BVI News

Health officials probe causal factors of COVID surge at RT Ferry Dock

National Epidemiologist Harmony Brewley-Massiah.

Health officials are said to be examining factors that might have caused a reported surge in coronavirus cases from passengers travelling through the Road Town Ferry Dock.

This is according to National Epidemiologist, Harmony Massiah, who spoke as part of a panel of health experts during a COVID-19 press conference yesterday, May 27.

“Quite a bit of cases are coming in through the Road Town Ferry Dock, and we are conducting investigations to determine if they’re any predictive factors that might be increasing the risk of persons coming in through that area,” Massiah said.

The health expert related that there had been a surge in the number of reported cases in the territory around May 15, and this was predominantly through cases that have been imported.

According to Massiah, the factors that caused the surge can be from any number of sources  such as places of travel origin, passengers premixing before boarding, and travelling in an enclosed space (which may facilitate the spread of the virus), among other things.

The epidemiologist implored persons to maintain due diligence as a measure of mitigating the spread of the virus by wearing masks and social distancing.

“Even though you might be familiar with someone on the vessel, you should limit any talk or conversations you may have with them because you don’t exactly know what it is they may be harbouring,” she encouraged.

Ferry operators required to number their seats

Meanwhile, ferry operators have been asked to adopt an additional measure to help with contact tracing.

Massiah said operators have been asked to ensure the seats are numbered so persons can be easily contacted if they had been sitting near a person who is found to have been carrying the virus.

“We will treat it kind of like what we do with an aeroplane – two to three seats in front, two to three seats behind and at the sides,” she said while responding to a question on whether all ferry passengers must isolate if one tests positive.

Persons are also expected to indicate if they had spoken to anyone who is not in the bubble surrounding their immediate seating vicinity on the ferry so that they too can be quarantined.

Reassuring vaccine statistics

Massiah also shared that health officials have been reassured that even though 26 percent of fully vaccinated persons have been shown to have the virus, only one displayed symptoms during a recorded period of monitoring.

“This for us is reassuring because it means that the vaccines are effective at preventing symptomatic COVID and thus reducing the likelihood of a severe health event occurring,” she stated.

Additionally, cases recorded from December 5, 2020 — when the BVI’s borders were re-opened – account for some 74.7 percent of reported cases in the territory.

Massiah said that 91.2 percent of these cases have been imported, with the majority coming from “hotspot” states such as New York, Atlanta, Texas and California in the US.

Furthermore, Massiah disclosed that 7.4 percent of the reported community cases have no travel history. These community cases also include residents as well as visitors (four percent of community cases subgroup) who have been in BVI for more than 14 days.


Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. dah iz all says:

    Which means st.thomas not doing proper checks and balances

    Like 18
    Dislike 10
    • Jah says:

      Nah. Ain’t STT problem. Belongers not vaccinated is the problem.

      Get the prick. Don’t be one

      Like 19
      Dislike 27
    • Nope says:

      It’s because the Belonger morons won’t get vaccinated. Also they aren’t quarantining as required. Only whites who obey laws have to quarantine. The Belonger thinks he’s better than everyone else.

      Like 14
      Dislike 18
      • @Nope says:

        Well, if you all have a problem with Belongers, you can always live amongst your own vaccinated countrymen in the cold regions of the earth. You’ll have a choice!

        Like 13
        Dislike 5
        • Vaccinated says:

          Don’t think the expats have not thought about leaving but if they do then who is going to earn the $ to pay for the schools, the hospital and roads and the Government and do the jobs the belongers won’t or can’t do?

      • Local says:

        @Nope cant you read and you missed an important statement that she said ,fully vaccinated persons still came through with the virus but what she failed to say is whether these persons can transmit the virus to others or not. So if you take the vaccine it reduces the sickness not prevent you from it so understand.

    • get a grip says:

      You expect USVI to be able to test intransit passengers coming to BVI? Some people done pass through 2 airports on their way to BVI, and in contact with endless covid positives. We just keep moving.

    • Hmmm says:

      The Government must be commended how they are handling Covid-19 although some of them are a little bit rude and unprofessional at times like this same lady.

    • Vaccinated says:

      USVI covid travel entry and departure procedures are organised and efficient unlike the BVI.

  2. Dangerous traveling says:

    Traveling now in crowded airports, enclosed air conditioned spaces in planes, taxis and ferrys and just on the ground in St. Thomas is still infecting visitors before they arrive in the BVI. The prior arrival test now appears meaningless. The entry test upon arrival in the BVI is the main test for virus infection before/during travel to the BVI.

    Fortunately vaccinated travelers to the BVI with a negative entry test no longer need to endure quarantine.

    Like 7
    Dislike 10
    • vg resident says:

      Vaccinated p[ersons still have to pay for ferry to Virgin Gorda, pay for taxi rides and pay for government fees for covid so not true they do not have to endure quarantine

      Like 6
      Dislike 4
      • VG resident says:

        against public opinion, vaccinated does not mean higher than thou. I’m vaccinated and I do not play for one minute that the promise of the vaccine that the person shouldnt get critical or die may not be so. I am exposed like everyone else. We have a pandemic which is not isolated to one particular region, country or climate. We all have to be careful and we are no better than those who did not get the jabby

    • data? says:

      where is you data coming from?

      you know the tests cant capture anything if you got infected within hours even few days before?

      its exactly the opposite. if you were proven not to be virus carrier before traveling to the BVI .. its the BVI test that is useless as its what hours before people got on the plane.

      btw: read the article again … somehow they believe people traveling via Ferry are more infected than people coming in air…

      unless we are talking about people who lives in the USVI or been there for a longer time, there should be zero difference between the groups.

      I think she is hinting about concerns about daily travelers from USVI and less so about folks who were in transit in the USVI moving from airport to ferry …

      Or… they simply have issues in the port ferry with respect to how they collect those samples.

      again .. i repeat … not PCR test will catch a COVID 19 within hours of exposure… this is not a zombie game on Xbox.

      Like 15
      Dislike 1
    • Jah says:

      But a lot of those travelers are vaccinated. How many belongers are? Hmmmmm

      Like 11
      Dislike 5
  3. Sniffn says:

    There’s a fkn pandemic morons !!!

    Like 13
    Dislike 3
  4. Tim says:

    They recently reported only a single case … hmmm

    But ignore that and be alarmed by the following:

    “ According to Massiah, the factors that caused the surge can be from any number of sources such as places of travel origin, passengers premixing before boarding, and travelling in an enclosed space (which may facilitate the spread of the virus), among other things”

    You do understand that no test will detect a person who was infected 60 min prior to the test?

    Real world data show vaccination is effective in 94% cases.
    Yet somehow in the bvi, 27% of cases are of vaccinated people… the data means nothing if you don’t share what is the % of vaccinated people traveling into the bvi … by now it should be majority of people …

    So smart lady, representing the science of the bvi, before you continue spreading fear in the community let me offer one more possible explanation that you somehow missed …

    There is no difference between people flying in vs people taking a ferry… that hour ferry ride is not the explanation.
    What makes the difference is the staff and procedures they follow when taking the test.

    That results in the false positive which is the reason the 38 cases magically disappear to one case.

    If you think you can catch COVID via test 60 min after contact with the virus … you have to worry about the policy makers.

    Like 35
    • Confused says:

      I thought I was the only one scratching my head as a result of this lady’s explanation. It seems to go against the science.

      Tim I think you are right. They are basically false positives. A fully vaccinated friend tested positive on his entry test done on a Saturday, whiles all 10 other people he lives and travelled with tested negative. By Wednesday he tested negative.

      Like 22
    • @Tim says:

      Excellent comment.

      Like 16
      Dislike 1
  5. Honorary Citizen says:

    Damn, she fine

    Like 14
    Dislike 9
  6. Very pretty says:

    That lady is so sexy and gorgeous! Am married but still what a beautiful woman.. xxx

    I would listen to her and give her all my love!!

    Like 8
    Dislike 14
  7. geeze says:

    People you can’t wash air. Persons moving are in contact with all kind of people. It don’t mean that they catch covid on the ferry. While taking a test, which eventually come out negative, the very health official taking the test can contaminate you. Say what you want, no matter how far away youre seated to someone on a place, nobody can’t hold the air they breathe out from moving around, so it is basic common sense regardless of what WHO and CDC say.

    The good lady mentioned that 26 vaccinated persons contracted covid but only 1 showed symptoms and that’s encouraging. Dohhh what has been our trend for the past year without chooks? Positives have been experiencing little, mild or no symptoms all the time. So now we have a chook and we give it a clap. Brainwash ain’t nothing good

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  8. WEW says:

    Who is this person and what are her credentials ? Sure can’t find any thing that makes her an epidemiologist

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
    • Past student says:

      I don’t know much about her background educational wise but she was an excellent science teacher. So thats a start since we dealing with Science right?.

      Like 4
      Dislike 5
  9. Dr. Seuss says:

    Rock has a surge in unvaccinated persons. The air within enclosed spaces is recirculated; hence unless the return air is scrubbed and some for of UV sterilization on the supply it is pointless (distancing) as everyone will be breathing the same air regardless. Also, the BVI swabs are more accurate as the samples taken have proven to capture more positives than those that are done elsewhere. So several factors maybe be contributing to the increase in numbers of positive cases. Viral load factor at the time of testing is also another critical factor.

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  10. Nice says:

    Damn… Our epidemiologist is fine!

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  11. Yes 0 says:

    The maker giv her extra attention

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  12. Wondering says:

    Why does Worldometer report 38 active cases in the BVI and just recently I saw on line 1 active case? Then this story insinuating we have many cases.

    Please clarify.

  13. I can’t says:

    I can’t sit and read a set of morons talk… THIS IS A FLU FOR GOD SAKE .. what vaccine smh find yourself look with in my god this island is full of shallow idiots…

    Like 4
    Dislike 4
  14. Incredible numbers says:

    Quick , let the world know – somehow the BVI has Covid statistics unlike any other country on earth. 27% of vaccinated people tested positive for Covid – yes, that’s right 27% – That is incredible amazing and insane. It boggles the mind that they are trying to figure out why the numbers are what they are but they do not for one second consider that it might be false postives. If their testing facilities and protocols are anything like the rest of the services at the port on the 15th I’m surprised 27% of the male passengers didn’t test pregnant.

    Like 8
    Dislike 3
  15. SOME AH THEM says:


    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  16. Snagglepuss says:

    Heavens to murgatroyd, she’s fine

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  17. Had to come home says:

    I have had 5 covid test all negative, also fully vaccinated. That nurse at the port was digging for gold. The locally people don’t want to take the vaccine. They want to know what’s in you know whats in the makeup you wear, the pain killer you take, most of the food you buy..etc. Those numbers don’t make sense, plus this is a very small island compared to others. Also, folks don’t take precautions vaccinated or not.

Leave a Comment