Updated 4:10 pm
After a spike over the weekend, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 remained at 22 Monday, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital’s daily update.
As of Monday, the hospital has tested 476 patients. Of those tests, 450 have come back negative and four are pending results. There are currently no COVID-19 patients being hospitalized at the hospital.
According to a report from the Island’s boards of health, the 22 confirmed cases are split evenly between males and females. Seven of the cases are aged 50-59 years old, seven cases are 60-69 years old, two are 30-39 years old, five are 20-29 years old, and one is 20 years old or younger.
Gov. Charlie Baker said the state is planning to open in phases on May 18 as advised by the federal government, but stressed that it will not be business as usual.
“There won’t be anyone firing a starting gun on May 18 and saying everybody’s off to the races, but we do hope that certain types of businesses and workplaces will be able to resume operations under the guidelines of this process,” Baker said.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said the advisory group put together to guide the reopening of the economy continues to develop a plan, but clarified that only the advisory board’s report will be released on May 18.
“Some industry sectors will be more ready than others,” Polito said. “That’s what May 18 is, it doesn’t mean the economy across our commonwealth will reopen, it’s just not possible as everybody knows.”
Meanwhile, the Boston Globe reported that around 1 pm, hundreds of people gathered outside the Massachusetts State House Monday to call for an end to restrictions designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
In videos posted on Twitter, protestors can be seen holding signs saying “end shutdown” and “Governor Baker end lockdown hoax.”
Super Happy Fun American, a group who identified as one of the rally’s hosts on its website, called the protest a Liberty Rally.
“Americans are suffering due to the unprecedented economic shutdown imposed by the government as a response to COVID-19. The politicians, bureaucrats, and media remain gainfully employed while they callously dismiss concerns about the impact their decisions have upon our jobs, wages, and well-being.
On Monday, May 4, there was a significant drop in the number of new cases reported and the number of new deaths. There were 1,000 new cases reported by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, for a total of 69,087. There were 86 new COVID-19-related deaths for a total of 4,090. Currently, 5 percent of all cases are hospitalized, with 15,652 new tests reported today, for a total of 324,268 total tests conducted.
The state is also gearing up for Wednesday when Baker’s executive order that all people in public wear face coverings goes into effect.
Per the order, violators may face fines of up to $300, but enforcement is left up to local city and town officials. While stressing the need for face coverings Baker asked people not to buy medical grade masks which should be reserved for health care workers and first responders.
The order requires the nose and mouth to be covered with a bandanna, t-shirt, cloth mask, painters mask, and other material. The requirement would not apply to children two years of age and younger or people with medical issues that would prevent them from wearing a mask, according to Baker.
Updated to include Boston protests. -ed.