40 – 75% are undetected), the INFECTION Fatality Rate is less than .0002%!! While it is true that those with the above co-morbidity issues may see long-term effects and we don’t yet know what all of those are, living in forced seclusion is proving to cause many, many issues which also lead to death. Protect the vulnerable! If you have issues or just want to be extra cautious, that’s your call. But those that are not extremely vulnerable and want to live their lives should be allowed to do that. After all, we know there’s a risk every time we get in a car, go out on a boat, swim in the ocean. It’s a calculated risk, and we choose to live with it. Many people still gamble by smoking. Obesity is a HUGE co-morbidity issue in so many illnesses, yet people gamble by not changing their eating habits. Bottom line, it’s their choice. A life lived without risk is not a life at all!

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