Update: No new cases Friday

Bringing the total number of confirmed cases at hospital since March to 42.

The hospital is encouraging preventative care and flu shots. — Kyra Steck

Updated August 14

No new cases of COVID-19 were reported Friday, according to the Martha’s Vineyard boards of health.

The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital reported a new confirmed case of COVID-19 Thursday morning — it’s fifth case reported this month.

The hospital’s Thursday case brings its total number of confirmed cases to 42 since it began testing in March. In total as of Friday the hospital has tested 3,474 patients with 3,398 negatives, and 34 pending results. There are currently no patients hospitalized with COVID-19. In April the hospital did transfer three patients off-Island that tested positive for COVID-19.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, hospital CEO Denise Schepici said she was not surprised by the recent uptick in cases, but stressed the importance of social distancing and wearing face coverings. The hospital went the entire month of June without a new confirmed case, but went on to report nine cases in July, and now five in the first 13 days of August.

The hospital’s latest COVID-19 case marks nine new cases this month. The other confirmed cases come from the TestMV site. 

On Friday, the testing site run by Island Health Care (IHC) reported it has tested 9,227 patients with 19 positives, 8,758 negatives, and 450 tests pending. The TestMV site tests asymptomatic individuals, and is also open for retesting.

To help streamline test results, TestMV is using pool testing. 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.”

According to a Tuesday press release from Quest, turnaround times for tests is now two to three days. This comes after some patients waited up to seven days or longer for test results.

On Friday, the town of Aquinnah reported it has conducted 89 tests. All of those tests came back negative.

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.

Of all the Island’s positive cases, 55 are no longer symptomatic, and have been released from isolation and 25 of the confirmed cases have been linked to several cases among nine different household groups, according to the boards of health.

Of 61 of the confirmed cases, 38 are female and 23 are male. Of those, 17 of the cases are aged 50-59 years old, 13 are 20-29 years old, nine cases are 60-69 years old, seven are 30-39 years old, eight are 20 years old or younger, four are 40-49, and three 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.

 

Updated with August 14 numbers. — Ed.