Updated 5:10 pm
Gov. Charlie Baker announced that the state’s stay-at-home advisory and an order requiring many businesses to close by 9:30 pm will be lifted Monday, as the state continues to see COVID-19 numbers trending in the right direction.
He added that hospitalizations are down by 10 percent since their peak in early January and that seven-day positivity rates are down from 8.7 percent in early January to 5.8 percent.
“Things do appear to be getting a bit better here in Massachusetts,” Baker said. “Today there are some glimmers of hope that some public health trends show some retreat.”
The orders, enacted in November, included a stay-at-home advisory from 10 pm to 5 am with gyms, movie theaters, and other businesses forced to close at 9:30 pm, while liquor stores and restaurants had to stop selling alcohol at and stop table service at 9:30 pm. The orders will be lifted at 5 am on January 25.
While those orders are lifted, Baker is keeping in place the order to limit capacity to 25 percent for at least another two weeks.
Baker said the rise in cases, hospitalizations, and positivity rates after the end of the year holidays was not as severe as rises seen post-Thanksgiving.
“As hospitals continue to stabilize after the holidays and the average positive case rate declines, we hope to see those trends continue moving forward. And if they do, we’ll be back to talk about lifting some of the restrictions that are currently in place as soon as it makes sense to do so,” he said.
The Island boards of health reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, for a total of 66 cases since Friday.
Of the new cases, 10 were reported from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, and one from TestMV.
As of Thursday afternoon, the hospital has conducted 11,725 tests for COVID-19 since March. Of those, 536 have tested positive, 11,156 negative, and 33 are pending results.
There are currently two patients hospitalized with COVID-19. The hospital reported that one of the two patients reported hospitalized on Wednesday was discharged on Friday. Another patient was admitted on Saturday. Both patients are in “good condition,” according to communications specialist Marissa Lefebvre.
On Jan. 12, the hospital sent a patient in “serious condition” off-Island by MedFlight. There have been four total COVID-19-related transfers since the pandemic began.
In an expanded report last Friday, the Martha’s Vineyard boards of health reported that there were 91 active cases of COVID-19 on the Island. Each of those active cases was an individual who tested positive between Jan. 3 and 15.
The Martha’s Vineyard public schools have tested 1,265 individuals. The boards of health reported the school’s first positive result on Tuesday.
As of Thursday, TestMV has conducted 30,829 tests since June. Of those, 229 have tested positive, 29,506 negative, and 1,094 are pending results.
There was one new probable positive reported Thursday, for a total of 50 since March.
The town of Aquinnah has conducted 405 tests, of which one has come back positive, 404 negative.
The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) reported two new cases Friday, for a total of four since testing began for the tribe.
Due to how tests are conducted, there can be a discrepancy between the number of positive individuals and the number of positive tests reported.
According to Tisbury health agent and boards of health spokesperson Maura Valley, getting an immediate repeat test is not recommended, but she said it can be done at the discretion of a healthcare provider. Per Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines, if an individual tests positive for COVID-19 they should quarantine and take precautions.
Since March, there have been 772 cases of COVID-19 reported on Martha’s Vineyard. Of those, 384 are male and 388 are female, with the majority of the cases being in individuals between 20 and 39. Only 31 cases have been reported in individuals over 70 years old.
The vast majority of those cases were reported in the past two months, when the Island’s first cluster of cases was linked to a wedding in October. Since then, the Island has seen 683 cases of COVID-19 — more than seven times the 89 cases reported on the Island between when testing began in March and Oct. 25.
In addition to the wedding cluster, which reported eight cases, clusters at Cronig’s Market, with 19 cases, and a Bible study group, with 11 cases, have also been reported.
On Thursday, the state reported 4,281 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. The state’s seven-day average of percent positivity has dropped to 5.57 percent, after several weeks of being above 8 percent. There are an estimated 88,929 active cases statewide. There were 75 new deaths, for a total of 13,622 COVID-19 deaths since March.
Updated to include new COVID data. — Ed.