MV Bank reopens branch after fever scare

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The MV Bank has closed down its Uncas Ave branch in Oak Bluffs after an employee developed a fever. — Lexi Pline

Updated March 27

The Martha’s Vineyard Bank has reopened its Uncas Avenue branch in Oak Bluffs after an employee was thought to have a fever.

The bank shut the branch down after an employee was thought to have fallen ill. Bank CEO James Anthony wrote in a press release that while the response may seem extreme, the bank was working “out of an abundance of caution.”

On Friday it was confirmed the employee did not have symptoms.

“As it turns out the scare of a fever was a false alarm,” Christine Conrad, Vice President of Marketing Solutions, told The Times in an email Friday. “Upon closer medical evaluation, the employee did not have a fever nor symptoms that indicate a need to be quarantined.”

The Uncas Avenue branch is now back open with drive up, ATM, and night drop resuming their normal extended hours as of Friday morning.

The bank has instituted several practices to combat the spread of COVID-19, including closing bank lobbies, quarantining cash dispensed at ATMs for up to two days, and extending drive-up hours at its Uncas Avenue, Vineyard Haven, and West Tisbury locations from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm.

On Wednesday, the first person on the Cape to die from COVID-19 was a Barnstable man in his 80s who had pre-existing conditions and was being hospitalized, according to the Department of Public Health.

The first death on the Cape comes as cases have skyrocketed across the state. On Thursday, DPH said there were 2,417 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — a 579 increase of confirmed cases since Wednesday. Ten new deaths have brought the state total to 25.

As cases rise across the state, the Vineyard has reported two confirmed cases and the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital reported one hospitalization as of Wednesday.

St. Andrews Church in Edgartown and Grace Church in Vineyard Haven will be discontinuing in-person public worship until May 31, according to a statement from the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

The Diocese ordered all clergy and leadership across the state to discontinue in-person public worship. Online and live-streamed services from church buildings are still allowed as long as fewer than 10 people are present and physical distancing is maintained. Funerals and memorial services may also proceed as long as fewer than 10 people are present. 

Meanwhile unemployment claims have increased exponentially, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The federal agency listed 7,449 non-seasonally adjusted advanced claims in Massachusetts during the week ending March 14, and 147,995 during the week ending March 21 — a nearly twentyfold increase.

Updated to include branch reopening and increase in confirmed cases. — Ed.