U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – The VI Department of Health’s Epidemiology Division released its 2022 Annual Report detailing the division’s work throughout the past year, including disease surveillance and trends in the US Virgin Islands, epidemic intelligence service, and the COVID-19 pandemic epidemiological response.

The report also includes the findings of an online survey of the community on their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as an initiative to evaluate the quality of cistern water of 400 households throughout the USVI.

“Accomplishments highlighted in this year’s report demonstrate the desire of the Epidemiology Division to expand the capacities of our staff while shifting our focus to emerging threats beyond COVID-19,” Dr. Esther Ellis, Territorial Epidemiologist, wrote in the foreword. “While our efforts in early 2022 were prioritized towards the COVID-19 pandemic response, we had to perform outside of these as illustrated in this report.”

“I am proud of our division’s ability to be the driving force for public health surveillance in the US Virgin Islands as we continue to increase our capacity to identify and respond to public health threats,” Dr. Ellis stated.

VI Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion stated that the staff of the Epidemiology Division and the Public Health Laboratory have worked tirelessly over the last few years to support the U.S. Virgin Islands during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while also expanding laboratory and epidemiologic capacity for a wide range of infectious diseases.

“This forward movement increases the resiliency of our public health system through a focus on identification of potential public health threats, timely collection of data, and synthesis of that data to mitigate hazards that could affect our community,” Commissioner Encarnacion stated in the report.

To view the Epi Annual Report, visit EPI_2022AnnualReport_Final.pdf (vi.gov) .

The Epidemiology Division conducts surveillance of nationally notifiable diseases needed for disease monitoring, analysis, and timely reporting of findings to guide public health policy and decision-making.