Hospital only testing those who meet criteria

Pre-employment and pre-camp tests are not available.

Martha's Vineyard Hospital reported its first new case since May 31. — Lexi Pline

Pre-employment and pre-camp testing for COVID-19 is not available at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital due to the limited number of tests.

Speaking to reporters during a weekly teleconference call, hospital CEO Denise Schepici said the hospital received a number of calls from people wanting tests before heading back to work or sending children to summer camp.

Schepici said the hospital has to follow the strict criteria for who can be tested.

“The domestic manufacturing is limited and it gets depleted very quickly,” Schepici said. “That’s why there’s strict criteria, that’s why we have to abide by the criteria.”

Chief nurse and chief operating officer said she didn’t have an exact number, but that a “decent amount of folks” had called the hospital wanting a test because they were heading back to work.

In total the hospital has tested 1,471 patients. Of those 28 have tested positive, 1,397 negatives, and 46 tests pending. It’s been almost four weeks since the hospital reported a new positive case. The hospital will also stop posting weekend updates on testing numbers and will only provide updates on numbers Monday through Friday.

The criteria for testing at the hospital frequently changes, but Seguin said it’s a combination of people who are symptomatic and people who are asymptomatic that are in a high risk category. While there is some provider discretion, allowing pre-employment and pre-camp testing would be too much for the hospital to handle.

While the hospital does not provide testing for people that are going back to work and don’t meet the criteria, Island Health Care (IHC) is offering testing to anyone who wants it. Set up at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School with the help of Quest Diagnostics, the community health center has tested more than 1,600 individuals, three of which have tested positive. 

The hospital is also seeing an increase in the severity of patients coming to the ER, which Schepici says could be an indication that people are postponing care.

“Please come to see us if you have a health concern, putting off your care can cause complications and elevate conditions further. We’re here to care for you and we’ve created a safe environment to do so,” Schepici said. “Please don’t postpone your care.”

The hospital call center can be reached at 508-684-4500. New hours for the call center are Monday through Friday 8 am to 5:30 pm and Saturday 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.

There’s also been a bit of a baby boom on Martha’s Vineyard during the month of June. In total, the hospital expected 19 deliveries and as of Wednesday all but one of those babies has been delivered.

“Pretty exciting news, lots of new babies on the Island,” Seguin said.

Schepici also thanked the community for supporting the hospital, especially an anonymous donor and Mone Insurance employees who coordinated a meal delivery from the Art Cliff Diner for hospital staff. 

“Thank you to everyone who has sent us meals, monetary donations. Thank you to those who offered your skills and time to help us and keep us safe and our patients safe,” Schepici said. “Having the community support us in these ways has made this pandemic that much easier for us to face everyday.”


  1. I was told by the hospital no children can be tested anywhere on island. And if they are short on tests why don’t they borrow some from the Island Health Care folks?

    • There are many medical tests on children that the hospital does not do.
      Young children do not take well to to having a really long Q tip jammed up their noses.
      It takes special training.
      All of the Island’s children are less than an ~hour from a testing site that will accommodate them.

  2. a teleconference call with a doctor is not the same as seeing one, and unless you have really insurance going the ER to actually see a doctor, is $$$$$expensive. I’ve already stated in the past that, although not an emergency, I needed to actually see a doctor and couldn’t because they closed the doctor’s offices.

    • Was it wrong to close Doctor’s offices?
      Hospitals and doctors offices are great places to pick up infectious disease.

      You felt that you needed to see a Doctor.
      Did your Doctor feel the same way?

      Telemedicine is the wave of the future.
      It has been solidly in place for well over decade.
      I know a good half a dozen people who have moved all over the country and keep their Doctors.
      Less than 10% of of medicine is hands on.

  3. My comment was in reference to “please don’t postpone your care”.

    We should have more tests available for everyone, maybe someday soon that will be a reality because the virus isn’t going away anytime soon.

  4. “Anybody that wants a test [for the coronavirus] can get a test.”
    — President Donald Trump, in remarks to reporters on March 6.

    Anyone who thinks this is not a problem and refuses to wear a mask should have the decency to not request a test. Just go home and ride out this little “flu”
    Of course, it is my opinion that those who whine about their freedom being “infringed” upon by being required to wear a mask to help others are in that “basket of deplorables” that could care less about anything but their own desires and really have no decency whatsoever.
    Shame on them.

  5. Testing is no a panacea; nor will it be. If you read the research and not get emotional, you will see that testing is often inaccurate, no way to control people after testing, just see the number of people not wearing masks, gloves, eye protection, etc. If you want to take the time to really learn about this virus, go to: Dr Michael Osterholm, he is a foremost expert in this field. His book Deadliest Enemy should be required reading by anybody in a position of control and/or authority. A lot of inaccurate and bad information is being disseminated by even the so called experts. One has to go to the researchers who have spent a lifetime of research and study on viruses and pandemics….this is not over and more are coming down the pike….we had best be prepared. I want to dandle my great grands on my knee…..have a good weekend and mask up….

    • Testing is a panacea.
      The at home 20 second test that costs less than the price of a cup of coffee (homemade).
      If you come up positive you know that you no longer have to bother with using a mask……

  6. dondondon. You and your buddies in most of the media love this corona. the glass is always half empty and you want more shutdowns. You agonize about every case and every death instead of focusing on what is good for all Americans–a healthy economy. Your buddy Sleepy Joe cant make it healthy from his basement and he doesnt even know where he is most of the time. He said 120 million Americans dead yesterday and you still give him a pass. It gives new meaning to the phrase ”anyone but Trump”

    • So there it is. Andy confirms what we’ve suspected all along. The dollar is more important the human life….

    • Andrew, Biden said “million” instead of “thousand”? Did he also suggest drinking or injecting Clorox? Or claim the virus will just disappear? Or that the opposing party wants more cases? No, only a true idiot would say such things. Biden had a slip of the tongue and he corrected himself a minute later. What else ya got?

    • Andrew does not want to give Biden a pass for saying 120 million, instead of 120 thousand. When Trump just was asked by Hannity what the top priority items would be for a second term, here’s a transcript of what the demented President said:
      “Well, one of the things that will be really great — you know, the word experience is still good. I always say talent is more important than experience, I’ve always said that. But the word experience is a very important word. It’s a very important meaning. I never did this before. I never slept over in Washington. I was in Washington, I think, 17 times, all of a sudden, I’m president of the United States. You know the story, I’m riding down Pennsylvania Avenue with our first lady and I say, this is great. But I didn’t know very many people in Washington. It wasn’t my thing. I was from Manhattan, from New York. Now, I know everybody and I have great people in the administration. You make some mistakes like, you know, an idiot like Bolton. All he wanted to do was drop bombs on everybody. You don’t have to drop bombs on everybody. You don’t have to kill people.”

    • Can you just move to Florida if you like opening up so much? Oh right, they’re shutting stuff down again.

    • I give a pass on million in place of hundred thousand.
      They are both really big numbers.
      I would not be at all surprised if we make it to over half a million, like we did a century ago.

  7. Andrew– thanks once again for telling “me and my buddies”what we think.
    My “buddies” and do not love this corona. But you are correct, we actually do agonize about every death. Every one of those 120,000 people were real people. They had families, and friends who actually loved them. There are an additional 16,000 Americans currently in icu units at this moment. Many of them will die or suffer permanent damage. They can not be visited by their loved ones. They die alone.
    You have no compassion, and your only metric is money- you do not value life at all, and are pleased that old people are dying and no longer getting social security. Today your baby king is petitioning the courts to get 15 million Americans kicked off of affordable health care.
    You criticize Biden for saying million instead of thousand, while giving a pass to all of trump’s and his aids a pass on hundreds “slips of the tongue”, as lying Sarah Huckabee would say.
    how bad is it when the president of the U.S spends 9 minutes talking about how slippery a ramp was that only he had trouble walking down ? His supporters are so drunk on the kool aid that trump gets a resounding ovation for being able to drink out of a glass with only one hand.
    And lets be clear– 4 more years of trump and we might actually have 120 million dead Americans.
    There were idiots among his followers that didn’t think we would even get close to a thousand.

  8. I keep hearing from flag waving maga hat wearing fans of bunker boy that the U.S, as the worlds greatest country is doing more testing than anyone. That’s a flat out lie. Not true for total tests, not true for per capita tests.
    It was reported today that Germany’s largest meat packing company will test all 5,000 of their employees every day.
    And we can only get tested if we meet “strict criteria”.
    The administration’s handling of this has been disgraceful, negligent and, I am sure , we will find out that something criminal has been going on.

  9. I have a serious question for those who believe the virus is just a political tool. How do you explain the lockdowns, economic damage, and deaths in many other countries? I have asked this a few times and did not get any answers.

    • aquinnah– you will not get an honest answer from those who believe this is a just a political tool. they are wed to their lying “stable genius” .
      Facts don’t matter to them .
      But you may get some willfully ignorant comments back to this post.
      I will do my best to research both sides and expose dishonesty.
      I look forward to the willfully ignorant presenting their alternative facts..
      And just to pre empt some of the commentators here , ” Hillary is a liar” -“Obamagate” and “sleepy Joe can’t complete a sentence” is not a rational argument.
      If you want to debate here, answer Aquinnah’s question.
      Otherwise go to Fox “news”
      Save the BS for comments on that political propaganda machine.

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