Government of the Virgin Islands Teams with Google To Deliver Accurate Local Information about COVID-19

U.S. Virgin Islands (May 6, 2020) — At a time when the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands are eager to find information about the COVID-19 threat, the USVI Government is proud to be collaborating with Google to ensure Virgin Islanders can find reliable and timely information that reflects the state of the crisis.

“In a nutshell, we are harnessing the best that technology has to offer on behalf of the health and safety of our residents,” says Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. “With input from the USVI Departments of Health, Education, Labor, Tourism, Licensing and Consumer Affairs, as well as VITEMA—the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency—​Google will help make available authoritative local health information related to COVID-19.”

The National Security Council has urged the public to make sure they are getting their information from legitimate sources. But people need not search alone. In collaboration with Google, the USVI Government will work towards providing Virgin Islanders the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Justa Encarnacion, USVI Health Commissioner and Chief Public Health Officer, welcomes Google’s efforts as information from a reliable source is crucial in helping to limit the spread of the new coronavirus. “The Department of Health is pleased to collaborate with Google so that our population can arm itself with the most potent weapon available: accurate and reliable information about the virus and steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. That’s the best way to limit its transmission.”

Through Google’s Search, Maps, and other products, critically important information will be available to Virgin Islanders, including:

  • https://doh.vi.gov/covid19usvi to help Virgin Islanders monitor themselves for COVID-19-like symptoms including the best ways to treat those symptoms appropriately at home; the number of COVID-19 cases, and the number of patients recovered, negative, and pending in the Territory;
  • other content such as:
    • COVID-19 frequently asked questions (FAQ)
    • testing guidelines
    • events and closures
    • quarantine guidelines

“Google is proud to work with the U.S. Virgin Islands Government to help make sure Virgin Islanders have the information they need to keep themselves and their communities safe,” said William Floyd, Director of U.S. Public Policy. “At Google, our mission is to make information universally accessible and useful. In these uncertain times, working with local governments and health authorities is key to our efforts, and we’re deeply appreciative of the support of the USVI to make this possible.”

Teri Helenese, USVI Director of State-Federal Relations and Washington Representative, in the Office of the Governor, says that “the honor flows in both directions. We’re grateful for Google’s willingness to step up on behalf of our people’s health during this extraordinary time, and we look forward to our continued collaboration.”

For more information, or if you have questions, email Teri Helenese at teri.helenese@go.vi.gov.