Five new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday

State continues to see drop in positivity rate.

11 of the 13 cases this week were reported from the hospital. — Kyra Steck

The Island boards of health reported five new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday — four at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and one from the tribe. That follows 13 cases from over the weekend — two on Saturday, three on Sunday, and eight on Monday.

The hospital has conducted 12,573 tests for COVID-19 since March. Of those, 594 have tested positive, 11,913 negative, and 66 are pending results.

There are currently two patients hospitalized with COVID-19. They are both in fair condition as of last week.

On Friday, the hospital reported that five of its employees tested positive for COVID-19. Three employees came in contact with a COVID-19 positive patient and the other two are believed to have been infected through community spread. As of Friday, each employee is quarantining and is in good condition. 

All the employees were fully or partially vaccinated. A person who gets the vaccine may no longer be at risk of the virus’ effects, but that person can still be a carrier, according to hospital officials.

As of Tuesday, TestMV has conducted 31,682 tests since June. Of those, 243 have tested positive, 30,519 negative, and 920 are pending results.

One new probable case over the weekend brought the Island’s total to 50 since March.

The town of Aquinnah has conducted 409 tests, of which one has come back positive, 405 negative and three pending results.

The Martha’s Vineyard public schools have tested 2,808 individuals. As of Feb. 1, there have been three positive cases. The public school data is updated once a week.

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) reported a new case Tuesday, for a total of six positive cases of COVID-19.

Due to how tests are conducted, there can be a discrepancy between the number of positive individuals and the number of positive tests reported.

In an expanded report Friday, the Martha’s Vineyard boards of health reported that there were 79 active cases of COVID-19 on the Island. Two active cases tested positive between Jan. 3 and Jan. 16, the rest tested positive between Jan. 17 and Jan. 22.

Of the positive cases, 325 or 40 percent are connected to at least one other case. Most connections are within family/household groups, according to the boards of health. There have been 48 instances of two-person groups testing positive for COVID-19. 

Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Tisbury are all in the “red” or highest risk category, according to the state Department of Public Health.

State data shows there have been 34 positive cases of COVID-19 in Edgartown in the last two weeks and the town’s positivity rate is 5.29 percent. Oak Bluffs reported 36 cases in the last two weeks and has a 8.82 percent positivity rate. Tisbury reported 39 cases in the last two weeks with a 4.35 percent positivity rate.

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 898 cases of COVID-19 reported on Martha’s Vineyard. Of the Island’s 898 total cases, 430 are female and 418 are male, with the majority of the cases being in individuals under the age of 40. Only 36 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 759 cases of COVID-19 — several times the 89 cases reported on the Island between when testing began in March.

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 the state level Monday, there were 2,270 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. The state’s seven-day average of percent positivity has dropped to 3.53 percent — a steep decline from 8 percent high in early January. There are an estimated 71,929 active cases statewide. There were 30 new deaths, for a total of 14,317 COVID-19 deaths since March.

According to weekly vaccine data published by the Department of Public Health on Thursday, 496,103 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Massachusetts. The state has shipped 728,400 doses of the vaccine to various facilities. Martha’s Vineyard Hospital will begin reporting vaccine data on Wednesday.