During the weekly Government House briefing on Tuesday, June 21, Communications Director Richard Motta Jr. announced that Virgin Islanders who filed their 2020 tax returns on time and did not have any issues with their returns have begun receiving their tax refunds for that tax year.
According to Director Motta, 5,152 checks going out last week and another are 5,513 scheduled for issuance later this week, with most of those checks – 8,637 – being for refunds owed for tax year 2020. The latest distribution of refunds totals $25 million.
“This latest round of payments brings the Bryan-Roach Administration closer to its goal of paying refunds owed to tax filers in the same year they file their returns – something that has not been accomplished in the past,” he said.
GVI Fellows Program
Director Motta also reminded the community that the deadline to apply for the GVI Financial Fellows’ program was extended to July 15.
The GVI Financial Fellows’ program is a two-year paid internship open to Virgin Islanders with a bachelor’s degree or higher in project management, economics, business administration, construction management, accounting, engineering, finance, and more can work for two years on 6-month rotations within the Government of the Virgin Island’s financial and project management agencies, including the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Finance, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and Office of Disaster Recovery.
Those interested in applying for the program can get more information and sign up at dopusvi.org.
As some agencies and departments of the Government of the Virgin Islands still are impacted by COVID-19, Director Motta said that residents having trouble contacting those offices directly can get assistance by contacting the Office of the Administrator on each island.
“Even as we move to treat COVID-19 as an endemic, and although—knock on wood—the virus’ impact on our community is less severe than in the past, there are still real-world impacts, mainly the disruption of regular operation to many of our government agencies and offices,” Director Motta said.
For assistance, residents can contact:
- Administrator Sammuel Sanes on St. Croix, at 340-773-1404.
- Administrator Avery Lewis on St. Thomas and Water Island at 340-774-0001.
- Administrator Shikima Jones-Sprauve on St. John at 340-474-5762.
COVID-19 cases as of June 21
- 7.67% seven-day positivity rate
- Currently tracking 184 active cases (134 STX; 49 STT; 1 STJ)
- 435,007 tested
- 20,669 tested positive
- 414,338 tested negative
- 118 COVID-19-related fatalities
- There are 3 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, with none on a ventilator, at Luis Hospital on St. Croix.
- There is 1 COVID-19 patient hospitalized, not on a ventilator, at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas.
Pediatric Vaccinations Approved
Territorial Epidemiologist Dr. Esther Ellis announced during Tuesday’s briefing that COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for children as young as 6 months.
For children 6 months to 4 years old, the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine has been authorized as a three-dose primary series, and for children ages 5-17, the vaccine continues to be authorized as a two-dose primary series. The Moderna vaccine also is authorized for children ages 6 months to 5 years old as a two-dose primary series.
“As of today, anyone 6 months or older can now get vaccinated, which is very exciting news,” Dr. Ellis said.
Pediatric vaccines are available:
- St. Croix – At the CVC at the Charles Harwood Complex from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays.
- St. Thomas – At the Maternal and Child Health Clinic from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays.
- St. John – At the Port Authority gravel lot from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays.
Residents are reminded to bring an ID for the parent or guardian, as well as the child’s ID and a copy of the birth certificate. Call 340-777-8227 for an appointment or schedule online at www.covind19usvi.com/vaccines.
More COVID-19 Information Anyone who thinks they may have contracted COVID-19 can call the Epidemiology hotline at 340-712-6299 (STX) or 340-776-1519 (STT-STJ). For more information, visit covid19usvi.com.
For information about the COVID-19 vaccines or to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated, call the VITEMA hotline Mondays-Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 340-777-VACS (8227).
Positive test results from a home COVID-19 test should be confirmed, and confirmation is absolutely necessary if medical therapeutic treatment with an oral antiviral or monoclonal antibodies is to be prescribed.
Confirmation testing can be arranged by calling the COVID-19 hotline at 340-712-6299 on St. Croix or 340- 776-1519 on St. Thomas. The hotline is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and testing appointments can be made online at http://www.Covid19USVI.com/testing.
The Community Vaccination Center (CVC) at Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and on Wednesdays on St. John at the V.I. Port Authority gravel lot.
Free vaccinations at the CVC at the Charles Harwood Complex on St. Croix are available by appointment, which can be made by calling 340-777-8227 or by going to http://www.covid19usvi.com/vaccines. Walk-ins also are available.