Good morning! I wanted to take some time today to update you all on a few things that I had specific requests about. Some of it is good, some not so much…
I’m afraid I have a bit of not so great news this morning. As of yesterday, Friday June 19, St. John has two new cases of COVID-19. As of June 12, there had only been two cases in Love City and both were travel related. Tuesday we were informed of an additional travel related case and yesterday our first community transmission was announced.
I think the thing to remember about St. John is that, while this doesn’t seem to be a high number, we have had ZERO cases reported here since the beginning of April. And now there are two in one week. One of which is a resident who has not traveled outside of the territory. Additionally, STJ is unique in the fact that you can hop around from business to business in just a few hours time (in Cruz Bay or Coral Bay). So, it gets a bit scary when people who are infected could be moving around so quickly, unaware that they are carrying and spreading the disease.
If you’re traveling to St. John in the coming weeks, please exercise caution and be aware of the current limitations, social distancing and regulations. Monitor your temperature and if you are feeling ANY irregularities with your health, call the Department of Health COVID hotline immediately (340-776-1519). For both your own safety and for that of the Love City community.
Staff members in shops and restaurants have been given the overwhelming task of being the messenger on some of these regulations. Please be patient with them! Yes, they are glad to be back to work and open, but wearing a mask for an eight hour shift with the temperature and humidity index rising every day is not an easy task! BIG LOVE to our service staff on island! Buy them a drink, throw a little extra on that tip and/or kick them a little extra kindness while you’re here!
- Capacity Restrictions
- All businesses may only operate at half capacity or up to 50 people, whatever is less. Restaurants are restricted to parties no more than 6 people and must keep tables and bar stools spaced six feet apart.
- No Mask – No Service
- ALL businesses in the territory require their staff to wear masks. They also require their guests and customers to wear masks. The exception to this rule is if you are seated at your table or the bar in a restaurant. When entering the establishment, going to the lavatory or otherwise walking about, you are required to wear a mask. All stores and public transportation; grocery, taxi, ferry, boutiques, jewelry, gas stations, etc., require their patrons and guests to wear masks at all times. For now, this is a government mandated policy and businesses are at risk of being fined and/or closed if they are not compliant.
- Monday June 22- Single Use Plates, Cups and Flatware in all Restaurants and Bars
- As of Monday, June 22, ALL restaurants will be required to use single use, disposable plates, cups and flatware. This is a huge impact on both the bottom line for the restaurants AND for our environment. I will update you with more detailed information on this in Monday morning’s Restaurant Report. In the meantime, if you are coming down, start looking around for reusable cutlery sets (I love my bamboo set!). This is an easy pre-vacay purchase that can lighten your footprint a little! As far as cups go, I personally carry an insulated cup with me everywhere. Many shops and restaurants on island carry them. Its a great souvenir, a way to support a local business AND it keeps your drink cold! So, before you go for the plastic cup, ask about purchasing a reusable one to use and then take home.
- Temperature scans are being conducted for each visitor and resident arriving at the STT airport. Masks are required upon disembarking the plane, while in the airport and in all modes of public transportation. Details about that were outlined in Safe Travels and Comfortable Arrivals.
- If you suspect that you may have any symptoms but you must travel, PLEASE arrange private transportation and quarantine immediately upon arrival. This is not just for the community’s protection, but also for your own. Our health care system is…well, it’s on an island. They don’t have the medical resources to care for all of our residents sometimes so the impact of a lot of travel related cases that need hospitalization could make things a bit tricky.
All of this being said (And I’m sorry about the blunt nature of it) we are definitely seeing a lot of new smiling faces running around and everyone is back to work and pretty busy. So that’s all great! These pointers are basically to help you to help us show you a great time and an amazing vacation!
The Westin is back in full swing, almost. Cruz Bay Watersports is offering sailing and power boat excursions as well as dinghy rentals. The pool and the beach are open with social distancing guidelines in place as well as limited seating in the pool area. Additionally, you need to call housekeeping ahead of time for pool towels to be delivered to your room. The poolside towel rental booth is currently closed.
Snorkel’s restaurant and bar is offering takeout only from noon-6PM and the Deli is open from 6AM-6PM. The spa is currently closed but the gym is open from 7AM-6PM. Housekeeping is not operating at present but you can call the front desk to replenish any items that you need!
Live music is currently back in business at a number of different venues! You can catch local players at the following venues right now!
- Miss Lucy’s – Thursday night open mic
- Cruz Bay Landing – Friday-Sunday 6-9PM
- Maho Crossroads – Afternoon music on the weekends
- Bikin’s on the Beach at Honeymoon
- Lovango Rum Bar – Tuesday-Saturday music from 6-8PM
Schedules vary but check the venues’ websites and Facebook pages to see what’s going on while you’re here!
There’s a pretty big wave of Sahara Dust rolling this way from Africa! This is great news for a few reasons and not so great for some others. For one….The most important one…dust inhibits the formation of tropical storms. So the more dust, the less chance of another named storm while it’s hangin’ out! On the flip side of that, it also means no rain…and things are a bit brown right now. But, the Bougainvillea and Flamboyant trees are popping with color and I’ll take a brown hillside with flowers over the chance of a tropical storm any day of the week!
The Sahara Dust also makes for AMAZING sunsets. So if it’s hazy, hot and not so pretty by day…Just wait til 6:30 or so. I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised!— Anna Marie is going to do a more in depth post about this phenomenon of nature next week….so stay tuned!
That’s all I’ve got for today. But I appreciate you all reaching out and asking me for specific news! There’s a lot to cover and a lot of amazing stories to tell so keep your positivity and feedback coming! We are listening! And have a GREAT weekend!