Nearly a month and a half after public health officials reported the Island’s first cluster of COVID-19 cases linked to a wedding at Lambert’s Cove Inn in West Tisbury, inn owners Keya and John Cain told selectmen they took every appropriate precaution to prevent spread of the virus.
The 40-person wedding was held for a couple from off-Island, and was later featured in a Vogue online story.
Keya Cain told selectmen she did not feel it was clear that transmission happened during the wedding, but public health officials confirmed multiple times that the wedding was the cause of the cluster that was later linked to at least 10 COVID-19 cases.
“All the guests were given masks. Going forward, we’re going to work much more closely with the wedding planners, to make sure the travel orders are followed,” Cain said.
The Cains said the “vast majority” of wedding guests were staying together at a house in Edgartown. They also said wedding guests were required to wear masks except when eating and posing for photos.
But selectman Skipper Manter said photos from the wedding told a different story. “Some of the pictures show something a little contrary to what you’re describing,” Manter said. “There’s people sitting and enjoying themselves all over the place without masks on, and it’s not just for the photo ops.”
Manter said he was concerned about other venues doing something similar, and wanted to be proactive to prevent clusters in the future.
“The photos are deceptive when you see a group of people. How do you know they’re not family living together? In fact, they were, a lot of them,” John Cain said. “That’s just a critical point; these were folks living together, and it’s really hard to see dimensions in a photo, and in fact you do see efforts of social distancing, you see empty rows, empty chairs. It’s clear there’s a theme there.”
Selectman Cynthia Mitchell told the Cains that in the future they should reach out to the town for help.
“As owners of the venue, you are, or your agents are, responsible to request and re-request, during an event like that, that people wear masks,” Mitchell said.