Boards of health report 457 COVID cases

Towns plan to distribute more at-home COVID test kits this week.

COVID cases remained elevated on the Island. -Nicole Jackson

Updated 3:45 pm 

The number of COVID cases dipped slightly last week, but remained at all-time highs for the Island, with 457 new cases.

Of the 457 cases, 148 were reported from the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, 75 from TestMV, 47 from the public schools, seven in-school rapid tests, seven from the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), nine from other providers, and 164 from at-home tests.

There are 202 cases being followed by public health officials and 255 that are not. Of the new cases, there are 133 symptomatic cases, 44 with no symptoms, and 280 with an unknown symptom status. Among the new cases are 124 vaccinated individuals, four partially vaccinated, 50 unvaccinated, and 279 with an unknown vaccination status. 

The majority of new cases were between the ages of 10 and 19 years of age with 85 cases. There were 96 cases under the age of 10, 46 in their 20s, 72 in their 30s, 59 in their 40s, 48 in their 50s, 32 in their 60s, 16 over 70, and three with an unknown age.

Additionally, 124 cases have been reported this week — 32 on Sunday, 55 on Monday, and 37 on Tuesday.

The hospital currently has one COVID-positive patient hospitalized in serious condition.

Meanwhile, Island towns continue to offer free at-home COVID test kits. 

Tisbury health agent Maura Valley told The Times in an email that Island Health Care and the boards of health have placed orders to receive COVID test kits each week for the next three weeks. The next order of test kits is expected to arrive in the next few days. “Information on distribution points will be posted on individual town websites once delivery is confirmed,” Valley wrote.

Additionally, test kits can also be ordered for free through Each U.S. home is eligible to receive four free COVID test kits.

Edgartown is expecting 2,700 test kits this week and next week. Another order has been placed for 1,350 the week of Jan. 31.

“We will notify everyone who was on the waiting list (382 as of last Friday am) on how to pick up their kits,” Edgartown town administrator James Hagerty said. “After we have satisfied everyone on the waitlist, we will likely transition so the public can pick them up at their convenience without providing proof of residence.”

In Aquinnah, COVID test kits are available for town employees, residents, and police, fire, and EMS personnel. The pickup location is at town hall.

Test kits are available, while supplies last, at the Chilmark Town Hall for Chilmark residents. Distribution will be on Wednesday, Jan. 19, from 10 am to 11:30 am and Thursday, Jan. 20, from 4:30 pm to 6 pm.

West Tisbury health agent Omar Johnson told The Times people should continue to monitor the town’s website for more information, as the town is still awaiting the shipment of the test kits.

Updated with information from Maura Valley and about federal government test kits. 


  1. Let me point out something in this article to those who don’t believe the CDC or Dr. Fauci because their guidelines have changed over the 2 years we have been in this pandemic. Note the number of children ( those under 20) who tested positive for this in just the last week. Of the 457 reported cases, 39.6 % were children.
    Before the start of this school year, we had a lively debate about whether to have in person classes, requiring masks for everyone, and various other things, like outdoor classes during good weather. Part of the debate was shaped by those who told us, with CERTITUDE, that children do not get this disease , nor can they spread it, except in extremely rare cases.
    Well, apparently, either they were wrong all along, or something has changed.
    Either way, I ask them, given some inconvenient facts that do not fit their narrative, should we just stick to guidelines that were put in place 2 years ago, or do we adapt to the changing situation ?

    And not to nit pick at the Times, but how is it that the “majority” of cases were teenagers when more people under the age of 10 tested positive ? Where do 11 and 12 year old’s fall ?
    Also– The word majority means more than 50 % while plurality means the greatest number in any given set.

    • Very good points, Don. There are more grim facts coming to light every day about how COVID is affecting kids.

      One study found that babies born to infected moms are four times more likely to die within a month. In every single case, the mothers were unvaccinated.

      Children who have recovered from COVID are at increased risk for developing Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

      They’re also continuing to lose parents and other caregivers at an alarming rate. With the many deaths still to come from Omicron, I don’t believe this will end anytime soon.

      Kids can’t make their own pandemic-related decisions. We owe them more. Some adults are worried about how wearing masks will impact the mental wellbeing of little ones. They should be far more concerned with their grief, loss, and lifelong health.

    • If the CDC can ”adapt to changing times” then anyone and everyone can change their narrative due to changing times. Isnt that right? This ”adapting” strategy allows people to never be wrong. Things have changed and what I said before is no longer operative. So the CDC was wrong and the people who challenged Fauci might have been right at that time, and so it goes.

    • No one ever said kids don’t get it, they just don’t get as sick as adults. And this recent uptick absolutely proves this 🙌 As for the other measures in place, the isolation, the ever-growing financial difficulties stemming from all the inane protocols put in place for this “emergency,” the divisiveness between us cheered on by this administration? Nothing but detrimental for each & every child.

  2. Do you adapt to the reality that things aren’t as doom- ridden as we were once led to believe? To quote The Who, “The kids are all right”. Are you?

    • Pete Townshend paid to look at child pornography and other abuse. I’m not taking his word on the wellbeing of kids.

      We have actual data to point us towards issues that need to be addressed. Your self-own in a comments section will not negate those factual concerns.

      Being aware and proactive when it comes to the health of minors is generally seen as a positive approach.

    • The reaction by some during the first wave was that only the elderly was being infected by the virus. As this mutation reports as more likely to infect the young, seems your gloating is a tad premature. The kids aren’t alright.

    • Alex– please tell me and the rest of us who has been spouting excessive amounts of doom and gloom and underestimated this pandemic. If you can show me where the CDC or Dr Fauci predicted a few million American deaths at this point, I will agree with you that it has been over hyped. Show me a CNN article– An NPR podcast– anything– I know Andy declared with certitude that we would never get to 1,000 deaths. At the same time, Fauci was warning that we could possibly get to 10,000 deaths. When you and your buddies declared the pandemic over last summer, Fauci, the CDC and thousands of reputable immunologist , as well as front line health care workers worried we might get a winter surge with escalating death rates. They did not declare with certitude that many more millions would die. They did not even imply it.
      We had 2,374 Americans die FROM covid yesterday. We are averaging about 750,000 new cases every day. We know deaths lag cases by about 3 weeks. There are currently 25 MILLION active cases in America. 150,000 Americans are in the hospital right now. 25,000 of them are in intensive care. Nearly 2,000 of them will die tomorrow.
      Do you think it is “doom -ridden ” to predict that the number of deaths will not be at zero tomorrow ?
      You claim that I am not adapting to some sort of twisted reality that we have nothing to be concerned with and it’s not as bad as “they” said it would be.
      Show me the reality that our current situation is much better than anyone predicted.
      And then look at you previous posts, and tell me if YOU are adapting to reality.
      I will assume you have a mirror in your house. Look at it and say “the pandemic is over” and see how that goes over with the person staring back at you.
      Good luck.

  3. 5.5 MILLION people. 858,000 Americans. DEAD from this virus. A virus the world had never seen before. And we still have knuckle heads saying “oh its not all that bad” and blaming Dr. Fauci for not having a crystal ball.

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