The V.I. Health Department’s Emergency Operations Center was parked outside the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center on Monday on St. Thomas, ready to provide free COVID-19 vaccines ahead of the school’s planned reopening to in-person classes on Aug. 16. The university’s board of trustees has mandated that all students, faculty and staff must be vaccinated to return to school. Staffing the mobile unit are EMTs with Pafford Emergency Medical Services, based in Arkansas, who are in the territory to help with the COVID-19 response under a contract with the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands. They said about 26 people a day have been taking advantage of the free service, and they will be on-site all week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A mobile unit also is stationed outside the Great Hall at UVI on St. Croix, according to the Health Department. The clinics are open to all, not just UVI students, staff or faculty, and no appointments are necessary.