Residents are waiting far too long to report their COVID-19 symptoms to the relevant local healthcare professionals and as a result are arriving in the Emergency Room at the Dr. D Orlando Smith Hospital too late.

This was the sentiments shared by the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA), Cedorene Malone-Smith, who made the statement during a recent COVID-19 update.

According to the Acting CEO, persons who take too long to present themselves to the authorities create a greater risk of suffering more severe complications from the COVID-19 virus.

She said, “Dr Georges talked just now about folks coming into the emergency room, coming in a little bit late. If you’re not feeling well, please do what Dr. Georges says, call the hotline at 852-7650 or call 911. It’s better for you to come in and get assessed, be stabilized and sent home, than wait until you get so sick that when you come to the hospital, we’re trying to figure out how to get you back to some kind of stable place and hopefully to some kind of health.”

“It is a lot more that has to be done when somebody comes in and they’re a lot sicker than we hoped they would have been presented earlier. So please if you feel not well, make a call, we will do an assessment,” Malone-Smith pleaded.

The acting CEO urged residents to utilise the online COVID-19 Tracker form at and put in their symptoms to see which category they fall in. Once this is completed, she says someone from public health will make contact and talk the applicant through the process.

Meanwhile, Malone-Smith also said that her staff at the hospital has been experiencing burnout due to the overwhelming increase of patients which has resulted in the operations working at full capacity.

She therefore appealed to all persons who are interested in assisting the staff in some of the operational roles to contact the hospital as soon as possible.