Martha’s Vineyard remains ‘high risk’ for COVID

Nicole Jackson

The number of positive COVID-19 cases is down from the previous week, but not enough to lower the Island’s status from “high risk” for the spread of the virus. According to the Island boards of health, the Vineyard reported 134 new cases between Sunday, July 3, and Saturday, July 9. There were also six hospitalizations over that seven-day stretch, although there is currently no one in the hospital with COVID-19.

The previous week, there were 142 cases reported.

As a “high risk” community, the CDC recommends that masks be worn indoors. The guidelines also recommend getting tested if an individual is showing symptoms, and taking additional precautions for those who have compromised immune systems.

Even as most boards of health and hospital officials are still encouraging mask wearing in large crowds or indoors, Aquinnah officials issued an advisory on June 30 stating that masks are now option indoors “for most individuals, regardless of vaccination status” in the town as of Friday, July 1. 

In an answer to a question raised by The Times, Maura Valley, a spokeswoman for the Island boards of health, said there has been no discussion of making masks mandatory indoors.


  1. The number of reported cases is no longer an accurate indictator of Covid incidence on the Island. People are no longer reporting positive results from home testing. Everytime I have a conversation with someone I hear about more and more Covid. All the while the number of people wearing masks are few and far between. Covid is alive and well on the Island. We are all destined to get it sooner or later.

    • This is all true. What also is true is how restricted much of life is for individuals most at risk for serious illness and death. The latest and extremely contagious variants are relatively mild for those who are basically healthy and have had all their shots, although some healthy people are suffering through the worst “flu” they’ve ever had, and some go on to suffer with long covid. For those with severely compromised immunity, the “relatively mild” case and the giving in to the “we are all destined to get it sooner or later” is not something that can be rationally considered. For these individuals, covid remains a life and death worry, as it is for the individuals who love them and who must get tested before interacting with them. The simple act of putting on a mask indoors in public or in outdoor crowded situations is beyond what people are willing to do. The July 4th parade and the Tisbury Street Fair tell the story. Ive posted links before about how in Japan people normally wear a mask in public– It takes a considerate mindset, a considerate culture, to put on a mask in the grocery store or at a parade if you are young and healthy. Most Americans stopped being considerate long, long ago. What a culture we live in.

      I think we all yearn for a time when people actually show caring and respect toward the health and safety of others… unless that means voluntarily putting on a damn mask in the grocery store. And the hysteria over vaccine mandates? People actually wonder why Americans needed mandates for masks and vaccines. Look around the island now and you’ll have your answer. Warnings and recommendations do nothing to stop the extraordinary selfishness, resignation, stupidity, and self-absorption of American culture. Virtually no one is wearing a mask in public even though cases are soaring, and, now, hospitalizations have doubled since May. It is thought that the rise in hospitalizations are due to sheer numbers of new cases impacting the most vulnerable to severe illness. But don’t make that insprire you to put your mask on.

      • Jackie,

        First of all Fauci just came out and said that the vaccines were not overly effective from getting covid but most likely lessens the severity of the disease. So it’s not being selfish if you don’t want to go through endless rounds of shots if it’s not going to stop the spread.

        One could also argue that people who are of the opinion that all people should be wearing masks are the ones being selfish. If you are healthy and don’t have a fear of getting covid you should not have to wear a mask. And if you want to wear a mask you shouldn’t be ridiculed or looked down upon either. To each his/her own. The masks that people are using are not very effective is stopping covid anyway.

        We can’t stop Mother Nature from doing what she does. We are only human and we will most likely never win the fight to live forever. We get sick and we die. Cancer, Covid, flue, heart disease, it’s inevitable that one day our time will come. So take every day ago be as special as it is.

        Looking to Japan for answers in my opinion is not the wisest of moves.

  2. Whatever happened to distancing in public places? Still a real help in not spreading this disease but try it and see how far you get…
    Wearing a mask indoors and getting inoculations and boosters are a minor inconvenience compared to the consequences of ignoring this threat. (The US has lost over 1 million beloved family members!) We get inoculations and take other precautions against other illnesses — this is no different. Grow up, stop whining, and behave responsibly!

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