UPDATED: 101 new COVID cases on Martha’s Vineyard

Free at-home rapid tests fly off the shelves.



Updated 4 pm

Martha’s Vineyard reported 101 new positive cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, a new single day record since the pandemic began. It comes as the Island is seeing a surge in cases. Since Saturday, the Island has had 191 new cases of COVID-19, the Island boards of health reported.

There were 70 new positive results at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, one at another provider, and 30 of the cases were reported by people using over the counter testing kits.

All of this comes as the Island received a shipment of free at-home testing kits from the federal government on Monday night. By mid-day on Tuesday, thousands of COVID test kits were handed out by local boards of health.

The hospital has not responded to repeated requests on whether any of the individuals testing positive are hospitalized.

Edgartown asked residents to pre-register online to pick up test kits. Residents then lined up in their cars along Atlantic Avenue in Katama to pick up test kits from Edgartown police, fire, and public health officials. Health agent Matt Poole, who was helping hand out tests, said a big crowd came early and after about an hour there were only 75 out of 300 test kits left.

Chilmark ran out of test kits early after handing them out at town hall.

Speaking to The Times by phone at noon, Tisbury health agent and boards of health spokesperson Maura Valley said Tisbury had about five test kits left and expected to hand those out in the next few minutes. At about noon, the town issued an email saying the test kits are all gone in Tisbury.

Valley added that West Tisbury ran out of tests at 11:24 am and Oak Bluffs had about 80 kits left at 11:42 am. Health officials hope to have more information about additional kits next week.

“People are happy to have the option to have the test kits,” Valley said. “Hopefully next week we’ll have a bigger shipment.”

The test kits are QuickVue over the counter tests and come with a sticker informing people to report any positive test results to rapidtestmv.org. Valley said the stickers were an idea that came after health officials were wrapping information flyers and realized stickers would be easier to let people know how to report a positive test.


  1. No it isn’t! A success would mean that everyone that wants a free test could get as many as they want. I signed up in Edgartown and didn’t get one of the 300 handed out. How many people live in Edgartown? Way way more than 300 people! Providing well below 10% of what is needed cannot in any context be called a success!

  2. Distribution of test kits was definitely a success in OB. Fast and efficient. Thanks to the staff for a great job.

    • When someone gets a sore throat, they are supposed to test and stay home until they get a negative test result. It’s what responsible, informed people do because that is what the medical experts recommend.
      “Don’t assume that a runny nose, headache, or sore throat is just a cold– get a covid-19 test to avoid spreading the coronavirus, experts say… If you have symptoms, stay at home.”

      • Let’s focus on the positive, Experts predicted that the end of the pandemic would come with the virus mutating into weaker and weaker forms, eventually settling down to something closer to the common flu. Reports suggest omicron is indeed mikder, which would suggest we are moving in this direction. This should because for excitement rather than dourness and doom.

        • Omicron seems less severe than previous variants but hospitals are being innundated with serious covid cases, leaving other serious medical issues without hospital beds and attention. We don’t know how many of the island surge needed hospitalization, if any, but the island has followed the rest of country in surges. Yesterday, 2,366 people in this country died of covid. Since Jan 2, an average of 672 children are hospitalized with covid daily. Pediatric covid cases have exploded. Let’s focus on being responsible, good citizens as we go about living our lives. Wear a mask and get fully vaxed and STAY HOME if you’re sick. Cold and flu sumptoms are similar to covid to impossible to distinguish except through testing. Use testing when you can. It’s certainly not all doom and gloom if you are healthy and vaxed/boosted and responsible toward others. The worst thing to do is to become complacent. Optimism is great as long as you remain careful for yourself and considerate of others.


          It’s a fact that the majority of covid deaths and serious illness are among the unvacciated.

          • New variant IHU detected early December in a traveler returning to France from Cameroon. The hospital Mediterrannee in Marseilles reported the returnee from Cameroon infected 12 people in southern France. A bit soon to estimate the severity of this one.

          • Yes, there are daily deaths and crowded hospitals, but in the big picture cases are skyrocketing while hospitalizations and deaths are staying level, which means that the virus is shifting to a milder form, which is how the pandemic will end and transition to an endemic situation, i.e. one that doesn’t require a perpetual emergency state of mind. A little early to uncork the champagne? Maybe, but certainly reason to have hope and drop the perma-gloom attitude. Unless some people enjoy that?

      • A sore throat? Really? I shouldn’t go to work because of a sore throat. What’s next, I stubbed my toe and now I can’t go in?

        Goodness gracious Jac.

        • My brothers wife tested positive with just a mild sore throat. So yes please stay home if you have a sore throat and get tested.

          • Could be a cold, allergies and the flu – a sore throat is very common in this cold weather. I also can’t get a test within a reasonable amount of time because this administration dropped the ball on providing adequate test kits.

            So no I will be not staying home until I can get a test and miss out on work and income.

        • Jason– it says a lot that you would go to work while sick.
          And yes, a sore throat (unless you swallow swords for a living) is an early indicator of some sort of illness. Most likely a contagious one. So let’s just say it’s only the flu or a cold. even if you knew for sure it was only the flu, would you go to work and expose your fellow workers to your disease ? That sounds pretty self centered to me.

          When stubbing your toe becomes contagious and you can pass that pain on to someone else, stay home. In the meantime, if you want to have your fellow workers feel your pain, go to work and simply step on their toes. At least if you do that, they will know what you think about them, and they will have a much better understanding of the type of person you are.

        • Goodness gracious kids get sent home from school for having a sore throat.
          Do you want your kid sitting next to someone with a sore throat?

    • People with a sore throat should be tested.
      It is one of the first symptoms Covid.
      They would want to isolate.
      They would not want to spread it to others.

  3. The system set up for Edgartown residents worked fine. You can’t blame the town for having only 300 kits to hand out. That is out of their control. If you registered online, when more come in, you will get an email when it is your turn to get yours. Keep up the good work Town of Edgartown!

    • I don’t blame the town, I was reacting to the headline stating the handout had been a success(The MV Times has since changed the headline). I wasn’t blaming the town.

  4. This is a great start! But people should order more tests online because one test will only cover
    the time you are taking it. It’s expensive but better than getting Covid or dying, no?

    • What are you talking about, Martha Magee? Medical science research, all research, is always funded. Always. The vaccines are safe and effective, preventing death and serious illness among the vast majority of healthy, vaxed individuals. There is no reason, none, for a medically eligible person to refuse a vaccine. With our freedom comes responsibility, especially toward the rest of the community. Without responsible citizens who love freedom and know it takes work, we are left with selfish, ignorant foolishness— much like the entire antivax community who are now yammering about “mass formation psychosis”, lol. Not really funny, but these idiots must think that 800,000 Americans died of hysteria.

    • An honest question. I want to hear your logic on this.

      The CDC said vaccinated nurses who
      tested positive for Covd but are
      asymptomatic can go back to their job
      on a cancer ward but it’s too
      dangerous for asymptomatic
      vaccinated football players to play in
      bowl games.

      • Jason– Could you put up that quote from the CDC specifically mentioning football players ?
        And just for the record, The CDC does not pass laws. They issue guidelines based on what they think is best for the well being of the general public.
        If they think that it serves the public interest to recommend that front line health care workers get back to work sooner to save the lives of ignorant bafoons, then hospitals are free to go with that or not.
        If they think it is not in the public interest to have tens of thousands of people pack into a stadium to watch a bunch of millionaire’s crack each others heads open, then the NFL is free to go with that or not.
        It’s the NFL that imposes fines on players and set the rules– not the CDC.

        And also, Jason, you might notice that every single person who works in the hospital is wearing a mask, and quite often , gloves and gowns.
        Perhaps if all the football players and everyone watching wore a mask all the time, it might be different.
        Of course, that’s just my logical opinion.

        • “Healthcare workers with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic can return to work after 7 days with a negative test, and that isolation time can be cut further if there are staffing shortages.
          Healthcare workers who have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, including a booster, do not need to quarantine at home following high-risk exposures.” ~CDC

  5. A stubbed toe is not a symptom of covid.

    Troll: A person who intentionally antagonizes others online by posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or otherwise disruptive comments.

    It’s been my experience here that the anonymous (using fake names) trolls who go after certain commenters are annoying cowards who take advantage of the moderator’s time. It’s also a signal of the anonymous troll’s intentional dishonesty and personal inner rage. It’s pathetic, really.

  6. Speculating upon a persons mental health or inner rage is an unpleasant prejudice and is no different than mocking someone for their physical disability.

    • Thank you Andrew. For the record Im pro vax, wear a mask if you want and pro let people
      live their own lives and make their
      own decisions on how to live. It
      shouldn’t be a controversial take in
      my mind.

  7. Some people obviously don’t care about anyone but themselves. Imagine being too cheap and selfish not to put in the effort to get a test and stay home from work or school with symptoms, even if it’s “just the flu”. Or, do what the idiotic last administration suggested and don’t get tested:
    Fewer tests mean fewer cases, right? No more tests? No more cases. Logic for evil sociopaths like Trump.

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