Saturday: Positive COVID-19 tests jump from 19 to 22


Updated at 1:40 and 4:20 pm, Saturday, to include Schepici and Valley statements

Three more positive COVID-19 tests have been reported by Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, up from 19 on Friday — a one-day increase of more than 15%. The hospital reported zero COVID-19 hospitalizations on Saturday. There were 423 negative tests (up from 408 Friday). Pending tests number at 12.

In an emailed statement to The Times, MV Hospital CEO Denise Schepici confirmed the increase in positive tests. “As I have mentioned before, this increase in positives has been anticipated and we should expect these numbers to rise in the days ahead,” she wrote. “The best way to defend against the virus is to follow the guidelines we have recommended: social distancing, washing of hands, and wearing a mask when you go outside. We want to keep everyone safe.”

Asked if the increase in positive tests has any link to the recent easement in construction restrictions, Tisbury Health Agent Maura Valley emailed,

“I do not believe there is a connection.”

Valley confirmed there were three new cases and 22 total lab cases overall. Of those cases, 11 were female and 11 were male. One person was less than 20 years old, five people were between the ages of 20 to 29, two people were between the ages of 30 to 39, seven people were between the ages of 50 to 59 and seven people were between the ages of 60 to 69, Valley reported. 

In its daily update, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 1,952 COVID-19 cases for Saturday, with the state total to date being 66,263. The number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths across the Bay State is now 3,846.


  1. I hope all those infected will get better, these numbers are troubling an increase of 15% in one day and if those numbers continue because people are getting tired of distancing. Like last night at 630pm a soccer game was being played by eight to ten males at the Tisbury School playground with no masks and of course no distancing. In addition some of the players families were present with over ten children playing together and a mothers group sitting together in a tight group and not one mask in sight. The numbers are going to climb and then we will not have to worry about a rush of summer people coming here not to anthrax island.

  2. Look, if you want to stay home because you feel safer, do that. Those of us who are less concerned want to resume as normal a life as possible, and are ready and willing to move on. Certainly folks at risk would be advised to take care, but we’re not children; I for one resent the government treating us as though we were. Sweden is getting it right! Finally, please study the actual risks and numbers, and do the math. One day we’ll look back and discover how dreadfully we overreacted.

    • I completely agree with everything you said. Sweden is emerging as a good example of how our country should have handled Covid 19. They are well in their way to acquiring herd immunity and avoiding a second wave while we are well on our way to what, exactly? A never ending shutdown that many people seem to eagerly embrace regardless of the long term consequences. Make no mistake this shutdown will cost lives in the form of suicide and deaths Whether it be from suicides or substance abuse or economic devastation. I agree we should all wear masks and social distance, it’s not that difficult, but shutting down our economy and ordering people to stay in their homes is pure madness. I am confident in the future we will look back at this shutdown as a huge mistake. Already studies are showing that a large percentage of people have already had Coronavirus and Either never showed symptoms or fully recovered without even Knowing they had it. When you factor these people in the fatality rate is calculated to be .5 percent or lower — and that’s IF you contract the virus. And a vast majority of those who die from the virus are either over 65 or have pre-existing conditions or both. The bottom line is if you are young and healthy you have an almost zero chance of dying from the virus, a fact that our mainstream media doesn’t seem to focus on. These extreme measures

      • The pre-existing issues that have been linked to a worse COVID outcome include a high BMI, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer, and diabetes. Countless millions of Americans have these conditions. Some are extremely common, and since many do not or cannot see a doctor, they can go undiagnosed and untreated. Some act like there’s a tiny handful of people who fall into the sick category. Not so, if you really look at what they mean by sick. You can appear healthy, or even feel healthy, and have numerous risk factors working against you. And there is nothing that simple about herd immunity, let alone where this particular virus is concerned, which is why we had to proceed with caution.

        I won’t bother to get into Sweden except to say that they’re not yet a success story, and even if they were, we are culturally light-years from Sweden, which has already been proven by our maskless freedom fighterz. Many Americans take the opposite approach to authority and responsibility.

      • “The bottom line is if you are young and healthy you have an almost zero chance of dying from the virus, a fact that our mainstream media doesn’t seem to focus on. ” (Euthanasia is legal in Sweden. No kidding.)
        NO! NO! By all that is Holy, NO! Unless on practices and/or studies medicine, one might not be able to see clearly how reckless and false this statement is. What makes this line of thougtlessness even more destructive is that if someone else, who is young, healthy, and has no comorbidities becomes infected and dies a protracted, hypoxic, death, well, that’s a grand sacrifice you are eager to make. You are willing to make it for infants and teens, and for their parents. Fiscal homicide. One day, those who survive this will remember sons, or daughters, or parents, or gandparents, who perished. They will light candles on their behalfs, and wish more would have been done to stop it.

    • Who among your family would you be ready and willing to sacrifice if people stop following all guidelines? A mom? A dad? Do you have kids? Nieces or nephews? A partner in life? Would it be okay with you to lose someone you love because people thought their freedoms were being impinged upon by having to cover their face and not congregate, and because they didn’t go back to their nonessential jobs fast enough? People can stamp their feet, bring guns to demonstrations, scream their heads off, and carry Nazi signs to make sure everyone knows how mad they are that they feel their rights are trampled—and how much they want to everything to be normal again. And guess what? Things will never be the same. It won’t always be like this, but there’s a new normal. Who’s the baby here and who are the grownups? Accepting reality is part of maturity. Wear you mask.

      • The MV Times needs to step up and stop rantings like this. Enough already of the screaming minority voices. Time to move on.

        • I would prefer if they stopped your nonsense. The vast majority of the country supports the current social distancing policies. This is a verifiable fact. Your opinion is the minority.

        • So I happen to not agree with you so I should be silenced or censored? Unbelievable … for the record I am wearing a mask when I have to go out and I am practicing social distancing. I just have a different opinion about the lockdown … And for that I get called names and insulted and have people calling for me to lose my right to express a different opinion? And I’m the one you guys accuse of being the radical? Gimme a break ….

          • Jimmy, I think you have a right to express your opinions, just like everyone else. If those opinions involve disputed information, expect to see someone counter them.

        • BS, add me to the growing list of posters who don’t understand why you keep claiming that those who want to be more cautious are in the minority. Thank goodness that’s not true from what I’m seeing. The financial concern (from those who are actually being harmed by this) is 110% valid. But please understand no one, far as I’ve read, is advocating for a permanent shutdown or “no end in sight”. It’s my understanding we all just want to try and get this right and reopen smartly. Tons of professionals have been working on plans to do just that. But we need tests, coordination, and unified support from our government to make it happen. And patience and understanding from the public. I don’t believe anyone is happy to witness the damage to the economy, but that’s no excuse to be dismissive of health considerations.

    • The jury’s still out on the Swedish experiment. See, for example, the Bloomberg story from May 1: It’s also worth mentioning that Sweden has much, much better access to health care than the U.S. Testing remains terribly inadequate, and in the few places where widespread testing has been done, it’s generally found that the number of positives is high. Keep in mind that people with COVID-19 can be contagious before they show any symptoms, and they may not show symptoms at all. Sorry, voiceofreason, you say “we’re not children,” but you sound like a child stamping his foot and saying “I won’t, I won’t, I won’t, and you can’t make me.”

    • “Sweden is getting it right!” Huh? “Do the math.” Ok I will. Currently, Sweden has registered 265 deaths per million (population). Neighboring Nordic countries that did not adopt Sweden’s model have numbers astonishingly more favorable: Denmark 82, Finland 40 and Norway 39. What exactly is Sweden “getting right!”?

  3. Are just self inflicted wounds. I just hope it’s not too late to heal these wounds before more people’s lives are ruined unnecessarily

  4. I couldn’t agree more voiceofreason. We now know who is at risk and the hospital as well as the state is prepared for any potential onslaught on new cases. If you are worried about getting the disease by all means stay in quarantine. Even before this virus just leaving your house everyday was a roll of the dice. Our elected leaders need to understand they are our public servants. They need to take direction from us, not the other way around. Time to get back to business and life!

    • But BS polls show the majority of voters agree with what has been done in terms of shutting down, so we are being served.

  5. Look, if you feel safe exposing yourself to as many people as possible and are ready to die of this disease do not be a child.
    Make an adult decision.

  6. the more that get tested, the more the numbers rise. The question is how many in ICU or flown off island? Where are these tests coming from? Are these test being in conjunction with contact tracing? So are we testing people that are in the same family (possibly asymptomatic ) and they test positive? I want more detail than the number your reporting.

    • Indeed.The more you test, the higher the count of positives ..thankfully none apparently sick enough for admission.Daily tally reporting makes for headlines but is not necessarily informative. One would expect all family members of a positive-resulter living under the same roof would test positive. The testing of more people is valuable in directing positive test-takers to quarantine; but the daily tally report is more sensationalism than educational.

  7. Obviously this is being brought over from travel to islands, day workers (from any/all forms of jobs), day trips from locals etc..

    Wouldn’t it be great if hospital would notify public as cases go up if infected recently arrived or have been here this whole time. Would ease people blaming any groups.

    However, I did hear that both oak bluffs building inspectors commute hear each day and now have to visit every job site in that town. Shouldn’t they be tested as if they are carriers they will basically infect all construction trades.
    Food for thought.

  8. I understand about issues concerning privacy.
    The statistics that the Times continues to post are useless information.
    We know — we know– men and women are equal on this one.
    The times reports the ages of the people infected, but does not correlate that with the severity of their illness.
    It’s totally useless information.
    I certainly hope someone has the information to know if all these cases were people who worked at one or 2 essential businesses.
    We know for instance , that a significant number of people were infected at a pork processing plant in Minnesota. I have not seen any numbers about if they were male or female, old or young. Black or white. Nor do I care . Nor is that relevant in any way.
    What is important is that they were all in the same building.
    Come on, let’s not be so touchy freely that next week, If we have 10 new positive cases , and they were all people who attended the soccer game that teehump talks about, we can’t have that information.
    It’s important information— if cases double next week, they will likely be 50% male 50 % female, and they will all be of some age.
    If we have 22 new cases this week and no one knows anything about how they contracted it, then the building departments will want to put the work ban back on, even if in fact , not a single case was work related, and all cases were people who arrived on the island last week.
    Privacy is good– data is better. Pertinent data–
    I am 67 year old male– Who cares about my gender or my age ? If I get sick, you can be sure as long as I can type, I will let everyone know who I am , how I think I got it, and I will notify anyone I was in contact with, and notify the owners of every store I was in.
    There is more to social responsibility than putting on a mask.
    Information saves lives.
    And, if you think that you should have a mask on while riding a bicycle in the state forest because you might pass someone coming the other way, do not roll the windows down in your car, as you pass other vehicles at about the same distance as passing a bicycle on a bike path.
    There is a line between reasonable measures, and hysteria.

    • Hey Don.
      We can only report the numbers that we get. We’re not withholding anything from our readers.

      • You could report how many being tested are asymptomatic contacts of previously tested- positive persons. Might help take down the hysteria. Just sayin’….

      • Jamie– I understand the Time’s position and limitations on this information.
        I am not blaming the Times. Nor do I think the Times is withholding anything.
        I apologize if it came off that way.
        My comment is directed more at the hospital, health departments, and government officials.
        Somewhere along the line, if local officials are going to make decisions about whether or not hundreds or thousands of people can have a job, they should base those decisions on something factual.
        Privacy is important, but we are in a situation where 2 thousand people a day are dying, and the economy is collapsing. I doubt telling health officials that the 3 most recent cases were all from one family that was sick when they got off the boat, of if they all worked in a local supermarket or on the same construction site infringes on anyone’s privacy. but it makes a real difference in how public policy should be decided.

      • Hi, Jamie. Can the paper ask the hospital more about the negative test results? I am wondering what percentage of those who tested were actual patients who came in exhibiting symptoms and what we can chalk up to routine testing of asymptomatic medical employees. If that makes sense. Also, is anyone on the Island routinely conducting contact tracing for all of the positive results? Thanks. ????

    • It seems you should quarantine based on your demographic. That’s life, sorry. The rest of us should be allowed to carry on and when you get your vaccine we look forward to you joining us.

    • Don – Good discussion regarding information and the value thereof. I can tell you with relative assurance we are not going to be getting the kind of detailed information needed to make our own decisions. I have also contemplated along the same lines as you. My decision to trust Dr. Currier and others in his position stands. Let’s give the experts more time.

  9. Sweden Coronavirus Cases: 22,082 Deaths: 2,669 Recovered: 1,005 as of May 2nd – worldometer
    When looking at all-cause mortality — which is probably a better gauge of the real level of coronavirus deaths — Sweden has been hit with “very high” excess deaths since the start of the year, according to the European body monitoring these statistics. In Denmark, they’ve been “low.” -bloomberg.

  10. Some of you should really listen to yourselves. You sound like a bunch of communist sympathizers. We can’t keep our commerce in a box of mothballs because of a few deaths no matter who they are my family or others. Is there a reason you would like to see America wither and die so that you can continue with this Rediculous banter. Another point, no matter how special you think our island is , IT IS OWNED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA NOT FHE DNC… GET OVER IT ALREADY WE ARE AMERICANS, WE FIGHT HARD WORK HARD AND PLAY HARD. We will never cower in the dark.

    • Die hard?

      “We can’t keep our commerce in a box of mothballs because of a few deaths.”

      Would you say a few Americans died in Vietnam? We’ve surpassed that number already.

      We just lost 2.909 people to COVID in only 24 hours. Remember that officials are having trouble dealing with, and therefore properly counting, all of the unattended deaths at home. So it could be more. While I’m aware we have a large population, seeing numbers like this in 24-hour cycles is hardly what I’d call a few. And they’re not just numbers. They represent real suffering. I wouldn’t be so dismissive of death and then brag about playing hard. It almost makes it sound like you don’t care.

      It’s not cowering to take what scientific info we do have and implement a strategy for reopening as slowly and safely as that current knowledge will allow. There’s nothing brave about running into traffic just because you can.

    • 66,369 deaths is more than a few. A macabre statistical observation: The United States and Sweden have the same case to fatality rate, 5.9%. ( So, again, if a loved one of yours should perish during the scourge, that’s a sacrifice you are willing to make? Have you sat down with your family to tell them directly that you prefer their deaths to taking precautions?

    • Denial is neither manly nor patriotic, crayon. Ignorant, childish behavior that ignores facts is NOTHING like bravery. Brave people are our essential workers. These are fine Americans. There is nothing brave about foolishness.

  11. I know people need to make money that is a given but to hear about having Soccer games and not distancing and kids playing together come on that does not make sense. Until there is a good system of testing everyone and contact tracing everyone needs to be vigilant if that does not happen there is a good chance our tiny Hospital will get overwhelmed.

  12. I know for a fact that 2 of these recent positive cases are as follows.
    A front line worker and the other person was someone that traveled frequently off island (they live here)
    Print this or not….but these are facts.
    Neither had anything to do with construction.
    Why can’t we get this info from our hospital? All the positives make people wonder what can they do differently to not get this? Or blame demographics or blame off islanders. We need facts from our hospitals across the states….we need contact tracing, we need public information. We don’t need names.
    We need to be armed with information.
    We need less hysteria

  13. It appears that you already have a source of what you assert to be facts. You imply that the information did not come from MVH. This sounds plausible. If the information did not come from the hospital, from where did you get it? I am not a lawyer. Forgive me, then, for this redundancy, even though I urge you to reread it.

    If HIPAA Rules are violated under false pretenses the maximum fine rises to $100,000 and/or up to 5 years imprisonment. The maximum civil penalty for knowingly violating HIPAA Rules is $250,000, such as when healthcare information is stolen with the intent to sell, transfer, or use for personal gain, commercial advantage, or malicious harm. In addition to a fine, the maximum jail term is 10 years.

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