Updated Jan. 11
The number of new COVID-19 cases have reached all time heights since the start of 2022 with 490 cases reported between Jan. 1 and Jan. 8.
Of the 490 cases, 267 were reported from the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, 39 from TestMV, 37 from other providers, and 147 from at-home tests.
There are 269 cases being followed by public health officials and 231 that are not. Of the new cases there are 183 symptomatic cases, 31 with no symptoms, and 276 with an unknown symptom status. Among the new cases are 184 vaccinated individuals, 16 partially vaccinated, 40 unvaccinated, and 250 with an unknown vaccination status.
The majority of new cases were teenagers with 81 cases. There were 59 cases under the age of 10, 76 in their 20s, 68 in their 30s, 65 in their 40s, 70 in their 50s, 44 in their 60s, 26 over 70, and three with unknown age.
Additionally 130 cases have been reported this week — 56 on Sunday and 74 on Monday.
The hospital reported four COVID positive hospitalizations Monday. Two of the patients are in good condition and two are in fair condition, according to hospital communications specialist Marissa Lefebvre.
The hospitalizations come as COVID cases are reaching new highs on Martha’s Vineyard with 419 new confirmed cases reported since the beginning of the year. As of late afternoon, the Island boards of health had not yet issued their detailed weekly report, but reports through Friday showed the increase.
Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools saw a large number of positive cases since Dec. 23. The high school reported 45 students and three staff positives, while the Island’s five other schools reported a combined 66 students and 17 staff positives.
The drastic rise in cases has even closed down the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club and the West Tisbury library. On Monday, the library issued an email blast informing patrons.
“In response to library staff members testing positive for COVID-19, the library building will be closed to the public Monday, January 10th, through at least Wednesday, January 12th,” the aler states. “We will offering curbside services and virtual programs only during these [times]. In-person programs are canceled this week.”
There were 95 cases reported on Friday, 85 on Thursday, 48 on Wednesday, 101 on Tuesday, 28 on Monday, 36 on Sunday, and 26 on Saturday.
COVID cases began to rise drastically at the beginning of December reaching all time weekly highs. This week is already set to be the highest weekly total of cases reported since the start of the pandemic.
By comparison, as 2020 and the first nine months of the pandemic came to a close, the Island had reported a total of 535 cases between March 2020 and December 2020.
In an email to The Times Tisbury health agent and boards of health spokesperson Maura Valley said the health agents speak daily and meet weekly, but no joint boards of health meeting has been scheduled. She said most towns will have meetings scheduled next week.
“There is definite concern over the large number of cases and our ability to reach out to them all. Our contact tracers have been sending text and email messages to individual cases as a way of letting them know the appropriate protocols,” Valley said. “While they attempt to reach as many positive cases as possible, they prioritize making contact with parents of positive young and school-aged children, elderly cases and those with known high risk of complications from the virus.”
When the indoor mask mandate was extended, health officials said it would be reevaluated in January.
This all comes as the boards of health are counting those who test positive with at-home test kits and as the demand for home test kits skyrockets. The Island received thousands of them through a federal program earlier this week and they were distributed within hours.
Out of an abundance of caution and due to the rise in cases, the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club closed down its facilities on Thursday and will not reopen until Jan. 18.
“As a community, we strive to ensure the absolute safety of members and staff and do not make this decision lightly. We understand the club’s critical role in supporting its members and families and will provide ongoing status updates throughout next week via Remind, email, and our website,” the club wrote in a Facebook post.
Additionally families who rely on the club’s Grab n’ Go meal program can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for food assistance.