Edgartown, Oak Bluffs remain highest risk COVID category

Call center set up for those needing assistance with vaccine sign up.

Mary Tucker, 102, receives her first dose of COVID-19 from RN Martha Bischoff at Martha's Vineyard Hospital several weeks ago. Vineyarders aged 65+ can now register.

Updated 5:05 pm

Edgartown and Oak Bluffs remain in the state’s “red” or highest risk category, according to state data.

Edgartown reported 29 cases in the last 14 days giving the town a 4.55 percent positivity rate.

Oak Bluffs has a 9 percent positivity rate with 38 cases reported in the past two weeks.

Tisbury just barely moved into the state’s “yellow” category after reporting 25 cases in the past two weeks with a 2.88 percent positivity rate. The two weeks are between Jan 19 and Feb. 2.

Municipalities with less than 10,000 residents are in the red if they have more than 25 cases in the past two weeks and yellow if they have 25 or less cases in the two week period.

In recent days, numbers on the Island have improved with just 10 cases over three days. The positivity rate is less than two percent Islandwide over the past seven days.

This comes as the hospital continues the phase two rollout of vaccines.

The hospital expects to vaccinate 570 people eligible in phase two by Friday. According to hospital communications specialist Marissa Lefebvre, the hospital expects to administer 1,000 vaccine doses next week.

The hospital reported that 152 phase two eligible individuals were vaccinated on Thursday. In total the hospital has vaccinated 1,486 individuals.

At the state level, 149,030 vaccine doses were administered in the past week, according to data published on Thursday. In total 681,472 vaccine doses have been administered.

The state has shipped 2,775 vaccine doses to Dukes County.

Phase two, which began on Feb. 1, includes and begins with individuals 75 years and older. Hospital patients can sign up through Patient Gateway. Non-hospital patients can fill out an attestation form from the state’s website. Visit mass.gov/lists/covid-19-vaccine-attestation-form-translations to access the form.

The state has set up a call center for individuals 75 and older without access to the internet or who are unable to schedule their appointment online. Those individuals can call toll free 2-1-1 or 877-211-6277 for assistance.

The hospital is scheduling its oldest patients first, per the latest guidance from the Massachusetts department of health in phase two group one which are individuals 75 years and older.

Phase two group two will consist of individuals 65 years and older and two or more comorbidities. 

“The initial plan from the state was to vaccinate based on age and comorbidities (75 and older, 65 and older, individuals with 2 or more comorbidities) then last week the state made the adjustment for only 75+, based on age,” hospital communications specialist Marissa Lefevbre wrote in an email.

Positive cases on Island see lows this week

The Island boards of health reported four new cases of COVID-19 Friday—three from the hospital and one from TestMV—following five new cases on Tuesday, four Wednesday, and four Thursday.

There are 48 active cases on the Island, according to an expanded report from the Martha’s Vineyard boards of health.

On Friday, the hospital confirmed two additional staff members tested positive for COVID-19. 

Last week, five hospital employees tested positive for COVID-19 — three after coming in contact with an infected patient and two from community spread.

Of the two cases this week, one is connected to the COVID-positive patient and the other is connected to community spread.

The hospital has conducted 12,819 tests for COVID-19 since March. Of those, 602 have tested positive, 12,169 negative, and 83 are pending results.

There are currently three patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Two are in “good condition,” and one who was admitted on Tuesday is in “fair condition,” according to Lefevbre.

As of Thursday, TestMV has conducted 32,073 tests since June. Of those, 245 have tested positive, 30,881 negative, and 947 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 416 tests, of which one has come back positive, 409 negative and six 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 Wednesday, for a total of seven 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.

The vast majority of COVID-19 cases have been reported since the end of October, when the Island’s first cluster of cases was linked to a wedding in October. Since then, the Island has seen 769 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.

New clusters were reported this week at the hospital with five cases and Project Headway with four cases.

On the state level Friday, there were 2,982 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. The state’s seven-day average of percent positivity continues to drop and is now at 3.16 percent—a steep decline from 8 percent high in early January. There are an estimated 59,934 active cases statewide. There were 74 new deaths, for a total of 14,563 COVID-19 deaths since March.

Updated with current COVID data. — Ed.