Patient Gateway email does not affect Martha’s Vineyard

The Island boards of health reported four new cases Friday.

Updated 5 pm

An email sent out by Patient Gateway stating that Mass General Brigham is suspending its vaccine program does not apply to patients at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

In an email Friday morning, hospital communications specialist Marissa Lefevbre wrote that while Vineyard patients may receive the message, there are no changes to the hospital’s sign up process and individuals should continue to sign up for vaccines if eligible. Hospital officials have said they expect to vaccinate all individuals 75 and older who want the shot by the end of next week.

“Whether you are a patient or not, there are no changes to our sign-up process to receive the vaccine,” Lefevbre wrote. “We will continue to receive vaccine supply from the state, because we are recognized by the Department of Public Health as a rural vaccine delivery site. We apologize for any misunderstanding the Patient Gateway message may have created.”

Mass General Brigham is the parent company of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

The message, from MGB chief patient experience and equity officer Tom Sequist, was sent out to those using Patient Gateway stated that no new vaccination appointments could be scheduled at MGB clinics. The email stated that those with appointments would continue as scheduled for first and second doses.

Two new COVID cases Friday

There were two new cases of COVID-19 Friday — one from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and one from an off-Island provider.

The hospital has not updated their data since Thursday. They have conducted 13,247 tests for COVID-19 since March. Of those, 629 have tested positive, 12,565 negative, and 53 are pending results.

There are currently two patients hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the hospital’s website.

As of Friday, TestMV has conducted 32,528 tests since June. Of those, 247 have tested positive, 31,455 negative, and 826 are pending results.

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. 

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 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,” Lefevbre wrote in an email.

There were four new probable cases since Friday bringing the Island’s total to 53 since March.

The town of Aquinnah has conducted 418 tests, of which one has come back positive, 415 negative and two pending results.

The Martha’s Vineyard public schools have tested 3,560 individuals. Of those three have tested positive. The public school data is updated once a week.

Last week, 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 additional cases, one is connected to the COVID-positive patient and the other is connected to community spread.

There are 36 active cases on the Island, according to an expanded Friday report from the boards of health—a decline from 48 active cases last week.

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) has reported 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 799 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 last week with a five-case cluster at the hospital and a four case cluster at Project Headway.

On the state level Thursday, there were 2,213 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. The state’s seven-day average of percent positivity continues to drop and is now at 2.65 percent — a steep decline from 8 percent high in early January. There are an estimated 50,344 active cases statewide. There were 61 new deaths, for a total of 14,964 COVID-19 deaths since March.

The state also surpassed one million vaccines administered to individuals in Massachusetts with 1.5 million vaccines shipped across the state.

Updated to include today’s COVID numbers – Ed.