After a surge in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, the V.I. Health Department is seeking to reassure the public that individuals who have recovered do not pose a risk of spreading the illness.
The department issued the reminder late Wednesday after seeing posts warning the public to stay away from establishments where someone had been sick.
“Such warnings are unfair and unwarranted. The Department of Health follows positive, suspected cases and their contacts closely and makes the determination when someone is no longer contagious,” the release states.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “recovered,” means that at least three days have passed since the individual last ran a fever, the individual has not been using fever-reducing medications during that time period, and has shown improvement in respiratory symptoms like cough and shortness of breath.”
Also, for the individual to be considered recovered, it must be at least a week to 10 days after the first symptoms appeared.
“In fact, that recovered individual is the safest person to be around,” the release states as individuals who think they are healthy, might not be.
The department urges residents to continue to wear masks, maintain physical distance, wash or sanitize hands frequently, as “many people who are infected feel healthy and show no symptoms at all.”
“We can and should treat our fellow Virgin Islander as we would want to be treated under these circumstances. ... There is no need to scorn anyone who may have been infected in the past,” the release states.
“Welcome your coworker back to work and always wear your mask properly, wash hands frequently, and maintain physical distance at all times.”
The department further cautions against patronizing one business over another because of a perceived feeling of safety from COVID-19.
“There is no higher risk for entering one business or agency over the other; however, it is critical for you to continue to abide by the guidance on wearing masks and social distancing.”