The BA.2 variant of Covid-19 continues to give rise to new infections in the U.S. Virgin Islands after being identified in the territory last week, but there are few signs that BA.2, which is a subvariant of the original Omicron strain of Covid-19, will cause a surge to the levels seen late December and through January in the Virgin Islands.
Additionally, the rising cases so far have not led to increased hospitalizations, a sign that is in line with BA.2's more contagious nature but with similar outcomes relative to severity and risk of hospitalizations, according to data gathered from research and cited by the Wall Street Journal.
Public-health experts are also hoping that the high level of protection in Americans gained through both vaccination and natural immunity from prior infection, will suppress any potential for a major outbreak.
Two individuals with Covid
-19 were hospitalized at the Juan F. Luis Hospital as of April 11, 2022, according to the hospital, both of whom are vaccinated and were not ventilated. At the Schneider Regional Medical Center, there were no hospitalizations as of Thursday, the hospital said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the BA.2 Omicron variant represented an estimated 86 percent of all U.S. cases for the week ending April 9, which the CDC says is the third week the subvariant has accounted for most of the cases on the mainland.
The USVI Dept. of Health reported 161 active cases territory-wide as of Thursday, up over 200 percent from a month ago when cases dropped below 50 in early March.
The seven-day positivity rate has also climbed significantly to 5.55 percent as of Thursday, compared to a month ago when it stood at 1.39 percent. St. Thomas accounted for 79 of the 161 cases, followed by St. Croix with 75, and St. John with 7, according to D.O.H.