The number of new COVID cases shot into the triple digits last week, with 105 new cases — the first time cases have reached over 100 since the beginning of April.
From Dec. 5 to 11, there were 80 cases reported at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, 13 at TestMV, and 12 at other providers. Of those, 81 are being followed by public health officials, 22 are not, and two were lost to follow-up calls. There were 61 symptomatic individuals, 12 with no symptoms, and 32 with unknown symptom status.
Nearly half of the new cases, 55, were fully vaccinated, 37 were not vaccinated, and 13 had an unknown vaccination status.
There were 17 cases between 0 and 10 years of age, seven between 11 and 19 years of age, 12 in their 20s, 19 in their 30s, 13 in their 40s, 13 in their 50s, 19 in their 60s, and five over 70 years of age.
The hospital currently has two patients hospitalized with COVID, and both are in fair condition, according to communications specialist Marissa Lefebvre.
As of Tuesday this week, the boards of health have reported 48 new positive test results.
On the vaccine front, as of Dec. 8, the hospital has administered more than 33,000 vaccine doses — 14,888 first, 14,956 second, and 3,515 third doses.
There were 1,215 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered aboard the vaccine bus this weekend, according to Leah Palmer, the ELL director at Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools, told The Times in an email. The bus, parked at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, offered vaccines to children 5 years and older, as well as booster shots for adults.
Meanwhile, Chilmark and Oak Bluffs were chosen as two of the over 100 cities and towns in Massachusetts to secure 2.1 million in iHealth Labs over the counter, at-home rapid antigen tests.
Cities and towns were determined by having the highest proportion of families living below the federal poverty level. Municipalities will determine how to distribute tests within their community. Kits will be delivered later this week. Tests can be completed in 15 minutes without sending a sample to a laboratory.
Chilmark health agent Marina Lent told The Times she hopes to receive the tests within five days, but said, “I’ll believe it when I see the box.”
Lent said the state is trying to get test kits out before the end of the year holidays, and give public health officials time to distribute kits to their communities.
“With rapid transmission, the rapid test is extremely helpful for getting results in less than two days,” she said. “They’ve been available in the stores, but not everyone can buy them. That’s a discrepancy public health officials need to address.”
Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools’ surveillance testing program is now up and running, according to a letter from Superintendent Matt D’Andrea to families and staff. Each week all consenting students and staff will be tested. Additionally, students and staff on overnight trips will be tested the week before and week after overnight trips.
“Unfortunately, we continue to see a rise in the number of COVID cases on the Island and, as we go into the winter months, we are concerned that this trend will persist. Consequently we will be taking proactive steps aimed at keeping our students and staff safe,” the letter reads in part.