With coronavirus officially a global pandemic, Governor Albert Bryan issued an Executive Order requiring non-essential businesses to cease in-person business operations and require their employees to stay home until at least Monday, April 6 (unless further extended). This order also requires residents to stay-at-home order effective March 25th, except if needing to visit essential businesses, to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
We have complied a list of reliable resources for you regarding coronavirus (COVID-19). Please read on to learn more about how you can protect yourself and prevent the spread of COVID-19, what to do if you become symptomatic, and the effects of coronavirus here on St. Croix and in the US Virgin Islands.
Closures & Impacts to St. Croix
St. Croix is feeling the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak as local businesses and services make the difficult decision to support social distancing by limiting hours of operation, closing, or offering alternative solutions. Here are a few of closures and changes you should be aware of (and we will continue to update this page as information becomes available):
Government & Public Closures/Restrictions
- As noted above, Governor Bryan issued an Executive Order requiring non-essential businesses to cease in-person business operations and require their employees to stay home until at least Monday, April 6 (unless further extended). This order also requires residents to stay-at-home order effective March 25th, except if needing to visit essential businesses, to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. (Click here to read more from the St. Croix Source.)
- March 23rd through April 6th (unless further extended) all Government Services are restricted to essential services and personnel only.
- All public schools in the Virgin Islands will be closed until April 14, 2020, unless this order is further extended.
- Good Hope Country Day School and Free Will Baptist School will temporarily close their campuses effective immediately
- The Women’s Coalition of St. Croix main office/crisis center will not be open for walk-in or in-person appointments. They will be implementing counseling services by phone and virtually, Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 5:00 p.m., with counselors arranging meetings with clients. If you are feeling unsafe or are in need of shelter, please call and speak with a counselor.
- All cruise lines have halted cruise operations until May (click here for more)
- The University of the Virgin Islands will extend spring break for students until Sunday, March 22, and transition to online learning for all graduate and undergraduate classes on Monday, March 23 (click here for more)
- Camping on public beaches is prohibited, especially for the Easter holidays
Grocery Stores & Farm Stands
- Plaza Extra East is providing each customer will gloves to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our community. Plaza Extra East Cashiers are also using hand sanitizer before and after every transaction to help avoid transmission. They have also dedicated two check out lanes to seniors only in order to reduce their time in stores and exposure to other people. Plaza is open 7 days a week from 6:30 to 11 pm.
- Seaside Market & Deli is open 7 days a week from 6:30 to 11 pm.
- Quality Food is offering curbside pick-up, just place your order online and pick it up at the ramp. They are also offering delivery through Island Direct. Quality is open Monday-Saturday from 8am-6pm.
- ARTfarm is not holding regular farm stand hours, but you can call to pre-order your box for pick up
- Governor Bryan’s Executive Order states that all bars across the Territory are to be closed, and in-house dining is not allowed at restaurants; take-out services are permissible.
- Un Amore is offering to-go orders, including a “feed your family” special nightly that will feed 4 people for $75. Plus, 2-for-1 bottles of wine! Please call and reserve ahead for pickup.
- No Bones Cafe is offering takeout orders Tuesday-Saturday from Noon-8pm
- The Bombay Club is serving takeout orders for lunch and dinner, please call you orders in for pickup. Lunch Hours: 11am-2pm Tuesday-Friday; Dinner Hours: 5pm-8pm every night.
- Rum Runners Steak & Seafood is serving takeout only from their Deck Bar window daily from noon-8pm. Follow them on Facebook to stay updated on the menu and specials.
- Brew STX and Shupe’s on the Boardwalk is serving takeout for lunch from 11am-2pm and dinner from 5pm-8pm. Visit their Facebook pages for the special limited menus. Call (340) 773-3400 and pickup at Shupe’s location.
- Leatherback Landing at Cane Bay is open Wednesday to Monday 11am-6pm for take out meals and drinks. Please call ahead, and they strongly encourage if you are stopping by for a drink to bring your own cup.
- Twin City Coffee House & Gallery is offering takeout coffee, lattes, pastries, and their regular food menu Monday to Saturday from 7am-11:30am. Please call ahead, only 2 people at a time are allowed into the shop for pick-up.
- Love-Croix Helados & Eatz is offering takeout orders during limited hours.
- The Mill Boardwalk Bar & Brick Oven Pizza is offering special carry-out package deals, as well as pizza by the slice. Please call in your order and pick it up at the boardwalk bar only.
- Toast Diner is serving their regular menu for takeout only. Please call to place and pay for your orders and then wait outside for their staff to bring your food to you.
- Uptown Eatery will be open from 11:30am-3pm Monday- Friday offering their full menu and curbside to-go orders.
- Turtle’s Deli will be serving lunch only through take-out and delivery (through Island Delivery). Please call ahead to place your order and they will give you an approximate time to come and pick it up.
- La Reine Chicken Shack is doing orders for takeout only. Their current hours are until 6pm Monday through Saturday.
- Sion Farm Distillery is open for takeout only Monday-Friday from 11am-6pm, and Saturday from 11am-2pm. Order from their regular menu or get one of their special Party Packs (visit their Facebook page for details).
- Blues Backyard BBQ & Grill is open from 11am-6:30pm Monday-Saturday for takeout only. Cal ahead so your order is ready upon arrival.
- Grounded Cafe is open for carryout coffee, smoothies, salads, sandwiches and pastries.
- The Courtyard Juices & Fitness Center is open for pickup/curbside pickup Monday-Saturday from 9am-3pm. Please call to place order before pickup.
- St. Croix Yacht Club is offering an expanded to-go dinner menu on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. This expanded menu can be found on the top left hand corner of the SCYC website.
- Tap Deck is currently closed.
- 40 Strand Eatery is closed for the next several weeks to focus on some renovations, but you can visit their amazing sister restaurants: Toast Diner, The Mill Boardwalk Bar & Brick Oven Pizza, and Rum and Wine Bar Restaurant.
- Cafe Christine is closed until further notice.
- Nauti Bar & Grill is closed until further notice.
- balter is closed as of March 21st until further notice.
- Beach Side Cafe at Sand Castle on the Beach Resort is closed until further notice.
- Zion Modern Kitchen is closed until further notice.
- Sonya Ltd. is closed, but you can shop online. They are extending the 10% discount online and there’s a place for local residents to pick up their items by appointment at the store.
- ADORN is closed, but will be offering curbside pick-up for online orders.
- ib designs shop is closed, but online shopping is available with free shipping and local drop offs.
- Joyia Inspirational Jewelry has closed their storefront, but you can shop online.
- FantaSea Jewlery has closed their studio in Christiansted, but you can shop online and they are offering free shipping in the USA.
- The Natural Jewel and The Jewelry Factory are offering 20% off, plus free shipping on all orders over $50.00.
- Cultured Naturals Body Care retail store is closed, but you can pre-order and pick up at their door.
- From the Gecko will be offering an outfit of the week for the next couple of weeks. Buy everything and get 20% off the total order or buy individual pieces at full price – free shipping or delivery! Visit their Facebook page for details.
- Molly’s – for a limited time Corkcicle has created a safe way to shop online while still supporting local lusinesses. During check out you will see an option to “Support My Local Store” by entering this code: OPOBHS. This allows you to still support Molly’s while safely social distancing; on or off island!’
Tours & Attractions
- Buck Island Tours: The NPS Park Superintendent has suspended all authorized concession boating operations until further notice.
- Dive Shops are closed to divers until April 6, or further notice due to Governor Bryan’s Executive Order.
- St. George Village Botanical Garden is closed until further notice and has postponed all classes including yoga, meditation and our educational workshops.
- Christiansted National Historic Site has cancelled all events and permits until further notice. Park administration buildings are closed to the public; please call park staff for assistance with activities or questions related to park operations. Fort Christiansvaern, Eastern National Bookstore, Fort Parking Lot and Public Bathrooms are closed until further notice.
- Leatherback Brewing Company will be closing their indoor space to the public and is serving takeout from their outside bar.
- Tropical Ten Pins Bowling Center is closed until further notice.
- Caribbean Community Theatre is postponing all shows until further notice.
- Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts is closed until further notice. All Museum events are currently on hold.
Hotels & Services
- Governor Bryan has ordered all hotels, timeshares, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, villas, charter vessels, and Airbnb accommodations to not accept new guests for 30 days beginning on March 25th (except emergency personnel, flight crews, or government guests).
- Hotel on the Cay is only allowing current guests or those with a pre-existing reservation, and their staff access to the ferry, The Hotel, The Beach Bar and beach facilities.
- The Buccaneer is closed to the public for a minimum of two weeks, only allowing access to the property to current guests and their staff. This closure includes, but is not limited to, the spa, tennis, golf, restaurants and beach access.
- Per Governor Bryan’s Executive Order for residents to stay-at-home, effective March 25th, all group events have been cancelled or postponed until April 6, or further ordered.
- We are working diligently to keep our Calendar of Events page updated, but we recommend that you call before attending any events or classes to confirm that they are proceeding as planned. Those we know to be postponed are marked as such on the Calendar.
- The St. Croix 2020 St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been cancelled due to the state of emergency
- The 2020 St. Croix Food & Wine Experience has been postponed
- The Women’s Coalition of St. Croix has postponed postponed the LUNAFEST 2020 Women’s Film Festival for the protection of our communities
- Sunset Jazz has been postponed until July
Things To Do During Social Distancing
- Barbara’s Art Studio is offering two art classes to-go, one for kids and one for adults! Visit her Facebook page for details on payment and pick-up of supply kit.
- The Courtyard Juices & Fitness Center is offering online classes, and has extended all active passes for 60 day. Visit their website for details. You can also order mats and props for curbside pickup!
- St. George Village Botanical Garden will be offering virtual tours of the Garden each Friday via their Facebook page.
- iCycle members can now rent a bike for 30-days for $100, pick-up and delivery included. Call for details.
First and foremost, the official website for COVID-19 in the territory is the US Virgin Islands Department of Public Health. We recommend staying up-to-date by checking this website regularly, as well as signing up for local text alerts by texting COVID19USVI to 888777. Our local Plessen Healthcare has also put a protocol in place for anyone who thinks they may have contracted the coronavirus, which you can read more about below. You can also see how COVID-19 is impacting the territory by visiting the USVI Deprtament of Tourism’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 Updates page.
We also recommend following these national and global health organizations who provide the most reliable information and updates regarding the coronavirus:
Plessen Healthcare Protocol
If you are here on St. Croix, Plessen Healthcare has established the following protocol at their Orange Grove Medical Campus to protect both patients and healthcare professionals in light of the current outbreak:
All patients are strongly encouraged to utilize Plessen Healthcare’s Telemedicine option instead of visiting the office when possible. To make an appointment please call (340) 715-7720, contact Plessen via their website at www.plessenhealthcare.com/contact. For patients with respiratory symptoms that feel they must be seen in-person via walk-in appointment, Plessen Healthcare has set up an outdoor covered triage and evaluation area. Patients will be handed a mask and evaluated outside of the office for their safety and the safety of others.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 to those patients at higher risk of complications, telemedicine appointments are particularly recommended for the following:
- Anyone with respiratory and/or flu-like symptoms.
- Patients 65 and older.
- Patients with compromised immune systems and/or serious chronic medical conditions.
Symptoms of the COVID-19 virus range from mild to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, and may include:
- Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher)
- Shortness of breath
Patients who feel sick and have symptoms should:
- Call ahead before visiting the doctor’s office or emergency room.
- Tell your doctor about any recent travel and symptoms.
- Stay home and avoid contact with others.
- Avoid travel while sick.
Recommended Precautions and Prevention:
- Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case of an outbreak of COVID-19 in the community.
- Have on-hand over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Especially after touching surfaces in public places.
- Avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
- Routinely clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your home (door knobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)
- Avoid crowds, particularly in poorly ventilated spaces.
- Visit the CDC’s pages Steps to Prevent Illness and What To Do If You Are Sick
Great News from Sion Farm Distillery!
This just in from Todd Manley, Founder and Chef of Mutiny Island Vodka:
“To be proactive and support the Governor of the Virgin Islands’ actions in a positive manner, we are finding local solutions to global problems. MUTINY Island Vodka’s Master Distiller, Art Wollenweber, has used Sion Farm Distillery to produce Breadfruit Alcohol Sanitizer (70% alc / vol) that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
We have put it to use with extra procedures by sanitizing all surfaces, door knobs, etc… at all our facilities as a further measure to be proactive for our guests, employees, and our community.
Should the Virgin Islands supply of sanitizers be depleted we have the capacity to mass produce this product very quickly with respect and on request and advisement of the Government and at the same time it supports agriculture, the Trees That Feed Foundation, as well as our local community.”
Support Local Small Businesses
With many people’s travel being cancelled, and as more people practice social distancing across the country in response to the coronavirus, small businesses will feel the impact the most. If you want to support St. Croix’s local businesses during this challenging time, here are a few things you can do:
- Buy gift certificates for for use later, that way once the pandemic has subsided you can reschedule your plans to patronize your favorite local restaurant, shop or tour operator.
- Shop online! Many local businesses also have online stores and will ship anywhere.
- Order your food for pick-up. Even if you choose not to dine in person, you can still enjoy your favorite dishes and desserts from local restaurants that remain open by ordering them in advance and picking them up.
The GoToStCroix Team would like to remind everyone that the best thing you can do during this outbreak (besides not panicking) is to clean your hands often, avoid close contact, and take basic steps to protect others as recommended by the CDC. Also, please be sure to get your coronavirus news and updates from reputable sources like the CDC, WHO, and the Department of Health. Stay healthy!
-Jennie Ogden, Editor
We know the world has gone crazy buying hand sanitizer to the point where you can’t find it in stores anywhere on island. The good news is, we found a great recipe so you can make your own with just a few ingredients!