From lone ‘red’ town to lone COVID case

Boards of health report a single COVID case last week as cases trend downward.


In their weekly report, the Martha’s Vineyard boards of health reported only one new case of COVID-19 during the week of June 6 to June 12. The one new case is an encouraging sign for the Vineyard, as weekly confirmed cases continue to decrease.

Only three weeks ago, the boards of health reported 55 cases. In that short amount of time, cases dropped from 26 to four before reaching only one new case last week.

The downward trend in cases comes less than three weeks after Tisbury was the state’s lone “red,” or highest risk, community in the state. Tisbury has seen a significant drop in its positivity rate from 6.86 percent on May 28 to 0.55 percent.

This week’s total case report is the lowest weekly total of 2021, following last week’s four reported cases. The single case, reported by the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, was asymptomatic and was between 11 and 19 years old.

Despite the low number of cases last week, coming in first with the highest percent positivity is Oak Bluffs, with 7.98 percent and 163 tests and 11 cases in the past two weeks. West Tisbury, although low, is the second highest with 2.94 percent and 68 tests. Chilmark has a low positivity rate with 2.27 percent and 44 tests. There is no further or available data for Edgartown or Aquinnah. 

Percent positivity is calculated by dividing the number of positive tests by the total number of tests administered over a two week period.

Meanwhile, the hospital has administered over 25,000 vaccine doses — 13,393 first doses and 12,661 second doses. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), 96 percent of people in Dukes County have had at least one vaccination dose and are eligible for their second and 84 percent  of people are fully vaccinated. 

Since testing began in March 2020, there’s been a total of 1,504 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 771 are male and 733 are female.

As of June 8, the hospital has administered a total of 19,259 COVID tests. Of those 1,087 are positives and 18,164 are negatives. 

The TestMV site has administered a total of 38,446 COVID tests. Of those 375 are positives, 37,939 negatives, and 132 are pending results. 

The town of Aquinnah has administered 456 tests with only two positive results.

As schools come to a close for the summer, there were six students in isolation due to a positive COVID test.

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) has reported a total of 14 positive cases of COVID-19.

The Island has reported nine COVID clusters, including an October wedding (eight cases), Cronig’s Market (19 cases), a Bible study group (11 cases), M.V. Hospital (five cases), Project Headway (four cases), King’s barbershop (eight cases), Shirley’s Hardware (all six staff), the Barn Bowl & Bistro (nine cases), and Cardboard Box (three). A cluster is defined as more than two people from different families or households with a shared source of infection.

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


  1. Great news that the pandemic is over. I’m just concerned by the various island businesses who still require a mask and fellow islanders who continue to be masked. Are these businesses telling their employees to not get vaccinated? This is scary stuff from the science deniers. What about all the people in the post office masked up like bandits?? Are they also afraid to get the vaccine? Scary so many islanders deny the science! Is it virtual signaling or ignorance?

    • It’s neither. Some people cannot get the vaccine. Others live with someone in that position and are protecting them by proceeding with caution. These people still need to go to the post office. Their masks cannot harm you or nullify your vaccine, so no worries.

  2. The pandemic is not “over”. It is highly ignorant to claim this falsehood as true. Those of us who are vaccinated are indeed able to go back to our lives, but it’s still important to recognize that all unvaccinated people are at serious risk. We’re lucky we’re in a blue state where vaccination rates are high and new covid cases are low. This is not true in the red states where voters went with Trump. But we still have unvaccinated people, at-risk folks on the island. The unvaccinated include young children, those who cannot medically take the vaccine, the vaccine-hesitant, and the conspiracy idiots who will never take the vaccine.

    For the uninformed, ignorant, science-denying, or otherwise selfish human beings who refuse to care about others, there are still guidelines for masks, but in most situations, if you are vaccinated you do not need one. If you are not vaccinated, you need to wear a mask to protect others as well as yourself. This is because the pandemic is not over.

    From website:
    Mask Requirements in Certain Locations
    Effective May 29, 2021, masks continue to be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at all times in the following locations, subject to the exemptions listed below:

    On Public and Private Transportation, including on the MBTA, commuter rail, buses, ferries, and airplanes, and while in rideshares (Uber and Lyft), taxis, and livery vehicles, as required by the Centers for Disease Control January 29, 2021 Order. Face coverings are also required at all times in transportation hubs, including train stations, bus stops, and airports. The requirement applies to riders and workers.
    Inside K-12 public schools, collaboratives, approved special education schools and as otherwise required by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The requirement applies to students, teachers, and staff
    Healthcare facilities licensed or operated by the Commonwealth and healthcare practice locations of any provider licensed by a professional board which sits within the Department of Public Health or the Division of Professional Licensure. These settings include nursing homes, rest homes, emergency medical services, hospitals, physician and other medical and dental offices, urgent care settings, community health centers, vaccination sites, behavioral health clinics, and Bureau of Substance and Addiction Services (BSAS) facilities. This requirement applies to patients, residents, staff, vendors and visitors.
    Congregate care facilities or programs operated, licensed, certified, regulated, authorized, or funded by the Commonwealth. These settings include the common areas of assisted living residences, group homes, residential treatment programs, and facilities operated, licensed, certified, regulated, authorized, or funded by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Department of Youth Services (DYS), the Department of Mental Health (DMH), the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), the Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS), the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB), the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). This requirement applies to clients, residents, staff, vendors and visitors.
    Emergency shelter programs, including individual and family homeless shelters, domestic violence and sexual assault shelters, veterans’ shelters, and shelters funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development. This requirement applies to guests, staff, vendors and visitors.
    Houses of Correction, Department of Correction prisons, jails, and other correctional facilities. This requirement applies to people who are detained or incarcerated, staff, vendors and visitors.
    Health Care and Day Services and Programs operated, licensed, certified, regulated, or funded by the Commonwealth including the Executive Office of Health and Human Services or one of its agencies. These settings include adult day health, day habilitation, Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), psychosocial rehabilitation club houses, brain injury centers and clubhouses, day treatment, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs, recovery support centers and center-based day support programs. This requirement applies to staff, visitors, vendors and consumers.
    Home health care workers, including Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) and Home Health Aides in community and home-based settings where they are providing patient-facing care; provided, however, the requirement shall only apply to the worker providing care.
    The following persons are exempt from the face coverings requirement:

    Children under 5 years old.
    Persons for whom a face mask or covering creates a health risk or is not safe because of any of the following conditions or circumstances:
    the face mask or covering affects the person’s ability to breathe safely;
    the person has a mental health or other medical diagnosis that advises against wearing a face mask or covering;
    the person has a disability that prevents them from wearing a face mask or covering; or
    the person depends on supplemental oxygen to breathe.

    • Jackie- why are you always so angry?
      All anger does is pollute the world with negativity.
      Are you driven by compassion or anger?
      Anger doesn’t heal, doesn’t make the world a better place.
      I wish you would stop being so angry.

      • Dale, why single out one commenter and ignore the glaring issue? It is far more bitter to mock people who continue to wear masks, especially considering their use continues to be recommended by professionals for some individuals. Wearing them doesn’t harm a fly.

        Even angrier still is that someone always manages to end a certain breed of online comment with a hysterical “stay in your houses FOREVER!!!!1!!!”, despite no one expressing that anything of the sort is necessary.

        Why overlook the obvious nastiness in the remarks that are meant to stir the pot and insult those with medical concerns? Under an article that should’ve stayed positive, no less? It’s clear that taunting people who take COVID seriously became a sport this year. To me, that’s a bigger waste of life than hiding in a bunker with a case of everlasting Twinkies, but I accept it’s now deemed socially acceptable. Somehow.

        I would just think that as a person explicitly promoting peace, compassion, and healing, you would maybe notice and focus on these points. I’d really rather my neighbor with cancer not be chided for daring to get her mail. That doesn’t promote healing. It’s just pathetic and cruel.

      • “Dale”, assertive anger is healthy. It is abnormal not to feel angry at the covid lies that have hurt and killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. Assertive anger is not only healthy, it is useful, unlike the passive aggressive anger you display in your comment to me. Passive aggression is bad for your heart. Sometimes my assertiveness goes too far, and the moderators pull me back. I’m human, after all. Did you have something to say about covid, vaccinations, masks, John Axel’s lie that covid is over? Do you have any opinion at all on the topic? Or did you just want to be insulting in an phony-nice way? Im surprised your comment got past the modertor since it is solely a personal attack, under the guise of “caring about the world”– but it adds nothing to the topic. Your comment is a variation on the theme of the angry, passive aggressive “I’ll pray for you” attacks so common among conservatives who are so full of rage against liberals, so I get it.

        How weird that you have the unusual but same name of a sheriff in poorly written murder myseries. Looks like there are only two people in all of America with that name, and one of them is fictional! What are the chances of that? Are you related to Val Johnson? How about Roscoe Whatsisname? All these new commenters come and go but have zero online presence except for a few MV Times comments. Weird.

  3. You know as well as I do that people wearing masks are not unvaccinated (as if unvaccinated holdouts ever followed rules), but do it to feel safe, or do so in an effort to make others feel safe. Businesses have a right to make decisions aimed at making their customers and employees feel safe, and all people have a right to feel safe. If a person decides to wear a mask into the post office, how does that impact you, other than protecting you from their airborne particles (I regret to inform you that Covid is not the only illness that spreads through the air)? A person’s right to feel safe takes precedence over your objection that they put a piece of cloth on their face. Please take your “virtual signaling” somewhere else.

  4. Red states have done a better job distributing vaccines. Red states have given out more than 5,100 vaccines per 100,000 residents. In blue states, the rate is near 4,900 vaccines per 100,000. That’s from data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Thursday.

    In the first months of the pandemic, this disparity could be chalked up to timing. The coronavirus hit blue states such as New York and New Jersey first. Once the virus had spread throughout the country, many assumed the death toll in red states would surpass the tally in blue states.

    Ten months in, it hasn’t happened. New evidence provides a possible explanation. A peer-reviewed study published in a European journal found that lockdowns didn’t provide significantly more benefits than voluntary measures, such as social distancing. The study looked at data from 10 countries.

    Restrictions weren’t effective at saving lives, but they did increase economic hardship. In red states, the unemployment rate is 6.1 percent. In blue states, it’s 7.2 percent. For context, it wasn’t until the sixth year of the Obama administration that the national unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent. Red states accomplished that in less than a year during a global pandemic.

    You can’t blame supply shortages. States have had many more vaccines distributed to them than they’ve administered, according to the CDC.

    The numbers show red state governors have consistently outperformed their blue state counterparts.

    Stay and hide in your home forever over a virus with a 99.96% survival rate.

    • Lol. Red states are not reaching 70% vaccinated. Blue states are. Masks and vaccines are protective. Vaccine and mask resistant people are Trump supporters. Look it up. Trump supporters have the reputation they deserve.

      • PS Vaccinated people are out and about, not “hiding”. So are the unvaccinated, many Trumpers, who don’t even wear a mask. These are the selfish and ignorant people who are spreading covid because they don’t believe in science. Who looks foolish and deadly dangerous? People are still dying, over 600,000, and the deaths and serious cases are mostly the unvaccinated. Island numbers are good because most people are smart enough to ignore the lies from the Republicans. Get vaccinated and face reality. You can’t cite a single current news source that says red states have higher vaccination percentage rates than blue… because that would be a lie.

    • Hi Roscoe- The first numbers you cite are statistically within a hair’s breath of each other and not really worth basing any sort of conclusion on. Further along you compare the unemployment rate of the red states to unemployment during the Obama administration for some odd reason which makes no sense whatsoever unless you are trying to compare the Great Recession to the Global Pandemic.
      Not entirely sure where you are getting your statistics from but simple math shows a mortality rate of 1.8% in the US and 2.8% in Brasil. I’m using data from the Johns Hopkins website. It is also worth considering that both case numbers and deaths are well under-reported for various reasons depending on which country we are looking at. In Nicaragua, where I live, the case numbers are quite low but it is estimated by independent observers that they represent only about 20% of the actual numbers. India, on the other hand has acknowledged that the toll is devastating and is using only numbers of deaths that occur in hospitals, a fraction of the real toll. It might also be worth including China in the discussion, which maintained a total news blackout since early on in the outbreak. They admit to just over 100,000 cases with less than 5,000 deaths. Seems highly irregular since tiny Finland has similar numbers while densely populated China with over 1.6 billion people, is the accepted epicenter of the covid-19 outbreak. Longterm symptoms and complications due to covid are another matter not represented in mere mortality statistics, even accurate ones.
      The U.S. has the highest mortality rate due to covid in the developed world. There’s a fact that should inspire more than passing curiosity before trying to pawn the whole thing off as minor or overblown by those urging extreme caution.

  5. The only things more infuriating than GOP lies are the people who spread them. Red states are not gettting their populations vaccinated at a rate that will stop spreading covid-19. Blue states are. Everything Rosco Sapodilla writes is intentionally misleading or an outright lie. He has nothing to back him up, nothing except 600,000 dead bodies and a failed lying, loser, one-term Trump presidency that lost the House, the Senate, the popular vote, the electoral vote, and is responsible for the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans because of the covid GOP lies.

    From the last week:

    “The U.S. vaccine map looks a lot like a map of how states vote in presidential elections, with most blue states vaccinating at levels well above the national average and GOP states bringing up the rear.”

    This is the reality. The MV Times would us all a favor by not publishing comments that spread lies about covid and intentionally mislead readers about the current situation of vaccinating the public. Maybe if unvaccinated Trump supporters (who shoot cashiers rather than wear a damn mask) would get vaccinated, we wouldn’t have so many untruthful republicans trying to distract from the reality of their party’s stupidity and selfishness by talking about lock downs, which, by the way, are over.

  6. Roscoe — Your comment reads almost verbatim from the right wing propaganda machine.
    As is always the case, the numbers get twisted in pretty creative ways ( I’ll give them credit form being creative),
    The death rate is 2 % in the U.s, The 99.96 % survival rate is an exaggeration in itself, and includes all cases, even suspected one’s that never had a diagnosis. On one hand deniers say that the death count is higher than it actually is, so they make up a number of what they think the “REAL” number of deaths are, and inflate the numbers of people they “suspect” has it because they had a cold one day. They also include cases that were contracted yesterday, and may die in 2 weeks.
    In cases that have been diagnosed and had an outcome __ either recovered or died, the death rate is a solid 2%. still pretty low, but your ‘statistic” is off by orders of magnitude.
    Also, compare the 7 day moving average or red states with low rates of vaxx with blue states that have high rates of vaxx. Lets take FL vs Ma for example.
    On June 15 the 7 day average for Ma was 4 deaths per day
    The Fl. 7 day average is 33 .Fla has 3 x the population of Ma
    Tx with 4 times the population of Ma has 7 times the deaths..
    .. You don’t have to be a math wonk to see the red states with low vaxx rates are not doing so well.

  7. Vermont has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country –over 80 % , and has a 7 day average of zero deaths.
    Vaccinated people don’t have to hide, Roscoe.

  8. Ms Diez would like it if the MV Times disqualifies all posts which Ms Diez believes are lies but only she will determine what is a lie and what is not. Eeringly familiar?

    • ENGELMAN has again said something untrue… about me. What he doesn’t know, he bitterly makes up. I would like it if the Times would stop posting covid lies, no matter who spreads them. When time constraints and relying on truthful commenters to correct the lies become necessary for the paper to do its work, ENGELMAN lashes out as he does here. Further, it is reality, not me, that determines what are facts. It is very easy to correct lies. And “eeringly” is not a word, but I suspect ENGELMAN meant it as in “eerily familiar”, insinuating the same “fascism” that untruthful conservatives invoke on Fox News. When conservatives don’t like reality and having their lies exposes, this is how they behave. It’s garbage. A claim that the insistence on truth and fairness is somehow fascist or an affront (to privileged, white, fake-christian cultists idolizing Trump and his lies), is why we have depraved human beings shooting cashiers in stores because everyone is asked to wear a mask.

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