Both TestMV and the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital reported new cases of Covid-19 Friday, bringing the Island’s total coronavirus caseload to 90 as Labor Day fast approaches.
The Steamship Authority also confirmed on Friday that an employee stationed on the M/V Woods Hole has tested positive for the virus. The vessel is currently servicing Nantucket, according to a press release from the boat line.
There are now three active cases on the Island, according to a weekly demographic report from the Island boards of health that came out Friday. Two of the active cases were reported this week, while one remains active from last week.
All other cases have either been completed or released from isolation, according to the boards of health.
The two new cases reported on Friday — both females in their 30s — mark the third and fourth cases this week. The new patients also bring the total number of cases reported in August to 18, which is now second only to July in the number of cases reported.
In their daily demographic update, the boards of health reported that TestMV, the comprehensive coronavirus testing site on the Island, had tested 11,464 patients since opening at the end of May. Twenty-two patients have now tested positive for the virus at the site, and 636 tests are still pending.
The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital has now tested 3,970 patients for the virus, with 45 tests coming back positive.
No one is currently hospitalized for the virus, according to an online update from the hospital. Four patients have been hospitalized since the pandemic began — but none since June.
The town of Aquinnah has also tested 167 patients for the virus through their self-administered nasal swab test provided by the town’s board of heath. None of the tests have come back positive.
According to the board of health report Friday, 40 per cent, or 25 of the Island’s 67 confirmed laboratory positive patients, are linked to another case as either a family or household group. The 40 per cent number is a decline from earlier in the pandemic, when more than 60 per cent of cases were linked to another case.
Statewide, the Department of Public Health reported 438 new cases on Friday — an increase from days prior, which had consistently seen new case numbers in the 300’s. Despite the increase, the seven-day weighted average of positive tests remained steady at one per cent, according to the DPH, signalling that more individuals had been tested.
The state also reported 16 additional deaths from the virus, bringing the total number of deaths statewide to 8,791 since the pandemic began.
Meanwhile, the Steamship Authority reported that an employee working on the M/V Woods Hole tested positive for the virus on Friday, which is currently on the Nantucket route.
According to a press release from SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll, the employee last worked on the vessel during a shift that began with the departure of the vessel from Hyannis on August 25 and ended with its 11:30 a.m. arrive in Hyannis on August 26.
The employee subsequently learned of a possible exposure to Covid-19, was tested, and received the results on Friday, according to the release. Steamship officials said they have informed other crew members on the shift, as well as other employees, so that they may arrange testing.
The SSA declined to disclose the employee’s name or position to protect confidentiality, the release stated. Officials expressed confidence in the release that the employee did not have prolonged interactions with members of the public, and said that they used high-tech cleaning equipment after being informed of the positive test. The boat does not appear to be coming out of service.
The crew member is at least the third Steamship employee to test positive for the virus.
“Due to their typical work duties, the employee was unlikely to have any prolonged exposure with any member of the public during their work hours,” the release states. “The Authority used an electrostatic sprayer that dispenses hospital-grade disinfectants on board theM/V Woods Hole this afternoon to perform a cleaning of both public and employee work areas on board the vessel.”
General manager Bob Davis wished the employee a speedy recovery in the release.