Territory Reverts Back to “Stay at Home’ Phase this Monday

Territory Reverts Back to “Stay at Home’ Phase this Monday

Effective Monday, August 17, 2020 at 6:00 am, the territory will revert to the Stay-at Home phase in an effort to reduce the recent spike we’ve seen in the number of positive COVID-19 cases on St. John and St. Thomas.  The governor stated that we can expect to remain in this new phase for at least a month, and all non-essential businesses are ordered closed for at least two weeks.

Territory Reverts Back to "Stay at Home' Phase this Monday 1

Effective immediately, hotels, AirBnbs, and guest houses are hereby ordered to cease accepting new reservations for the next 30 days, and on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, these establishments are barred from checking in any new guests for 30 days except for business related travelers, and government and emergency workers.  Local residents are restricted to essential travel only.

Territory Reverts Back to "Stay at Home' Phase this Monday 2

Restaurants will be limited to take-out and delivery only, and beaches are ordered to close on the weekends and holidays at 12:00 pm.  No more than 10 individuals can be in any public place at the same time with the exception of the grocery stores.  All schools are ordered closed.

Territory Reverts Back to "Stay at Home' Phase this Monday 3

Governor Bryan explained his decision, stating “When we re-opened, I mentioned that we would retreat back to a more cautious state of alert if conditions warrant it.   Unfortunately, we have arrived at that state this week.”  He added that we are wearing out our health care and safety infrastructure, and that we must bring the virus to a manageable state in the territory.

“We’ve attempted to balance public health, economic considerations, and personal freedom.  But at this time, the public health concern trumps all of those.”

The Governor said our goal is to “stop all movement in the territory until we get our numbers back down.   All movement except that which is absolutely necessary must stop.”

As always, will keep you posted as new information is released.


57 thoughts on “Territory Reverts Back to “Stay at Home’ Phase this Monday”

  1. I know this is heartbreaking news but I think it’s the right choice. We’ve had to cancel three trips so far back to our beloved island of St. John. We live in a tourist destination also and once they opened up our numbers went through the roof because of everybody traveling to where we live. Stay safe everyone we will all get through this.

  2. “Spike on St. John”? I saw on a chart for The Territories, that the number of positive cases on St. John, 19, stayed the exact same August 9-10 and the number of negative results went up from 308 to 314 in the same time period. Is that a “spike”? And isn’t St. John still the lowest outbreak of the three islands?

    • As of today, there have been 22 positive cases on St. John, with two new cases since yesterday, and one test pending. Given our small population, our Governor included St. John when discussing his concerns about a spike. Clearly, the increase in cases on St. Thomas represent the the most significant portion of the spike.

  3. We were just on STJ for 1 week and had an amazing time as always. I thought all visitors and businesses adhered excellently to safety measures. We always wore our masks around town and practiced social distancing. The restaurants clearly were doing everything possible to be safe. Unfortunately, there were many locals hanging out at night in crowds who were not adhering to these safety measures and that was disheartening to see. We were required to have a negative COVID test prior to arrival and happily adhered to this policy out of an abundance of caution and safety to others. Our flights were on Delta who also have an amazing safety protocol in place. I am not sure what more you could possibly do regarding visitor safety and prevention of bringing the virus into the territory. I think this will be a problem every time an attempt to re-open is made, especially if many local citizens do not adhere to what they are asking others to do. While I understand the limited access to medical care and the concern of quickly overwhelming those facilities, it is a shame that so many businesses trying to do things the right way will now once again be shut down. I know there is no easy answer but I am not sure how long an economy (which is vital to life as well) can sustain repeated closures. I wish everyone in the territory good health and safety and look forward to visiting again in the near future.

  4. The USVI has had 8 deaths from covid out of 100K over 5 months. Most had underlying medical conditions.
    Most people who get this recover just fine.
    We need to STOP being scared of being sick. We cannot live this way. The number of cases do not mean the number of sick people. Very few of those positive tests are actually sick, with symptoms.
    The best thing people in USVI can do is to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine.

  5. Keri…those 22 cases are since the pandemic started. They have 5 active cases. Assuming those folks are self-quarantining, then there is basically no virus activity on St. John., It’s the same number of active cases as two weeks prior.

    There have been ZERO fatalities on St John.

    But the Governor puts blanket restrictions across all three islands.

    • Correct, 22 cases since the pandemic started – thus my comment that there ‘have been’; not ‘there are currently’. As you correctly stated, the Governor has issued his policies for the entire territory and not island-specific since the pandemic started.

  6. Well said Katie. Shutdowns don’t help anyone. St. John is being punished for
    what’s happening on St. Thomas and St. Croix.

  7. Looks like another forced cancellation for 2020. This crap isn’t going away, and shutting down then starting back up 37 times in the next decade will do nothing positive. It’s great when you work for the govt and get paid no matter how bad things get, but no other industry works that way.

    When your entire economy relies upon tourism, shutting down doesn’t seem to be intelligent. Yes, you’ll have COVID spread, but isn’t that better than an absolutely trashed economy, where people can’t afford to feed themselves after losing weeks and months of work?

  8. We are due to arrive on Saturday the 15th. Staying at a Destination St. John Rental. Does this mean we can come? OR did we just make it?

    • Guests arriving between now and Tuesday, August 18th will be allowed to check into their hotels/Airbnbs. Guests scheduled to arrive starting on Wednesday, August 19th, will need to be cancelled or rescheduled. Your reservation on the 15th should be safe, but check with your villa to ensure they aren’t implementing their own policies in light of the recent developments.

  9. You got it PP ! Back here in NJ our governor made 500 million bucks playing the covid game!! Governor Murphy is the biggest ahole ever but he got elected. Where should we go ? Governor Stalin says go away, the USVI must die! So sad

  10. Why does anyone still want to go to STJ and risk your own health & potentially spreading the virus to those that live on island. STJ does not have the medical facilities to help those that are sick. MOST visitors will not wear masks. They go out to bars & restaurants, have a few cocktails and off go the masks. I get it – it’s a fun island, but it’s not worth anyone’s life. Think of our beloved island that we all love so much.

    • Most people will get it. This won’t go away. Most haven’t died. Most won’t die. Every person I know that’s had it (a lot and some high-risk) have recovered.

      This disease isn’t the killer we thought it was. When you look at mortality rate vs infections this disease probably won’t cost a life. Still a greater chance of death by heart disease from eating too many conch fritters.

      Quit living in fear.

  11. Not good! Open then Close again. My opinion is forget 2020.
    I have rebooked for 2021. Stay safe everyone and this too shall pass!

  12. My vacation is not more important than your life. I love St John and will return when it’s safe for everyone. #VISTRONG

  13. I left 5/28. ONE active case in all the VI. It was being handled well to the chagrin of some that only care about themselves. The governor opened it up 6/1. He is trying to balance all needs and for that I give credit. He has shown more common sense and cojones than most of the governors. What? You didn’t think it would get shut down again?! I knew I was out at the right time but I have to understand I can also get the virus in the States. At least now I am in a much larger soup bowl and not in such a small confined territory petri dish. Keep this in mind – yes you have the freedom to catch the virus, that’s your problem, but now you don’t have the freedom to spread this! Wear protection and get our paradise opened back up.

  14. The USVI has a 97% rise in new cases in the past week (basically doubling). It also has the highest number of cases per 100K (37) in the entire United States. On July 29th that number was about 7 per 100K.

    At least 176 cases reported this week (including 63 on Wednesday).

    Deaths are still low – but they are a trailing indicator. The upward curve on other indicators is steeper than the North Shore Road.

    The current numbers can be handled — but if it doubles again, and doubles again (which it can do in two weeks) — it becomes a unmanageable crisis. The time to act is now.

  15. I think it’s good timing to shut down with hurricane season coming. Then hopefully it all gets nipped in the bud before high season, which is way more important for St. John’s economy. I’m booked for December, and hope we are able to have our trip! I’m glad my hubby and I sneaked a visit in this summer, after having to cancel about four others. Stay safe!

  16. “We’ve attempted to balance public health, economic considerations, and personal freedom. But at this time, the public health concern trumps all of those.”

    So long as the government (fed and local) can say that, they can control EVERYTHING you do.

    Make fun of those protesting these over-blown measures for “muh freedoms” all you want. But it’s those same protesting voices that realize we’re all at risk of losing our quality of life.

    For those of you who are: “This is the right choice.” “This is for safety” “Lives are at risk” Just stop… Per the CDC this disease is not the massive killing pandemic it was touted to be in February. You’re parroting fear-based statements, not science. And it’s this fear that will keep this thing going.

    Corona is over.

    • Given that the closure mandate is 30 days (August 19 – September 17), as of now, we are anticipating accepting guests again on September 18th. However, please note that this date is subject to change at any point, depending upon what happens with our positivity rate over the next few weeks. Also, please check with your villa/hotel for their own personal closure plan.

  17. I just left St John one week ago – My family and I were very fortunate that the island had re-opened just in time for our trip. Also we had certificates regarding our testing negative one week before the trip. All that being said; I understand how you feel about wanting your vacay but has anyone in your family died? Is one or both of your parents or siblings lying in a hospital gasping for air under an oxygen mask? It’s not okay to sacrifice anyone for your pleasure. I had another visit to STJ set for November – as much as it pains me, if I have to cancel to keep others safe there as well as be safe myself, then that’is what will happen. I would prefer that STJ turn into one of the world’s most beautiful graveyards.

  18. Well that screws with our vacation plans! I guess now we’ll just take our big asses to Atlantic City- I’m sure the Trump hotel is still open.

  19. Thank You Linda…
    We do not have the medical facilities here..and yes it is from both Tourist as well as people who live here..We had few cases until we opened back up..Have respect for the people who live here..It’s your playground its our home..

Leave a Comment