On Friday, Gov. Charlie Baker stressed the importance of taking proper measures against COVID-19, reiterating comments he made Thursday that the virus was on the rise in Massachusetts.
“These lapses in judgment, these missed opportunities to keep the door that we worked so hard to keep shut are contributing to a slight, but important rise in positive cases here in Massachusetts,” Baker said. “Recently, we’ve seen disturbing reports of large gatherings where people are letting down their guard, not wearing face coverings, not social distancing, and giving the virus the opening that it relentlessly seeks to spread.”
Baker added that clusters are popping up across the state such as a large lifeguard party in Falmouth, a house party in Chatham, an unauthorized football camp in South Weymouth, a high school graduation in Chelmsford, and a house party in Wrentham.
A key piece of data the state has been monitoring is the percentage of coronavirus tests that come back positive. That number has increased in the past few weeks from 1.7 percent to approximately 2 percent.
“If we continue to see a rise in new cases and changes in public health data we will have to consider a number of options including reducing the gathering size back down to a smaller number,” Baker said.
Baker also introduced a new public health initiative, Mask Up MA! The effort puts emphasis on wearing masks and face coverings.
“When you go out, make sure you wear a mask or face covering. Masks slow the spread of COVID-19. They protect you. They protect everyone around you. And they help Massachusetts move in the right direction. So, Mask Up, Massachusetts!” the initiative’s website reads.
Martha’s Vineyard has also seen an uptick in cases in recent weeks.
The total confirmed case count on Martha’s Vineyard sits at 52, based on reports from the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital (MVH), Island boards of health, the TestMV site, and the town of Aquinnah.
The hospital reported no new COVID-19 cases Friday, with the total number of confirmed cases remaining at 37.
In total, the hospital has tested 2,937 patients for COVID-19. Of those, 2,870 tests have come back negative, with 30 pending tests. There are currently no hospitalizations due to COVID at MVH.
The TestMV site reports 6,941 total tests performed, with 5,593 negatives, 15 positives, and 1,333 tests still pending. According to the TestMV website, due to high demand for COVID-19 molecular testing nationwide, results for TestMV asymptomatic patients will now be available in seven or more days. First responders and health care workers can continue to expect results within one to two days.
The Island boards of health report one new confirmed positive case, having conducted 17 antibody tests.
The Aquinnah laboratory so far has conducted 75 tests, with 69 total negatives and six pending tests.
The total number of cases, including presumptive (positive tests, antibody tests, and symptomatic positives), is 72
The MVH, the town of Aquinnah, boards of health, and TestMV, the testing site at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, each report their own testing numbers. Those numbers are then all compiled by the boards of health. The actual number of cases can be difficult to count due to lag time and overlaps in testing each day.
On Friday, the boards of health confirmed that 49 of the 52 confirmed cases are no longer symptomatic and have been released from isolation. two cases are still being followed by public health officials, and one case was unable to be contacted for follow up.
The boards of health have linked 23 of the confirmed cases to several cases among eight different household groups.
Of 52 of the confirmed cases, 31 are female, and 21 are male. Of those, 13 of the cases are aged 50-59 years old, 13 are 20-29 years old, eight cases are 60-69 years old, six are 30-39 years old, seven are 20 years old or younger, three are 40-49, and two are 70 years or older.
The boards of health are also reporting on probable cases. The Island’s total number of presumed positives is 20. Of those 17 were positive antibody tests, and three were symptomatically positive.
Of the probable cases, 12 are female and eight are male. Of the 20 presumed positive cases, seven are aged 60-69, four are aged 50-59, three are aged 40-49, three are aged 20-29, two are under 20 years old, and one is over the age of 70.
At the state level Friday, there were 387 new confirmed cases, bringing the state total to 109,787. There were 14 new deaths which brought the total number of deaths to 8,389. There have been 1,180,605 tests conducted across Massachusetts.