Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) made the announcement late Monday night, August 24, 2020, during a COVID-19 update on how the government intends to move forward with community spread of the virus.
Prior to tonight, Hon Malone had announced on Friday, August 21, 2020, that the territory recorded 9 new cases of the virus linked to a previous case #12, bringing the total to 21.
He said new case #22 was detected while receiving treatment at the emergency room. Contract tracing resulted in 3 primary contacts of that case testing positive for the virus.
One other primary contact of case #12 tested positive for the virus, bringing the total new cases to 5.
"Given these circumstances, the BVI is now classified as having clusters of cases in accordance with the WHO transmission classification guidelines," he said while underscoring the need for effective contact tracing and testing as a priority of the government.
According to the Health Minister, the aim now is to rapidly contain the spread of the virus and prevent transmission within the community, especially to vulnerable groups through Phase 3 of the COVID-19 national action plan.
As such, a new 14-day curfew order has been announced starting Wednesday, August 26, 2020, at 5:01 pm to 4:59 am with the aim of limiting the movement of people and conducting testing without the need for a total lockdown.
Similar to previous lockdowns, Hon Malone further announced that for the first 7 days of the curfew, only certain essential businesses will be allowed to operate, subject to review.