Baker to ease COVID restrictions Monday

Island reports no new COVID-19 cases Thursday.

Gov. Charlie Baker is once again easing restrictions in light of improved COVID numbers and has lifted travel restrictions, as well. -State House News Service

Updated 4:30 pm

With confirmed cases, hospitalizations, and positivity rates significantly lower in recent weeks, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday that Massachusetts will head back into step three phase two on March 1 and phase four step one on March 22.

The announcement comes a day after the state reported 1,788 new confirmed cases, a 1.89 percent seven-day average positivity rate, and 60 new deaths.

Phase three step two will allow capacity limits across all venues to increase to 50 percent and exclude employees. These include fitness centers, libraries, museums, and offices.

Capacity limits for outdoor gatherings will remain at 25 people at private residences and 25 people for private backyards. Indoor house gatherings remain at 10 people. 

In addition to capacity limits, dance floors at weddings will be permitted, and overnight camps will be allowed to operate this summer.

Baker said moving forward with reopening is all based on a positive downward trend in cases.

“People had a really good summer for the most part, and when cases started to climb again in the fall, we had to make adjustments based on that,” Baker said. “And nobody liked it. It wasn’t something that anybody looked forward to.”

Phase four, step one of the plan will reopen large venues such as Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium, and the TD Garden and other venues that can accommodate more than 5,000 people. These venues will be allowed up to 12 percent capacity.


No new COVID-19 cases Thursday

The Martha’s Vineyard boards of health reported zero new cases of COVID-19 Thursday as the Island continues to see a positive downward trend in new cases.

The hospital has conducted 13,735 tests for COVID-19 since March. Of those, 654 have tested positive, 13,081 negative, and none are pending results. One patient is currently hospitalized for COVID-19.

As of Friday, TestMV has conducted 33,515 tests since June. Of those, 253 have tested positive, 32,580 negative, and 682 are pending results.

The town of Aquinnah has conducted 432 tests, of which one has come back positive, 428 negative and three pending results.

The Martha’s Vineyard public schools have tested 5,239 individuals. Of those four have tested positive. The public school data is updated once a week on Mondays.

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.

On the vaccine front, the hospital has administered a total of 3,610 first dose vaccines and a total of 1,135 second dose vaccines.

Updated to include Gov. Baker’s announcement easing restrictions and with Thursday COVID data.