25 new COVID cases; four linked to barbershop

Health officials ask for anyone who went to King’s in Vineyard Haven between March 18 and 20 to reach out to their local board of health.

Four cases of COVID-19 have been linked to King’s Barbershop in Vineyard Haven.

Updated 6:20 pm 

Martha’s Vineyard is seeing an uptick in cases including four cases linked to King’s Barbershop in Vineyard Haven.

There were 25 new positive cases reported this week — as of last Friday, the Vineyard had reported 25 cases for all of March

In an email to The Times Friday, Martha’s Vineyard boards of health spokesperson and Tisbury health agent Maura Valley wrote there have been 25 new positive cases of COVID-19 since Monday, several of which are linked, including four cases connected to King’s — two staff and two family members of one staff member. Currently, the boards of health are not aware of any positive cases from King’s customers.

Speaking to The Times by phone King’s co-owner Lamar Moreis said both employees that tested positive were asymptomatic and that one employee spread it to family members when they went into quarantine. He added that King’s is following protocols and no customers that he knows of have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Everybody who comes to our door has to sign in and get their temperature taken,” Moreis said. “It’s mandatory and you can’t take off your mask.”

The boards of health have deployed contact tracers to reach out to most individuals who may have been exposed, but Valley asked for anyone who visited King’s between Thursday, March 18, and Saturday, March 20, to contact their local board of health office if they have not heard from a contact tracer.

“It’s also a good time to remind people that there is still community spread and they should remain vigilant to protect themselves and their families,” Valley wrote.

All of this comes as neighboring Barnstable County has recorded more than 1,000 new positive COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks with a positive test rate of 5.6 percent—more than double the state’s average, according to WHDH.

The uptick is being seen across the state. On Thursday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 2,274 new confirmed cases — more than double the single-day average of the previous week — with 28,078 estimated active cases. The state is seeing a 2.22 percent positivity average rate over the past seven days.

Updated with comments from King’s co-owner. —Ed.


  1. This is awful that the BOH would single out a business with no information that any customer was infected at the business. Also no mention if any of the people who tested positive actually got sick. This nonsense has to stop.

    • I appreciate knowing there were 4 cases at the barbershop and it makes no difference if those infected were symptomatic since they could still spread COVID. It’s nonsense like the above post that needs to stop and only makes the pandemic last longer.

    • john– The fact that 4 people tested positive who are closely associated with a particular business is noteworthy. it is a valid story– like the “Cronigs cluster”
      The fact that the times reported they were following protocol, taking precautions, and quarantining, demonstrates to me that this business is doing everything right. as did Cronigs
      it is not a matter of luck that no customers are known to be infected. It is due to the diligence and common sense of the management of this establishment . They have apparently successfully protected their customers .
      You look at this and think the “liberal media”is trying to destroy a business.
      I look at this and think it’s great that the “liberal media” is reporting about the great job that a socially responsible business has done to minimize the spread of this plague.
      And , REALLY, John, – if you happen to be lucky enough to get this and not “get sick” , does that really matter in the context of this article ?
      I agree– “This nonsense has to stop”— we just disagree on what the ‘nonsense” is.
      Kudos to Kings for being responsible.
      kudos to the times for letting us know about a responsible business.

    • “Awful?” I didn’t hear you making that complaint when the Cronigs cluster was reported. Except for numbers, how is this different? We are not a torch bearing mob. After precautions were taken people went back to shopping at Cronigs; they will do the same at Kings. It’s about caring for the community, and information allows that.

  2. Much thanks to our overworked island BOHs. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy but they have done so throughout COVID. They have been on the front line since day one and met every challenge thrown their way. Thank you for doing your part in keeping our island as safe as possible.

  3. The case commonality is the barbershop.
    To not report that is irresponsible, it would make the MV times just another feel good nonsense paper.
    There s no shortage of those on the Island.
    How sick the people got is immaterial.
    How these people got the disease is material.
    As is who they were in contact with.
    Barbering is very much an in your face profession.
    Perhaps the barbershop opened up too soon?

  4. They don’t want it to stop. They want cases cases cases without background and keep people fearful and controlled.

    • Andrew– I thought we wouldn’t hear a word about this virus after the election, as the whole “hoax” was just a liberal plot to get trump out of office.
      Besides, don’t you still think that the U.S will not even get close to a thousand deaths?
      I can only think you still do, as you have not acknowledged the consequences of your public statement to that effect on this forum on March 9 2020.
      Aren’t the hospitals all lying about it, and the great majority of the so called deaths are from something else ? Come on buddy, get some new material ..

    • @MVTimes, this comment is an example of the kind of paranoid disinformation that our hospital is trying to discourage.

  5. If you read the article, most of the 25 cases are from community spread, not the barbershop cluster. This means that people are easing up on precautions. We don’t know who has the virus in the community. Likely, they don’t know it while they begin to be contagious. Wear your masks, don’t be indoors in public without one, don’t congregate, get your vaccine as soon as you can, and support our restaurants by buying take-out, if you can afford it.

  6. If this cluster is happening now what will happen when tourist season starts stop be complacent and go back to where we were a year ago when we had very low rates mask up people and follow BOH criteria

  7. Every time I read about the COVID 19 experience from the right and left, I am left truly in AWE, mouth agape and shaking my head.

    Do people really think this way with eyes shut, earplugs in, earmuffs on and a pillow over their heads?

    No chicken little the sky is not falling but don’t rely on the notion that something won’t.

    • The irony is that we are all on the same side fighting the same war and same common enemy: Covid-19. America has come to this sad point in time where we argue and attack each other about how real the enemy is, what we can do or not do to combat the enemy, and how to treat our fellow combatants with dignity and respect as we do battle. Had it not been for the con artist President who lied to the American people about every aspect of Covid-19, (Drink bleach, it will just go disappear, anyone can get a test, keeping it secret early on that he knew it spread in the air, etc), and had we instead believed and listened to the medical experts’ guidelines as they learned more about this novel virus and how to prevent spread, perhaps we could have joined together as Americans and made the necessary and unified sacrifices for a limited amount of time and gotten ahead of the monster that has killed over half a million people—like our parents and grandparents did during WW II when they rationed food and utilities and joined forces as a nation, no matter what political party they favored. Covid obviously did not “just disappear”. In fact it is morphing into more contagious variants and 1000 Americans are still dying of covid every day. As the rest of the country goes, so will go the Vineyard. But islanders are chomping at the bit to go back to the reopening Ritz bar, business owners claim without proof their spaces are safe, and some people admit they want to “wait and see” before they will decide to get a vaccine. No one is telling us about deaths from covid on the island or about how many young people are struggling with long hauler syndrome, something that medical experts say affect 10% of those who’ve recovered from covid, even mild or asymptomatic covid. And case numbers here are surging while some claim this is what “they” want. (Still unclear who the “they” are supposed to be. Liberals? Chinese? Religious cultists? People of color? Proud Boys?) We are doomed. We have met the enemy and it is us.

      • Ms Diez. ”they” means the liberals and dems and the media who would like to perpetuate the fear of Covid in order to control the populace. Most people no longer believe what they have been told due to some many distortions and contradictions over the last year and the evidence of who gets it, who gets sick and who survives in a matter of days. In the meantime Biden spends 1.9 trillion while Covid is going away and mos tof it wont even go for covid help but to bail out mismanged states and to buy votes. You are one of them buy insisting on ”morphing and variants and long hauler syndrome”

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