The Virgin Islands will remain in a public health State of Emergency for another 30 days, through March 8, under a provision of V.I. law allowing an extension request to automatically be ratified if no legislation action is taken.

Last week, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. sent a letter to the 34th Legislature requesting an extension to the territory’s public health State of Emergency set to expire on Saturday, Feb. 6. As per statute, the governor is required to get Senate approval to extend a state of emergency. The Legislature has five days to act on the request. If no action is taken, the extension is automatically ratified.

Unlike previous requests, which called for a 60-day extension, Bryan asked for a 30-day extension through March 8 in his letter to Senate President Donna Frett-Gregory.

Government House spokesman Richard Motta Jr. has said there was no particular reason for the shorter extension request.

The territory has been in both a national state of emergency and territorial state of emergency since March 13. The extension will allow the V.I. government to maintain its emergency authority in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as maintain access to federal benefits and assistance.