New confirmed case brings Island total to 18

The hospital is keeping patients and staff safe with a Safe Care Commitment plan. — Lexi Pline

Updated 4:30 pm

The number of confirmed cases on the Martha’s Vineyard rose to 18 Wednesday, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

The hospital reported it has tested a total of 394 patients with 372 negative tests and four pending results. The hospital also reported zero hospitalizations on Wednesday.

According to a report from the Island’s boards of health, of the 18 confirmed cases, ten are female and eight are male. Seven of the cases are aged 50-59 years old, six cases are 60-69 years old, two are 30-39 years old, two are 20-29 years old, and one is 20 years old or younger.

Communications director Katrina Delgadillo confirmed that one of the confirmed COVID-19 patients transferred to Boston due to health complications has died “due to medical complications not proven to be related to COVID-19.”

That patient is one of three who have been transferred off-Island. Two COVID-19 patients were transported to Boston by helicopter and a third maternity patient was taken off-Island by ferry in a private vehicle. The two other COVID-19 transfers have been discharged, according to Delgadillo.

The hospital reported on Friday that it had one patient who was hospitalized. Hospital communications director Katrina Delgadillo told The Times the patient had been discharged on Saturday in “stable condition.”

On the state level Wednesday, the Department of Public Health reported that 265,618  COVID-19 tests had been conducted, with 60,265 confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide.

DPH reported the highest number of deaths in a day with 252 new deaths for a total of 3,405. The bulk of the state’s deaths, nearly two thirds, have been patients 80 or older and the average age of a hospitalized COVID-19 patient is 69. According to the state data, 6 percent of the confirmed cases are hospitalized. 

The Centers for Disease Control expanded its list of symptoms for the virus including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and a new loss of taste or smell.


  1. How are 372 tests coming back negative? What did these people end up having if it wasn’t Coronavirus? I was under the impression that you couldn’t get tested unless you had shortness of breath,fever, and cough.. maybe I was misinformed.

    • You were misinformed. (Not mean as a reproof.) Any one of those criteria in sufficient presentation can warrant a test. What is more, not all who are tested necessarily come to the hospital with COVID as their primary suspicion or complaint. As to what each ended up having, they have HIPPA to prevent one from speculating. (Again, no reproof or overtone here.)

      • Does the hospital make their testing criteria publicly available? Their Covid FAQ hasn’t been updated since mid-March. Early on, there were news stories where people were turned away from testing on MV for not having a fever (while having other symptoms) or for not having severe enough symptoms. Studies from homeless shelters in Boston are now suggesting fever is a symptom in only 1% of covid19 cases. It would make a big difference in my personal rough estimation to the actual number of covid19 cases on island if we know whether or not the hospital is still requiring a fever in order to provide testing.

        • Edgerton, this is a very good question. We are all trying to get a handle on this one. I will try not offer an explanation that is not too convoluted with rambling details, the likes of which sometimes get my replies canned. No HIPAA involved here. The antigen SARS Cov-2, being the virus itself, can be present and detected without any of the markers mentioned. So, a fever at this point won’t show on a thermometer, but the virus will show up on a swab. When the body detects COVID-19 and antibodies are then produced to fight, an individual’s inflammatory response may include fever. Then again, it might not. (Fever, if not too high or uncontrolled, is not necessarily a bad thing. It shows the body is exciting an immune response.) Now, here’s the kicker. You can have two people of the same gender, age, both in good health and both with no comorbidities. One person may be great at producing antibodies, and at doing so quickly. The other might need some practice at producing antibodies, and will have a very different, more pronounced immune response. The dicey part is presuming what a practitioner or institution might have as protocol. This may vary greatly. It is possible that a person may not be tested but presumed to be positive because that person had some but not all of the classic symptoms. This may have been true especially early on, when both tests and lab facilities to process them were scarce. For both the person sent home without a test and for the person tested (and shown to be positive without severe complications) there would not much anyone could do, save treat the symptoms, monitor closely, and try hard not to give the virus to someone else. The difference between being infected and not being infected can hinge on as little as a breath of previously fresh air.

        • You are quite right, and I am quite wrong. What is worse, it’s a correction I have made to others. Mea Culpa.

    • I cannot seem to find the story, but at some point, it was mentioned in the comments here that the hospital has confirmed testing of their own employees. While I don’t want to speak for them, that is standard procedure at other hospitals, so I tend to assume it’s true here. This doesn’t mean that employees are showing symptoms. Just that it’s helpful to make sure workers are negative before they interact with patients.

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