Updated at 4:30 pm
At his press briefing on Friday, Gov. Charlie Baker was asked what kind of summer it’s going to be in Massachusetts. He started by praising the creative ways people are coming up with to share ideas and stories calling it one of the “few positives” out of the COVID-19 crisis.
“It will definitely be a different kind of summer,” Baker said.
He was also asked about Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s decision to cancel all festivals and parades in the city this summer and whether that’s something he could see happening statewide.
“It would be hard for me to imagine given how popular those parades are how you would deliver on a social distancing standard for those parades,” Baker said, noting that they are often should-to-shoulder with spectators.
He also acknowledged that one of the issues that hasn’t yet been figured out is whether there can be summer camps and childcare this summer. He said it’s a topic of discussion among governors he speaks with on a daily basis.
“These issues are hard and the way I would describe them would be to say that I think everybody who is talking about this would like to figure out a way to do it and do it as safely as it can be done,” Baker said. “The tough part is figuring out especially when it comes to some of the stuff that involves the joys of being a kid, figuring out some way to do this where you have at least enough rules to do it safely but you don’t destroy the whole spontaneous nature of what those are supposed to be about.”
During the press briefing Baker and his administration urged those with chronic illnesses to stay in touch with their doctors and to use telemedicine.
At his Thursday press briefing, Baker stressed the importance of contact tracing and that individuals should answer calls from MA COVID Team which would come from an 833 or 857 number.
Martha’s Vineyard boards of health spokesperson Maura Valley told The Times Friday that public health nurses from Island Health Care are conducting contact tracing for the Island. Nurses then provide the information to town health agents and add it to the State database.
Valley is working on a more in-depth report of patients case status.
At the state level Friday, the number of newly reported confirmed cases was 1,612. New deaths jumped to 150. There are now a total of 75,333 cases and 4,702 deaths statewide. Hospitalizations lowered to 4 percent of the total cases and 366,023 people have been tested for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the 23 confirmed cases reported by the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and another reported separately by the Martha’s Vineyard boards of Health holds the Islands total to 24.
According to the hospital’s daily update, 548 patients have been tested for COVID-19. Of those, 516 have tested negative and nine are pending results. There are currently no hospitalizations on Martha’s Vineyard.
The 24th COVID-19 positive patient was deemed positive after receiving an antibody test, according to Valley. The patient was ill in March, contacted their local board of health and self-isolated during the time, but was not tested.
“Due to the positive antibody test the individual is now considered a positive case but is no longer ill,” Valley wrote in an email.
Of the 24 confirmed cases, 13 are female and 11 are male. Eight 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, one is 40-49, and another is 20 years old or younger.
The hospital has implemented new criteria for the tests. Schepici said the biggest change is the removal of the age criteria, allowing for testing of all symptomatic patients. Testing has also been expanded to anyone who is showing symptoms of a new cough, a new sore throat, a fever, new nasal congestion, new shortness of breath, new muscle aches, and new loss of smell.
Updated to include current numbers, information on 24th positive case, and Baker’s daily press briefing. — Ed.