Island boards of health reported 14 new coronavirus cases after the Thanksgiving holiday — the fewest in the past three weekends even as testing continued at a frantic clip and all three down-Island towns are now considered high risk for Covid-19 spread by the state.
In a daily case update issued Monday afternoon, health agents reported two new cases from Saturday, seven from Sunday and five on Monday as of 3 p.m. Of the 14 total new cases, eight were tested at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and six at TestMV. The hospital is focused on symptomatic patients and their contacts, while TestMV is focused on asymptomatic individuals.
The 14 new cases Monday brings the Island’s total caseload to 298 total positive laboratory confirmed Covid-19 tests. More than half of those have come since Oct. 25, when the Island experienced its first case surge since the pandemic began. The past three Mondays all saw more than 20 new Covid-19 cases on the Island.
TestMV and the hospital have now combined to perform more than 31,000 coronavirus tests on the Island, with more than 22,000 coming at the high school site. Both facilities have seen long lines for tests, and Quest Diagnostics, which has partnered to operate TestMV, has reported an approximately two-to-three day wait time for test results as case numbers continue to surge across the country.
Hospital turnaround times have been in the 24 to 48-hour range, according to the most recent statements from officials.
According to a daily online report from the hospital, there are currently no patients hospitalized with the virus. A patient with Covid-19 was discharged in good condition last Thursday.
The state Department of Public Health has also classified Tisbury, Edgartown and Oak Bluffs as high risk communities for coronavirus spread as of its report on Friday, Nov. 27, after each town reported more than 25 cases in the past two weeks. The 36 cases reported in Oak Bluffs placed the town on the list for the first time; both Tisbury and Edgartown had previously been on the list for one week. Edgartown reported 38 cases in the past 14 days, while Tisbury reported 33.
According to guidelines from Gov. Charlie Baker, towns on the list for three consecutive weeks must revert back to stricter gathering rules and occupancy limits for theaters, gyms, museums and music venues.
All three up-Island towns did not qualify for a risk assessment, with West Tisbury reporting seven cases in the past two weeks, Chilmark fewer than five and Aquinnah zero. The state considers all six Island towns in the same population bracket, with each having fewer than 10,000 residents.
Statewide case numbers were not available as of 5 p.m. Monday, although the weekend saw an average of more than 2,000 new cases statewide daily — which is on par with totals from the past few weeks. The state now has more than 1,000 patients hospitalized with the virus, and 10,487 deaths.