The Vineyard Gazette – Martha’s Vineyard News

The island’s health workers reported the highest weekly total of Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began on Monday, with 101 island residents testing positive for the virus since last Sunday while a recent increase continues.

Health officials also identified two new clusters of cases, dating back to Shirley’s Hardware and The Barn, Bowl and Bistro.

The 101 new cases come after a months-long hiatus of cases, in which the numbers of positive tests had decreased since the beginning of January, prompting health workers to stop providing daily updates.

But last week, agents reported 47 new positive tests for Covid-19, a number that doubled in an expanded weekly report that came out Monday.

And because of the recent high case count, Island health officials announced last Friday that they would change course, reporting case numbers three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Health agents stopped providing daily updates as cases declined in February.

Monday’s update reported 101 new positive tests between Sunday March 28 and Saturday April 2. Of those positive tests, 71 came from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, 24 from TestMV, one from public school tests, and four from off-island providers.

The report indicated that 63 of the patients are symptomatic, 17 are asymptomatic, and 21 are unknown. There are currently 104 active cases on the island, according to the report.

Tisbury health agent Maura Valley also said that two new clusters had been traced to island businesses, with six cases connected to Shirley’s Hardware in Tisbury and nine cases connected to Barn, Bowl and Bistro in Oak Bluffs.

In a follow-up email with the Gazette, Ms. Valley said the six cases at Shirley’s Hardware were among staff members. She didn’t have a breakdown by cases at the bowling alley.

The 101 new cases since last Sunday mark the highest weekly total reported by health workers since the pandemic began last March. Cases on the island reached a peak in the first week of January, when 99 positive tests were reported. The numbers had been declining since last week.

The island has reported a total of 1,097 positive PCR tests since the pandemic began, with 669, or 61 percent, in patients younger than 40 years old.

The 14-day case total is now over 150 cases.

Meanwhile, appointments for the first dose of the vaccine have remained sparse at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital even as eligibility for vaccination expanded to state residents 55 and older and those with a comorbidity.

The hospital, which opens registration for immunization appointments every two weeks at 8 a.m. M. On Saturday and at 5 p. M. As of Monday and is the only vaccination site on the island, it has offered approximately 100 new appointments per enrollment over the past three weeks, due to federal and state supply issues. .

Marissa Lefebvre, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said the hospital opened 130 appointments on Saturday. He did not immediately respond to a query about the number of registrations available Monday afternoon.

According to figures from the state Department of Public Health available Thursday, about 40 percent of Dukes County has received the first dose of the vaccine and 28 percent have received a second injection. Barnstable County has provided the highest percentage of residents with a first-dose injection, at 44 percent. Nantucket County is at 41 percent.

The hospital has performed 6,853 first dose injections and 5,524 second dose injections.

Across the state, case rates have risen but recently stabilized, averaging about 2,000 cases daily in the state. There have now been 16,938 patients who have died from the virus in the Commonwealth.

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