West Tisbury town hall closed

West Tisbury town hall closed Thursday due to a positive COVID-19 test. -Rich Saltzberg

Due to a positive COVID-19 test in a staff member, the West Tisbury Town Hall will be closed Thursday, Dec. 30, effective immediately, town administrator Jen Rand and health agent Omar Johnson.

Offices were already scheduled to be closed on Friday in recognition of the New Year’s Day holiday, according to the release. “Offices will reopen next week with receipt of negative COVID tests from staff members,” the release states.

This comes as the Island has seen a significant uptick in cases throughout the month of December.


  1. As we enter the third year of this pandemic, I am not sure what we have learned .
    Or perhaps I am just experiencing covid fatigue and siding with the nut case covid deniers– HA!–just kidding— But— it seems to me that there has always been a certain level of irrationality about this. I understood in March of 2020  that we did not know much about this disease and we needed  our health officials to impose restrictions on us for our own safety. Having observed my fellow sapiens for the last 50 years or so, it is clear to me that a significant portion of the population is dumber than a rock and totally incapable of making rational decisions based on science or facts.  They make bad decisions about their own health, let alone go out of their way ( however small an inconvenience it may be) to protect the health of anyone else.
    In March 2020 , the town’s health officials imposed  a work order ban for about 6 weeks. It was well intentioned, but not driven by the science or the math, rather out of an innate desire to cover their own  butts . To not allow one person with a lawn mower to mow the lawn of an unoccupied house was a ludicrous overstep of power. It allowed the “deniers” an opportunity to point to hysterically imposed rules. Health officials lost credibility.
     Not being able to refill my own coffee mug at Alleys, and being forced to put cream and sugar into their overpriced cups in the parking lot did nothing except inconvenience me and anyone else who wanted coffee there . It did nothing to stop the spread.
    When the vaccine finally became available, the town of West Tisbury  refused to require vaccinations for the employees of facilities that served a vulnerable elderly population. A decision that ignored the science and the math. I did not miss the irony that while I was dealing with putting cream in my coffee on the hood of my car in a light rain, that unvaccinated town employees were going into the Howes house to provide services for possibly unvaccinated vulnerable elderly people.
    It may not have contributed to the spread (lucky them) , but it gave fuel to the idea  that the officials had no clue as to how to deal with this plague. Health officials again lost credibility– this time with the other side.’  

    So this brings us to now– And this story.

    I don’t know how many people work in or visit the W.T town hall every day nor do I know if everyone who works there is vaccinated.
    But I do know that  nearly every public space on the island has had at least one infected person spend  some amount of time in their building  in the last week. 
    I could postulate numbers and assumptions about that, and do some basic math to “prove” it, but I don’t think it’s necessary.. It is obvious..
    Now I really hate to sound like some of the idiots I have dealt with here, but I have to say that closing down the town hall in the environment we have today is, in my opinion, pretty useless and expensive. If someone in one of the cubicles on one of the floors tested positive, then they should go home… That’s common sense– to close the building borders on a phobic reaction to something that we are going to have to deal with for a while.
    The officials need to do more thinking about the risk to benefits ratio.
    If I think closing town hall because of one positive test  is an overreaction, I can’t imagine what the people who think there should be no restrictions whatsoever think.
    I will offer some  unsolicited  advice to health officials ;
    Like it or not, this disease has been and will continue to be amongst us and be divisive.
    The effectiveness of your policies depends in a large measure on the willingness of the citizens to have confidence and trust in them. Rational guidelines and restrictions will build that confidence  and trust . Without that trust, your rules and regulations will be ignored and have little effect against this formidable enemy.  

  2. Don, the chances are high that other staff members could be infected, so until everyone has a chance to test, it was smart to close one day before the holiday weekend. We need vaccine and mask mandates— real masks that cover the mouth and nose— because, you know, half the population are idiots.
    Happy New Year

  3. If there are unvaccinated employees or others in the town hall, then, without a vaccination mandate, everyone is at risk of getting and spreading this hyper contagious variant, which is much more dangerous for the unvaccinated. Please get vaccinated and boosted, people. And thank you, WT, for doing the right thing.

Comments are closed.