Island sees COVID uptick

After six weeks of low numbers, new cases grow.

11 of the 13 cases this week were reported from the hospital. — Kyra Steck

Updated July 16 

Martha’s Vineyard is seeing an uptick in confirmed COVID-19 cases this week after the boards of health reported more new cases in the past four days than in the past six weeks.

A report from Tisbury health agent and boards of health spokesperson Maura Valley Thursday confirmed there have been 13 cases since Monday — one case more than the 12 cases reported in the previous six weeks. Of the 13 cases this week 11 have come from the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, one from TestMV, and one from another provider.

The hospital has a strict set of testing criteria that focuses on people with COVID symptoms while TestMV tests asymptomatic individuals.

This all comes as the hospital has administered more than 27,000 vaccine doses — 13,674 first doses and 13,695 second doses. 

“The Island is pretty busy, which I’m sure is a contributing factor,” Valley said in an email to The Times. “We’ve sent some samples to the state for variant testing but haven’t received results yet.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued the first Surgeon General’s Advisory of the Biden Administration Thursday warning about the threat of health misinformation. 

“Health misinformation is an urgent threat to public health. It can cause confusion, sow mistrust, and undermine public health efforts, including our ongoing work to end the COVID-19 pandemic,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said in a press release. “As Surgeon General, my job is to help people stay safe and healthy, and without limiting the spread of health misinformation, American lives are at risk. From the tech and social media companies who must do more to address the spread on their platforms, to all of us identifying and avoiding sharing misinformation, tackling this challenge will require an all-of-society approach, but it is critical for the long-term health of our nation.”


Updated with comment from Valley and quote from Vivek Murthy. —Ed.


      • Albert– Most right wing nut cases post things that have no basis in fact–
        I could go on here and show that the right wing nut cases who refuse to get vaccinated pose a threat to our community. but I have done that again and again– I get a little weary of spending hours researching this stuff and having some idiot respond “fake news” or “trump 2024”
        The islander vaccination rate is pretty high. Why would we need to show proof of vaccination to get off the island ? Please defend your comment and show any sort of rational argument as to why a population of people who are highly vaccinated against a deadly disease should not be able to travel freely.
        I will respond with an argument as to why people who are not vaccinated should not be able pose a medical threat to my community.

  1. Unfortunately, we have our own local citizens who won’t get vaccinated. We will never get ahead of this Delta variant unless everyone gets the safe vaccine that we are very lucky to have. Please people get vaccinated. Don’t believe that these vaccines are not safe. They are safe and will protect you as well as your family and friends. Do it for yourself and for others.

    • Completely agree. I echo you…please everyone get vaccinated. For yourself, your loved ones and your community.

  2. Absolutely, Don. Plus, it’s time for everyone to wear masks again — whether vaccinated or not. The highly contagious and MUCH stronger Indian Delta Covid19 Variant — already present in 85 countries and no doubt here or on it’s way — infects ALL. In fact, the Pfizer Covid19 vaccine is only 64% effective in protecting against the Covid Delta Variant. We’re more threatened with this virus now than since March 2020. Let’s WAKE UP, Martha’s Vineyard.

    • Jesse– did you have to mention the “Indian” part of the delta variant ?
      The next thig you know, there will be people beating up people of Indian descent for making the “China” virus worse.
      by the way
      “July 8, 2021 — The Delta coronavirus strain, now the dominant variant of COVID-19 in the United States, is surging in areas of the country with low vaccination rates, the CDC said Thursday. CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, said Delta represents a threat to the entire country.”

  3. People who are not vaccinated, with few exceptions, are going to stay unvaccinated. The only thing that will change their tune now is if they or a loved one ends up on a ventilator or dies. They bought and drank the Kool-Aid from the liars. The mandatory mask restrictions were lifted too soon and we need them reinstated now. The anti-vaxers couldn’t wait to take off their masks. All the breakthrough cases in the vaccinated are from being exposed to an unvaccinated, infected person. One Delta variant-infected person spreads covid to 3 or 4 people, compared to the original strain where 1 infected person spread covid to 1 or 2 people– as if that wasn’t bad enough. Businesses ask the unvaccinated to wear a mask, but I see very few people wearing them in stores. The unvaccinated who are not wearing masks and are medically fine to get the vaccine are a menace and a disgrace to all. Those who repeately spread lies about covid, especially in our small community, like those who claim the Delta variant is “like the sniffles”, should have their commenting privileges taken away permanently. There is one person on here who spreads lie after lie, even after being warned and having his untrue, dangerous comments removed.

  4. Those who are now getting the virus have chosen not to be vaccinated. If we can’t prevent a woman from having an abortion why should we try to force someone who has chosen not to get vaccinated to get vaccinated? Their body, their choice.

    • Seriously? Pregnant women can’t infect you with their pregnancy. This is a public health issue–and a very serious one, as everyone knows. You need vaccinations to go to public school, college, to travel to some parts of the world, join the military etc., etc.

      • True. You can infect others who have made the choice not to be vaccinated?
        What about pro-choice don’t you understand?

    • Well…pregnant women don’t cause additional pregnancies in older or immunocompromised folks that they breath on.

    • Vaccination is a personal choice.
      Requiring vaccinations is a public choice.
      A pregnant woman can not cause another woman to become pregnant.

  5. Getting vaccinated is for the protection of the community. An abortion is a private matter and has no relevance to what is being discussed here.
    The vaccinations are not 100% effective, as we know, and I agree that mask wearing, especially when indoors, should be reinstated.
    The idea that people who aren’t vaccinated should continue to wear masks has struck me as absurd since I first heard it. Those are the same people who refused to wear masks in the first place and they’re certainly not going to start wearing them now!

  6. Mr Axel they dont know how to answer your rhetorical question. They will say that the unvaccinated is a danger to others but never mention how the abortion is a danger to the baby. This is an opinion page and Mr Brennan has specific rules but some here want any dissent shut down. Any dissent they dont agree with. If one studies the Delta variant one will see who it affects and to what degree. The link above posted by the hyphenated clearly says the vaccinated are not at risk. The vaccinated can relax. People are able to do the research and find out if they are at risk.

    • George, this is false information. Vaccinated people can still get COVID, but are unlikely to get sick or require hospitalization. As long as there are unvaccinated people, the virus will continue to mutate and may out pace the vaccine’s ability to keep us safe. Please stop allowing this ignorant individual to spread false information.

    • Abortion is not a danger to a baby. Babies are born. Babies do not get the oxygen in their blood from another’s blood.

      Very few under the the age of 18 are vaccinated, under 12, almost none. People under 18 do die of Covid.

    • Andrew– You don’t get it–I don’t care about the so called “babies” any more than you care about overweight elderly people or any other living creature on the planet.

    • But the vaccinated *are* at some risk. 95% effective is great but it’s not 100%. So far it seems that the vaccinated who get Covid-19 get less severe cases and don’t have to be hospitalized. This is a huge plus: hospital capacity is a critical factor. It may be that we (the vaccinated) can transmit the virus even if we never show symptoms — research is, of course, being done on this, but we’re in new territory here. Solid research takes time and care. It’s not like a Google search that turns up hundreds of thousands of answers with one click.

      As to the abortion analogy, it falls flat on several counts. One is that if the anti-choicers really cared about “the baby,” they’d be supporting measures that improve the lives of infants and young children, not to mention women’s access to birth control and prenatal care. Any casual reading of the news reveals that they don’t (though these days we’re seeing legislators take credit for the benefits of legislation that they voted against).

  7. MAJOR update today: The Steamship Authority (at least in VH) is NOT requiring face masks in the terminal any longer because “too many people were coming through the building without wearing them — and the SSA didn’t have enough free masks available to distribute to them.”

    Take a moment and let that sink in.

    And the present Covid19 safety procedure for our other Island main point-of-entry, the Martha’s Vineyard Airport???

    Simultaneously, while the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is “significantly concerned” about this week’s sudden uptick in new Covid19 cases — after 6 weeks of virtually NONE.

    And both Stop & Shop grocery stores are neither enforcing any face masks, nor any social distancing — with more volume of shoppers making record breaking daily sales than EVER before.

    Do that math.

    And it isn’t even August yet.

    Martha’s Vineyard, MASKS. NOW.

    • The Martha’s Vineyard Airport REQUIRES FACE MASKS while inside of the terminal lobby and is required by TSA and is required to be worn while traveling onboard commercial airlines. Masks are given out if you do not have one.

  8. Andrew,

    Abortion is NOT CONTAGIOUS to the entire human race. Covid19 is a GLOBAL PANDEMIC virus killing and/or harming millions of people throughout the world and continuing to do so to date. There is NO correlation with these two subjects.

    Additionally, numerous new global Covid19 cases are now actively diagnosed in those who are in fact fully vaccinated.

    Misinformation is as threatening as the choice to ignore a a lethal pandemic vaccination which is, literally, killing other human beings through the global viral spread of the Covid19 unvaccinated. In fact, it should be illegal to narcissistically risk the LIVES of other human beings during a global pandemic. Anyone with any functioning intellectual capacity is entirely aware of the moral and social responsibility to protect the greater good of ALL human beings.

    That’s called humanity.

    • Jesse we are talking about choice. My body my choice. You may not like the analogy but your friends have been pushing that mantra for years. People have a choice to vaccinate or not and they live with the consequence. Do you really want to government to line up people and force needles into them? To suggest that the vaccinated are still succeptible from those who are not is to deny the so called science. There is no 100 percent anywhere. I will match my functioning intellectual capacity with yours any day. It is not my responsibility to protect you.. That is your responsibility.

      • “It is not my responsibility to protect you.. That is your responsibility.”

        Your humanity, empathy and care for other people is really something to behold.

        And mind you, protecting other people in this time is not to take a bullet for them. It’s to put a piece of cloth on your face or to take a vaccine that has been beyond thoroughly proven to be safe and effective. You’re probably doing more damage to your health with your tinfoil hat.

      • You do have a choice. If you make the choice not to get vaccinated please also make the choice to take responsibility for yourself. Wear your mask and stay away from crowded places.

  9. ENGELMAN, “they” know pregnancy is not contagious.

    And that’s right, this is a page for opinions. Lies are not opinions. Lies about covid are not allowed. Got it? Not liking the truth and offering a lie in place of it is not dissent. It’s lying. Saying the Capital insurrection was not an insurrection is a lie. Saying Trump won the election is a lie. Opinions worth discussing are not based on lies such as “Delta is like the sniffles”. Differing opinions are fine. Lies are not. Lies about covid get deleted. Whining about it is just that: whining.

    People with opinions are able to provide links of facts that back up their opinions. Those who cannot back up their opinions with facts often misunderstand, exaggerate, mislead, misinterpret, or miss the point of the facts after skimming a linked article, as you’ve done here. This lapse is not the fault of this newspaper—nor of people with hyphenated names.

    The link I provided does not say “the vaccinated can relax”, nor is the low risk of breakthrough cases the point of the article. Vaccinated parents are not relaxed about their young, unvaccinated children.

    You need to learn the difference between dissenting opinions and lying.

  10. Isn’t it ironic how at the beginning of the pandemic conservative Republicans were willing to sacrifice the elderly rather than close businesses in an effort to stem covid spread. Now that we have a safe, effective way to prevent serious effects of covid, a great vaccine, Republicans are willing to sacrifice young children rather than push to get every eligible person vaccinated. They want to make science and health a political issue to grow their idiot base and create more divisiveness. And here, some Trump supporting Republicans want to talk about abortion in what can only be described as the stupidest comparisons I’ve ever heard. Over at Fox News they’re outraged about efforts to get more people vaccinated, as if the efforts to save people from an entirely preventable death are a bad thing. Republicans are not the party of “pro-life”. Republicans are having the biggest pro-death party on the planet. We have enough vaccines and Republicans are denying the science of them and mocking the next best thing: masks. Seriously, Republicans will see their kids on ventilators before they’ll admit that the science is correct and that vaccines are safe and effective and everyone who can medically get one, should. I just read that Florida has 20% of all new rising covid cases in this country. What a surprise. Less than half the US population is vaccinated, thanks to pro-death liars spreading false information. This preventable uptick is due entirely to Republican lies.

  11. How likely is it for a fully vaccinated person to get infected? As of July 6, the CDC reported 5,186 cases of breakthrough Covid-19 cases that led to deaths or hospitalizations among 157 million fully vaccinated people in the US.

  12. I don’t know why I read any of these comments, it seems like the same people are always trying to explain to the “other” same people… you know, common sense about getting vaccinated vs refusal of vaccination.
    The new GOP and the endless lies, upon lies they spread about everything, especially Covid are a real threat to our country’s health and safety.
    I’m vaccinated and I still wear my mask in public, I’m sure soon, it will be mandated again for everyone.

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