Update: 31 new cases over the weekend

More than half of the Island’s confirmed cases have been reported in the last three weeks.

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Martha's Vineyard Hospital reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend.

Updated 4:30 pm

There were reported 31 new cases of COVID-19 reported from over the weekend — 12 on Saturday, three on Sunday, and 16 new cases reported Monday, continuing a troubling trend for an Island that saw 64 new positive cases last week.

On Friday the Martha’s Vineyard boards of health reported that 55 of the Island’s now 194 total confirmed cases are active and being monitored by public health officials. 

The Island has seen a sharp uptick in cases since Oct. 26 when health officials reported a cluster of 10 cases linked to a wedding. Since then, the Island has reported 112 new cases, which is 53 percent of the Island’s total confirmed cases — the other 47 percent of cases were spread out over seven months since testing began in March. Of all the cases public health officials have linked 71 or 39 percent to another case on the Island — including one group of 19 individuals.

Another cluster was linked to Cronig’s Market where 14 employees, including owner Steve Bernier, and four relatives have tested positive for the virus.

The recent spike in cases on Martha’s Vineyard is centered in Tisbury, which has pushed the town into the red — meaning highest risk — in the state’s town-by-town data collected by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The town has accounted for 30 cases over the past 14 days, according to the data from last week. Based on a population of 100,000, that would translate into 51.3 cases. The positivity rate is at 4.04%, which is above the overall positivity rate statewide of 2.90%.

Tisbury joins 30 other communities on the list at higher risk for community spread. Edgartown is in the yellow with 16 new cases, and Oak Bluffs had six new cases. West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aquinnah remain unchanged in the data.

Cases have been linked to the temporary closing of The Ritz in Oak Bluffs, the temporary closure of Tony’s Market recently, and several cases in the schools. Edgartown School delayed its return to in-person instruction by a week as a result of a recent case there. The Steamship Authority has also had a couple of recent cases involving ferry employees.

In total the hospital, which tests individuals based on a strict set of criteria including those who are symptomatic, has tested 7,158 individuals since testing began in March. Of those 147 have tested positive, 6,996 have tested negative, and 15 are pending results.

As of Friday, TestMV, which tests asymptomatic individuals, has tested 20,733  individuals since it began testing in May. Of those, 66 have tested positive, 20,201 negative, and 466 pending results. 

TestMV, which is returning to five-day-a-week testing amid the surge, tested 402 individuals on Tuesday. On Friday, officials at TestMV said there were 450 scheduled tests, the most tests the site has seen since the site opened. Friday is also expected to pass 20,000 total tests conducted at the site since testing began in May.

The town of Aquinnah is also conducting its own testing. Aquinnah has tested 316 individuals with zero positives, 312 negatives, and four pending results.

The surge in cases is happening statewide. On Sunday, the Department of Public Health reported 2,076 positive cases — a 3.06 percent positivity rate with an estimated 30,374 active cases statewide.

The state continues to see new deaths, as well, with 33 reported Sunday for a total of 10,329.

 

Updated to include Monday’s report – Ed.