A St. Thomas woman and a St. Croix man became the 68th and 69th victims of the COVID virus in the territory, according to the V.I. Health Department.

The Department said it was saddened to announce the deaths after further investigation and ensuring notification of next of kin.

The deceased were a 61-year-old female on St. Thomas and 51-year-old male on St. Croix.

The deaths were the first in nearly a week after an uptick in COVID-related deaths that followed a surge in infections in the territory.

The month of August was the deadliest with 16 deaths recorded, followed by this month with 12 deaths to date.

The Department continues to urge residents to follow precautionary measures to include social distance, wear a mask when in company of others outside of those in your household and clean frequently used areas thoroughly, and wash hands often with soap and warm water.

Health also encouraged residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine, noting it can prevent severe illness and death.

To schedule an appointment, call 340-777-8227 or visit covid19usvi.com/vaccines.

Walk-ins are also accepted at the community vaccination centers in La Grande Princesse, St. Croix, and at the Community Health Clinic at Schneider Hospital.

To report a suspected case of COVID-19, please call 340- 712-6299 or 340-776-1519.

For a medical emergency, call 911, and for more information, visit covid19usvi.com. To get COVID19 updates, text COVID19USVI to 888777.