April 13, 2020
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS—Governor Albert Bryan Jr. announced on Monday that the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs has given the U.S. Virgin Islands $7,863,776 in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act federal COVID-19 stimulus bill approved by Congress last week.
“Although our Territory has minimized COVID-19 well ahead of the national curve because of our diligent efforts as a community, our health care workers and first-responders need as much assistance as possible,” Governor Bryan said. “These federal funds afford the Territory some level of stability while we wait out this virus, and they will help us begin the economic recovery necessary after the impact of the Coronavirus locally, nationally and globally.”
Assistant Secretary of Insular and International Affairs Douglas Domenech sent a letter to Governor Bryan during the weekend telling him of the federal funding approved for the U.S. Virgin Islands through the $2 trillion federal stimulus bill.
Because of the global medical emergency, the application process for the funding has been streamlined to ensure the most rapid disbursement of the federal monies.
To expedite the grant award process, the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) is not requiring a detailed budget or timeline with the application. Those items will be required after the funding is awarded and before any drawdowns are processed.
“The application for these emergency COVID-19 funds may be in the form of a letter addressed to me that states the funds will be used to prepare, prevent and respond to COVID-19,” Assistant Secretary Domenech wrote in the letter to Governor Bryan. “My thoughts and prayers are with you and the people of U.S. Virgin Islands in this difficult time.”
Governor Bryan’s response, along with the simplified application for the federal emergency funding, was submitted on Monday.
The Governor’s next update to the public about COVID-19 in the Territory is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday.