Hospital reports 39th COVID-19 case Wednesday

The hospital’s second confirmed case this month comes as confirmed cases rise across the state.

Martha's Vineyard Hospital reported a new case Wednesday - Kyra Steck
 Test MV/Drive-through siteMV HospitalOther/Boards of HealthAquinnahTotals
Total tests performed13769461828318670
Total negatives13398452827818204
Total pending345455395
Total confirmed positives26452072
Percentage positive of total tests performed.19%.98%.39%
Antibody tests, Off-Island tests, symptomatic positives2424
Total Cases (positive tests + antibody tests + symptomatic positives)96

Updated 6:45 pm

Martha’s Vineyard Hospital reported a new case Wednesday — their second confirmed case this month — bringing their total number of confirmed cases to 39.

On Wednesday the total number of patients tested for the virus at the hospital are 3,130. Of those, 3,044 have tested negative and 47 are pending results.

As Massachusetts has seen a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases, the hospital has seen an uptick of its own since going the entire month of June without a positive case. In July, the hospital confirmed nine cases.

The TestMV site operated by Island Health Care (IHC) at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School reported a new case Tuesday, bringing its total number of positives to 16. In all, TestMV has tested 7,636 patients, with 7,051 negatives, and 569 tests still pending. The TestMV site tests asymptomatic individuals.

Over the past two weeks, TestMV had a backlog of more than 1,000 tests pending results, but has since cut that number in half. According to the IHC website, increased capacity at the Quest lab in Marlborough along with innovations in pool testing, turnaround times for test results are now averaging five days.

Pool testing is when test samples are combined from several people and tested all at once to detect COVID-19. If a pooled test results in a negative, all samples can be presumed negative; if positive, all samples will need to be tested individually. This is helpful in an area such as Martha’s Vineyard, where the rate of positive tests is low.

“We have recently increased capacity through several lab innovations. These include the use of specimen pooling, which is now in place at three of our laboratories, and improvements in RNA specimen extraction. We have also expanded our lab referral network to include a half dozen laboratories to facilitate greater access to COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing,” a statement on IHC’s website from Quest reads. “We now have capacity to perform 150,000 COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests a day. We expect to expand capacity further to 185,000 tests per day by Labor Day, with further gains possible.”

While results will take longer for asymptomatic patients. First responders and health care workers can continue to expect results within one to two days.

On Tuesday, the town of Aquinnah reported it has conducted 75 tests, with 69 total negatives and six pending results. 

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 in its expanded report that 49 of the Island’s 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. Data is not yet available on new cases from this week since the board of health’s expanded report is released every Friday.

The boards of health have linked 23 of the confirmed cases to several cases among eight different household groups. 

Of 54 of the confirmed cases, 33 are female, and 21 are male. Of those, 14 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, eight 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.

Also on Tuesday, speaking at the Boston MedFlight facility, Gov. Charlie Baker once again reminded the public that the state has seen a slight uptick in cases and all options regarding restrictions are on the table.

“Over the past several days, we’ve seen a modest uptick in the percentage of new positive cases, and we continue to closely monitor and analyze the data to determine the factors that are driving that,” Baker said

Baker also warned that if public health data doesn’t support moving forward then the state could see restrictions put back into place. A key piece of data the state has been monitoring is the percentage of coronavirus tests that come back positive.

“We’ve only had a slight uptick from a low of 1.7 percent, to 2 percent, but we’ll be forced to adjust our plans if the data warrants it,” Baker said. “That could mean gathering sizes could be reduced, or we could make some of our business regulations more strict. Reopening and staying open is a big part of the goal, but obviously we can’t do that if we don’t have everybody’s help to continue to move forward.”

Boston MedFlight has cared for nearly 700 critically ill COVID-19 patients to date, at least two of which came from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital in April.

As of August 1, all visitors and returning residents traveling to Massachusetts must quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result taken at least 72 hours before arriving in Massachusetts and complete a travel form prior to arrival. Failure to do so can result in a $500 per day fine.

Travelers coming from low-risk states are exempt from quarantining, but must still fill out the travel form. Other low risk states include Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. Rhode Island was on that list, but as of August 7 travelers from that state will have to follow the quarantine requirement, Baker said.

At the state level Tuesday, there were 438 new confirmed cases, bringing the state total to 111,033. There were 9 new deaths which brought the total number of deaths to 8,436. There have been 1,234,106 tests conducted across Massachusetts.


Updated with current case numbers. — Ed.