Boards of health issue indoor mask advisory

Number of Delta variant cases remains at 4.

Several boards of health have issued an indoor mask advisory. — Brian Dowd

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.


    • John. Some of the data is in the article above- cases are rising again.
      In Ma, deaths on the 7 day average have risen by 33 % since july 7 th.
      The seven day moving average in Ma. for new cases is up 10 fold since June 28 — ( 52 cases then, 562 cases yesterday — on the 7 day average.
      Ma had a number of days in late June with zero or near zero new cases .. Yesterday we had 660 new cases.. Deaths will follow cases.
      This surge is driven by a covid variant that is much more infectious and lethal ( particularly to younger healthier people) than the original virus that emerged in China.
      What kind of data do you need, John ?

      Take a look at the national maps and tell me what data would not dictate that we close our border to anyone from the 6 southern states with low vaccination rates and high case and death rates. Show me some data at to why we should allow them to be on the Vineyard infecting our population here.

      Perhaps you still think “it will go away” , as your “greatest loser leader” has told us many times..
      Keep wishing…
      I’ll follow the data.

      • So you must be in agreement that we close our southern borders where hundreds of thousand illegal aliens cross each month with no covid testing at all?

        • John.–where did you come up with the idea that there is “no covid testing at all” of “illegals”?

          “Immigration authorities said they are working with state and local authorities and non-governmental groups to make sure that all migrants are tested…”
          “Customs and Border Protection personnel do initial checks for symptoms, and they consult with onsite medical staff. People who are presumed to be sick are sent to local health systems for testing, diagnosis and treatment”

          Do you have any idea how your blatantly biased opinion about those “illegals” may appear ? Excuse me ,but I feel compelled to present some “superlative truths” here: ( thank you for that mockable phrase , Andrew) . That is, facts that contradict Your political narrative.
          Let’s talk about infection rates;
          yesterday, July 28 2021:
          One out of every 3940 Americans was diagnosed with a new case of covid
          one out of every 7,490 Mexicans were
          one out of every 8,123 Hondurans were
          one out of every 5,109 Guatemalans were
          one out of every 23,290 El Salvadorans were
          The U.S infection rate is way above all of the countries you seem to be most concerned about.
          As a civil country, it is clear we should close the border going south.

          And if we are going to restrict anyone coming north–
          One out of every 1,339 Floridians were newly infected yesterday
          One out of every 1,635 citizens of Mississippi were newly infected yesterday
          One out of every 2,736 citizens of Alabama were infected yesterday.
          Look at the numbers. John, and tell me why we should be more worried about the “illegals” than the ignorant, unvaccinated citizens of these southern states.
          The infection rates are not even close.

          Is that enough data for you, John ?

        • All of the caught are tested.
          All of the rest would get tested if by doing so they would not be

      • Statistics are an interesting thing Don. I suppose I could counter your argument by noting the same data you have referenced states that covid hospitalizations in Massachusetts have dropped by 99.996 % in the last several months. I don’t live in fear. I also don’t believe someone else’s fear should infringe upon my freedom.

        • John– I agree with you about statistics.
          Your 99%+ stat is correct , or close to it-
          But you have to ask yourself why ? I can assure you it’s not because we have forced desperate people seeking legal asylum in this country to endure squalid and unsafe conditions for months or years on the southern side of the border while awaiting a legal hearing.
          I can tell you that is is largely because we have achieved a high vaccination rate here, and we have taken responsible precautions.
          You say that you “don’t believe someone else’s fear should infringe upon my freedom.” well John. does that apply to anyone other than yourself ?
          it seems to me that your fear of “illegal” immigrants is infringing upon the freedoms of those hundreds of thousands of people you mention who are trying to get a day in court to hear their case for “legal” asylum. Or for that matter, your fear that they are going to bring covid into this country. Or take away American jobs, or get some federal handout.
          John, you fears, and the fears of the politicians you choose to vote for certainly impact the freedoms of other people
          They are not American citizens, but they are humans, with feelings and dreams.

    • Oh no, heaven forbid that rising cases of a deadly disease subject you to the life-saving, but oppressive action of (checks notes)…putting a piece of cloth on your face.

    • The science says that masks reduce the spread to infectious diseases.
      The politics are undecided.

  1. Four cases of Delta.
    Is that not enough to to take any action?
    Should they wait until it’s forty, four hundred, four thousand?
    Do absolutely nothing because after the election COVID-19 will magically just disappear?

    • The state considers a community at risk if there are 50 cases per 100,000 population. We have roughly 80-100 thousand people on island now so I would suggest 4 cases is a very low number and nothing to be concerned about.

      • So take no action at 4?
        But take action at 50?
        With the numbers on the rise the right thing to do is to insist on mask use, before it gets to 50.

      • John, it is a low number, but aggressive variants can get out of control quickly. Each person can infect several more. The goal is to take preventative measures, not to wait until things get bad. Saying we don’t need to do anything about these four cases is kind of like saying, “I’m not going to wear a condom because my girlfriend isn’t pregnant yet.”

        • (I mean, like, assuming someone didn’t want her to become pregnant in the first place. I screwed that up. That’ll teach me not to use sex analogies.)

  2. The faster the island reacts, the shorter the mask mandate will need to be. Unless, of course, there is a continual influx of infected people from some kind of reservoir of unvaccinated people. What are the odds, though?

    • I should clarify that my remark is in reference to e.g. Floridians, not the immigrants who probably have more to fear from us than the other way around.

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