Aquinnah: Relief comes in many forms


I have wonderful news; as of April 30, Salt Rock Chocolate is officially open. Salt Rock Chocolate is a company started by Ali and Sarah Flanders, who studied under the master chocolatiers of Chilmark Chocolates. They will be shipping and doing on-Island home delivery of orders while the stay-at-home orders continue. You can place orders at

Just a reminder that you can subscribe to various news, agendas, and event listings that are posted on the Town’s website. To subscribe please visit

The Aquinnah Public Library will host a “Virtual Birding” event with Saskia Vanderhoop of Sassafras Earth Education, on Thursday, April 30, from 6:30 to 8 pm. The event will be on Zoom and will be a mindful birding experience. Email Julia at to register.

As of Monday, there are two cases of COVID-19 reported in Aquinnah. According to the weekly Board of Health update, the two people had previously tested positive where they live off-Island. Both patients waited until their symptoms passed and quarantined themselves for 14 days before travelling to the Island. Once here, they travelled directly to their home. They only left their home to go to the hospital to get retested when one of them started showing symptoms again. According to the update, “They are doing well, staying home” and staying in touch with Karen Colombo, the local health assistant and inspector, on a regular basis.

To me the most disconcerting information in this report is that once you have COVID-19 and seemingly recover, it can come back. There have been other reports of this happening and I find it discouraging, as do, I am sure, the people getting sick twice. Please everyone, stay home as much as possible, and if you go out wear a mask. This past Saturday was a glorious day and I saw so many people out and about without masks. If we are to make it to the other side of this outbreak, everyone needs to wear a mask when they are outside where they may run into other people. And when it is a beautiful day here, you will run into other people.

The Island-wide construction ban has been lifted as of Monday, but regulations have changed. If you have a project at your home and are not clear on the current guidelines go to the town website or contact Karen Colombo at or 508-645-2309.

If you live in Aquinnah and are having difficulty paying your rent due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I have some good news for you. The Aquinnah Gay Head Community Association has made a grant to the Permanent Endowment for its Emergency Response Fund, that will be given to the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority. The funds are earmarked for Aquinnah market-rate renters who meet the criteria for the Authority’s Emergency Rental Relief Program due to COVID-19. Online applications are being accepted by the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority; further information is at the Authority’s website:

Happy birthday to Ella Mahoney, who was born on May Day, and to Alex Taylor who celebrates on May 6. Ella, I miss seeing you and Alex, I know the block party (a.k.a. Keggers and Cakes) will not be happening this year, but I know that both of you will find a way to celebrate your marvelous selves.

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Molly Purves,