The Martha’s Vineyard boards of health issued an indoor mask advisory Wednesday amidst increased risk of COVID transmission on the Island.
“In accordance with the most recent [Centers for Disease Control] guidance and the fact that Dukes County is considered to be at substantial risk for COVID transmission, the Island boards of health strongly advise that individuals wear masks when indoors or in enclosed spaces serving the public or when unable to maintain social distance, regardless of vaccination status,” the advisory states.
The advisory comes after new cases continue to be reported each week on the Island and as the presence of the Delta variant was confirmed by the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.
The Delta variant is a significantly more contagious varint of COVID-19 that leads to an infection and symptoms more quickly than the original virus. Fully vaccinated individuals can be infected but not show symptoms, thereby being a risk to others.
“Individuals who are vaccinated are at much lower risk of infection, illness, hospitalization and even death,” the advisory reads.
The advisory also suggests that people get vaccinated, be thoughtful when entering indoor spaces, ventilate indoor spaces, get tested if you believe you’ve been exposed, and stay home if not feeling well.
Meanwhile cases on the Cape continue to rise. Cases in Provincetown have grown to 765 since the beginning of July which has promoted town officials to introduce an indoor mask mandate. “Face coverings there are required for all workers and customers of indoor public spaces, except where an individual is unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability,” a Providence news alert reads.
In a July 27 news alert, Nantucket announced they would be returning to releasing daily COVID-19 reports due to the recent surge in cases and have also issued a mask advisory.
The number of COVID-19 cases dropped on Martha’s Vineyard last week to 10 overall and the number of cases testing positive for the more contagious Delta variant remains at four, according to a report issued Monday by the Island boards of health for the period of July 18-24.
On Tuesday Maura Valley, the spokesperson for the Island boards of health, issued an update. On Sunday, there were three new positive results (one at the hospital and two at other providers), as well as one probable case. On Monday, the hospital reported one new case and there was one positive test at TestMV. On Tuesday, there was one new case at the hospital and one at the Wampanoah Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah). There were three new cases Wednesday making for seven cases in the first three days of this week.
The hospital has administered 27,555 vaccine doses — 13,709 first doses and 13,856 second doses.