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  • Writer's pictureSen. Donna Frett-Gregory

Legislature Urges Aggressive Action to Protect the Community Against COVID-19

March 21, 2020

St. Thomas, USVI- Members of the 33rd Legislature have continued to meet to discuss their overarching concerns surrounding COVID-19 coronavirus and strategies to contain the spread of the disease. They are collectively imploring Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. to immediately implement the necessary measures in order to save lives and protect public health and safety in order to mitigate further spread of the disease. The Legislature is also requesting that Governor Bryan implement daily briefings to update the community.

Senate President Novelle E. Francis, Jr. says the high ratio of confirmed cases, which is expected to increase as more people get tested demands an aggressive response. “We only have to look at hard lessons learned across the globe to recognize that the sooner that aggressive measures are put in place, the better the outcomes for the public health will be,” Francis stated.

In addition to social distancing, legislators are urging the Governor to take the following steps in order to flatten the curve, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives:

  • Implement a curfew;

  • Limit restaurants and bars to take out only;

  • Instruct VIPD and all other peace officers to patrol to ensure that business establishments are closed;

  • Close all government offices with the exception of essential employees, i.e. Unemployment, SNAP, and any other government office required to perform critical duties

  • Implement measures to protect the borders (air and sea);

  • Activate medical military personnel to support the Department of Health and the hospitals; and

  • Request that CMS issue blanket waivers to provide licenses to out of state providers.

Senators say these measures are necessary to protect the public health, especially as the territory continues to be challenged by a compromised healthcare infrastructure.

The 33rd Legislature will convene on Friday, March 27, 2020 to take action on measures relative to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Contact Information for Chief of Staff

Senator Francis Contact: Shawna Richards | (340) 712-2324 | Senator Frett-Gregory Contact: Wean Farrell |(340) 693-3686 |

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