COVID cases spike to 76

Two hospitalizations on Island.

Last week there was a significant spike in COVID-19 cases. -Nicole Jackson

For the first time since the end of August, positive test results for COVID-19 have reached 76 cases — nearly four times as many cases as the Island reported the previous week. 

There were 66 positive results at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, 7 at Test MV, and 3 from other providers, according to Monday’s weekly report from the Island boards of health.

On Monday, Marissa Lefebvre, a spokeswoman for Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, reported two people were hospitalized with the virus and are in fair condition. One of the two people is the same person who was hospitalized on Friday, she wrote in an email.

Of the 76 cases reported, 33 were symptomatic, 7 were asymptomatic, 36 are unknown. The report states that 57 were fully vaccinated, 3 were partially vaccinated, 12 were unvaccinated, and 4 had an unknown vaccination status. The vast majority of this week’s infections are in individuals under 40 years old.

Since the pandemic began in March of 2020, the Island has had 2,366 total positive results and more than 76,500 tests have been performed between the hospital, TestMV, Aquinnah, and the public schools. Despite the rise in cases, there were no additional clusters reported from last week’s test results. 

The uptick in cases comes in the wake of the busy Thanksgiving week on the Island. In an email to The Times on Friday, Maura Valley, a spokesperson for the Island boards of health, wrote: “I attribute the spike in cases to people moving indoors and celebrating the holidays, whether by traveling to visit family or having family members and friends visit them.”

With other events planned for the holidays, Valley reminded folks to wear masks to slow the spread of COVID. “As has been said many times, people should wear masks when in congested areas or in close proximity to others outside of their immediate family,” she wrote. “They should also get vaccinated if they haven’t done so already and get a booster when they are eligible.”

It also comes as Massachusetts has reported the first case of the Omicron variant in Massachusetts. On Saturday, the state Department of Public Health issued a press release indicating that the first case of the Omicron variant was detected in Massachusetts. “The individual is a female in her 20s and a resident of Middlesex County who traveled out of state. She is fully vaccinated, has experienced mild disease, and did not require hospitalization. The variant was identified through sequencing performed at New England Biolabs,” the release states.

The release goes on to say that while the Omicron variant is classified by the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization as a “variant of concern,” scientists are still working to determine its severity and how easily it’s transmitted. “There is some limited evidence that Omicron could be more transmissible than other COVID-19 virus variants, including Delta,” the release states. “This variant is being monitored closely by public health authorities around the world, and more information about what we know about Omicron is available on the CDC website.”
The release goes on to urge folks who haven’t been vaccinated to get a shot and for others to get the booster. 

Valley said the Island will provide additional access to booster shots with a vaccine bus Dec. 11 and Dec. 12. People are asked to preregister for the shots. A flyer provides the information in both English and Portuguese. Here’s the link to sign up.


  1. But at least we have abolished the flu! Time to close the roads and require people to wear masks in their own homes!

    • What a ridiculous and heartless comment. Wishing a quick and complete recovery to those hospitalized.

    • Mike– Could you get real once in a while ?
      Your comments have no value other than to get a few idiots to give you “likes” on some other platform. A comment like that would get lots of thumbs up on fox news or info wars because it is inaccurate, nonsenseical trash. How about at least trying to write something worth reading.
      Speaking of nonsensecal trash, I would guess you loved Rep Ronnie Jackson’s comment that the Omicron variant is a hoax from the democrats in America to “rig” the 2020 elections even though it was first identified in Africa and was found in 29 countries before it was found in the United States.
      At least offer us your opinion on some of these issues rather than third grade “jokes”

      • John. IF both cases were unvaxxed, then the deniers would know that the vaccines are effective, right ? Given that there were more vaxxed positive cases, it would be statistically significant. It might even get a hesitant person to think about getting a jab.
        The hospital gives out the ages of people, which is relevant, why not vax status , which is also relevant ?
        Transparent statistics like the ages of the infected seem to have shut down the false argument from you know who that only old people get it.

        • Vax status, while interesting, does not always accurately disclose immunity risk. Vaccine efficacy wanes over time. And older people don’t have the immune system of younger people, and neither do immune-compromised folks— even though these groups may be fully vaxed and boosted. All the experts are warning these groups to be extra careful now and not be around unmasked groups. Experts are even suggesting that those vaxed but still at risk of poor immunity, like the elderly, to ask family and friends to get a negative covid test before interacting with them indoors for the holidays. We are back up to 1000 deaths per day in this country. Healthy and strong younger vaxed don’t have these concerns, but everyone should be considerate and wear a mask out in public. Lots of vaccinated people are getting covid. It seems that for most, the symptoms are not as severe as they otherwise could be.

    • Hi Don, you raise a very interesting point. I think it is in the public’s interest to know whether people being hospitalized are vaccinated or unvaccinated. I don’t know how this plays out with the privacy laws, but as someone who is vaccinated I would like to know if other people with my same status are getting sick enough to go to the hospital.

  2. Is there information available about how many tests are performed weekly to go along with the weekly confirmed positive case number?

    • “If we want to reduce the number of confirmed cases we must reduce the number of tests.”
      Donald John Trump.

      • Alternately, these reports could include weekly test numbers along with weekly confirmed case numbers to give the public a better idea of trends in the rate of infection. That is a quote, though.

  3. Tucker– welcome to the club — The article states that there have been 76,500 tests performed with 2,366 positive cases.
    That works out to about a 3.1 % positivity rate overall.
    Unfortunately, the times does not report of the number of tests that have been administered during any given week. Therefore , the positivity rate week over week is not calculable from data on this site.
    I am sure if you dig deep enough, you will be able to find that information.

  4. Masks mandates are necessary and should be required in all inside settings, or anywhere there are lots of people. What are we waiting for; Death to hit home!!!!! Vaccinated, Un Vaccinated people, put your mask back on. No one is tracking or talks about the long term effects of this virus, regardless of how mild or severe it was. It’s not like the flu, You get over and ok, then wait for the next vaccine, next year. This virus kills and/or will leave you with something for years to remember. Wear your mask.

    • Hi Cheryl, I agree with your premise that we should be sensible and careful, I am 100% in favor of vaccination and mask wearing in appropriate places. Where I disagree is your statement that everybody who gets Covid is doomed. That is alarmist thinking that is out of line with science. Getting covid obviously not desirable, and many do get sick or die, but the majority of people have mild cases and recover.

  5. From CDC, observed post-COVID symptoms include:
    Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath,
    Tiredness or fatigue,
    Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities (also known as post-exertional malaise),
    Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”),
    Chest or stomach pain,
    Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations),
    Joint or muscle pain,
    Pins-and-needles feeling,
    Sleep problems,
    Dizziness on standing (lightheadedness),
    Mood changes,
    Change in smell or taste,
    Changes in menstrual period cycles.

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