Hospital confirms new case of COVID-19

Island total rises to 10.

6
The state is now reporting on the number of positive antibody tests retroactive to March 1.

Updated 3:45 pm

The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital has confirmed a ninth positive case of COVID-19, totaling 10 confirmed cases on the Island. 

As of 8:45 am Friday, the hospital has collected 125 test samples, received 105 negative tests, and has 11 cases still pending. There are no hospitalizations at this time. 

Of the 10 cases, four are male and six are female. Six cases are in the 50-59 age bracket while two cases are in the 60-69. There is one case in both the 20-29 and 30-39 brackets.

The hospital’s confirmation of a ninth case comes after Tisbury health agent Maura Valley confirmed a case on the Vineyard with a symptomatic diagnosis Tuesday.

The hospital, Island boards of health, and the state report numbers at different times of day — making it difficult to receive accurate numbers of confirmed cases on the Island.

Valley, who is also the spokesperson for the Island boards of health, cleared up the confusion saying the hospital’s confirmed case would bring the Island total to 10.

While the hospital has reported zero hospitalizations, Katrina Delgadillo, communications director for the hospital, confirmed the hospital has sent two COVID-19 positive patients to Boston via Boston MedFlight, but could not comment on whether they were Island residents or their symptoms.

Andrew Farkas, COO of Boston MedFlight, told The Times that several flights between the Vineyard and Boston have taken place to transport patients that may have COVID-19.

“We’ve transported a number of patients from the Vineyard hospital with suspected COVID-19,” Farkas said. “We work closely with the hospital if they have to transport patients. It’s a good team effort.”

Farkas did not have an exact number of COVID-19 patients transported from the Vineyard to Boston, but said it was “a handful.”

Farkas added that recently around 75 percent of Boston MedFlight’s flights have been COVID-19 related.

On Friday, the Department of Public Health (DPH) released its daily count of confirmed cases and deaths due to COVID-19, showing 1,436 new cases in Massachusetts for a total confirmed case count of 10,402. Thirty-eight new deaths brought the state total to 192. More than 62,000 people in the state have been tested.

On Friday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced the state’s plan for an increased effort in tracing contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

“What we’re doing here today is the beginning of breaking of new ground in the fight against COVID-19,” Baker said.

Efforts include a community tracing program that will include a virtual call center of 1,000 virtual contact tracers and be up and running by the end of the month.

Staff will contact people who test positive to make sure they’re healthy, get contact information from them, and contact people who may have been potentially exposed so they can self-quarantine or get treatment.

Meanwhile, Tisbury selectmen unanimously extended the town stay-at-home restrictions until noon on May 4. The board also unanimously reissued a construction moratorium until noon on April 21.

 

Updated to include contact tracing program and Boston MedFlight confirmation. — Ed.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Why all the secrecy? Why can’t they be straight up about these Covid patients? People need to know what their symptoms are that warranted a MediLift. And if they have the virus and they’re shipping people off to Boston, can we safely assume Martha’s Vineyard hospital is not equipped to handle this deadly virus?
    And what are the symptomatic criteria that would get someone Medlifted to Boston vs sent home to Quarantine on island. And why is no one in the Martha’s Vineyard hospital?
    This is not a time for secrecy. This is a time for full disclosure ( which can be done anonymously so that the people of Martha’s Vineyard know what they’re dealing with. Honesty is the best policy. America — Stop witholding information.

    • here here totally agree stop the bs and political BS just be honest for once. tell us the truth and be set free!!!!!!

      • This is not a matter of secrecy, political intervention, or being unwilling to be honest. Privacy is a matter of Federal law. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a Federal law. It must be followed by hospitals and doctors, and a list of other agencies. Exceptions can be made for “public health authorities and their authorized agents for public health purposes.” To see who is bound by HIPAA, see https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/security/laws-regulations/index.html. To see which agents can access PHI, private health information, https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/m2e411a1.htm. It’s not because the public has a right to know; it doesn’t. There are those sections of government, however, that are obligated to inquire or to be informed of pertinent information. We may disagree with the law, but at present, hospitals and doctors are bound to keep PHI confidential and only reveal it to those permitted to access it by law.

    • They’ve told us pretty much all they can about individual patients without breaking privacy rule. It would be helpful to hear more about the hospital’s policy, though. How they make the decision to transfer someone when it comes to this disease. At $23,000ish per flight, I would imagine it’s only being done in serious cases.

  2. The hospital is expecting a surge and there are 3 ventilators. It makes sense to send people to Boston so that we can better handle more and more people needing them. People go in the hospital if they are not getting enough oxygen or respiratory failure. From my understanding, in the hospital they are put on oxygen, and if that isn’t enough to help them breathe, then it becomes a matter of life and death– ventilator, tracheotomy. Arm yourself with knowledge by listening to what every news channel is telling us. Know what symptoms require hospitilation and give our hospital and every single person who is there, from doctors to housekeeping, what they deserve– gratitude.

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