Updated 3:50 pm
New COVID-19 cases doubled last week to 48 and include three new COVID clusters, according to the Martha’s Vineyard boards of health report.
There are 25 new cases of fully vaccinated individuals, one was partially vaccinated, and 20 were not vaccinated. Two had an unknown vaccination status.
Of the new cases, 35 were symptomatic, two had no symptoms, and 11 are unknown. Health officials are still following 40 of the cases, seven are not being followed, and one was lost to follow up.
In an update Monday afternoon, Tisbury health agent and boards of health spokesperson Maura Valley reported there were six new cases reported Sunday and seven new cases on Monday for a total of 13 this week.
For the first time in months, the boards of health have confirmed three new COVID clusters, all from staff at different Edgartown establishments — 14 at Alchemy, five at Port Hunter, and six at the Harbor View.
The Island has reported nine other COVID clusters since the pandemic began: 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.
The Port Hunter and Alchemy temporarily closed their doors during the Island’s busiest month of the year.
Edgartown health agent Matt Poole told The Times Monday that two restaurants in Edgartown had temporarily closed due to staff testing positive for COVID-19. All of this comes as the Island has had an uptick in positive COVID-19 results. The Island boards of health are expected to release an update on last week’s numbers later today, but as of Friday the Island had 29 cases.
The Port Hunter has been closed since August 2, but is expected to reopen Tuesday, according to the restaurant’s website.
Poole called the Port Hunter’s situation a “success story” due to the restaurant’s quick action in identifying and containing the positive case.
“It was an example of people doing the right thing,” Poole said.
The other restaurant to close was Alchemy, which Poole described as a “bigger group.”
As of now, Poole said he was not aware of any reopening date for Alchemy. Both restaurants also have high vaccination rates, according to Poole.
Poole stressed the importance of personal responsibility in dealing with COVID and the Delta variant. “Make smart decisions and minimize risk,” he said.
He added the vaccine is doing its job, but there is an early contagious period before immunity kicks in, which is why vaccinated people still need to take precautions such as social distancing in crowded places and mask wearing.
“Community wide we need to all understand the environments that we choose to spend time, social events we go to, public places. We should all assume we may be exposed to delta,” Poole said. “If there are children in the mix or those that can’t vaccinate..we need to go back to get our numbers in check.”
Alchemy Restaurant closed on Friday after a member of their staff tested positive for COVID-19, according to an Instagram post. “We will be testing the remainder of our staff and sanitizing the restaurant in the interim. We apologize sincerely for any inconvenience this may cause, but we believe this is the right thing to do to protect our staff, guests, and community,” the post states.
The post also says plans to reopen this week will be posted on their social media and website.
Meanwhile, some establishments are increasing COVID protocols. In an email Monday, The Loft in Oak Bluffs said they are now asking patrons to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours before entering the club. In a follow up email, Joe Chambers of CK Communications said a photo of a vaccine card on someone’s phone will work. The Loft hosts the MV Concert Series.
“If a patron is not able to show proof of vaccination or a clean COVID test, they will not be allowed to attend the performance, and their ticket purchase will be refunded. MV Concert Series and the Loft are committed to providing a safe environment for all to work, listen, and enjoy live music,” according to a statement from CK Communications Group. “We will work closely with the state and local health department and follow best practices to create a safe and healthy concert experience. It is our hope that we can ease these restrictions once further progress has been made reducing transmission of the virus. Until then, we appreciate your patience and cooperation.”
Last week’s results bring the total number of confirmed positive results to 1,609 since the pandemic began in March of 2020. Of those cases 824 are males, 784 are females, and one is nonbinary.
The hospital has administered 27,911 vaccine doses — 13,827 first doses and 13,927 second doses.
As of July 30, the hospital has administered a total of 21,863 COVID tests. Of those, 1,125 are positives and 20,728 are negatives.
The TestMV site has administered a total of 40,146 COVID tests. Of those, 398 are positives, 38,748 are negatives, and zero are pending results.
The town of Aquinnah has administered 556 tests, with three positive results.
The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) has reported a total of 15 positive cases of COVID-19.
There were 18 positive tests reported at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools, from a total of 16,122 tested.
Due to how tests are conducted, there can be a discrepancy between the number of positive individuals and the number of positive tests reported.
Updated with Sunday and Monday case numbers. An earlier post incorrectly stated Atria Restaurant was closed due to a COVID case. — Ed.