The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital reported three new coronavirus patients Thursday, continuing a marked rise in cases that the Island has seen over the past two weeks.
There have now been at least 13 new cases reported on the Island since last Thursday and nearly 30 since Oct. 22 — by far the largest two-week increase in cases since the pandemic began.
Statewide, case numbers also continued to rise precipitously, mirroring a trend that has occurred throughout the country.
On Island, the six boards of health reported in a daily demographic update that three new patients had tested positive for the virus at the hospital. The Island has now had 116 patients test positive for the virus through confirmed laboratory tests, according to the report, and another 24 test positive for viral antibodies or be symptomatically diagnosed with the virus.
In their daily update, the boards of health reported that 71 patients have tested positive for the virus at the hospital, while 47 have tested positive at TestMV. Two patients have received repeat positive tests, accounting for the difference between the sum of the two testing sites and the total number of confirmed laboratory cases.
Tisbury health agent Maura Valley explained the discrepancy in an email Thursday evening.
“The Hospital and TestMV report the total number of positive test results regardless of whether they are repeat tests,” Ms. Valley explained. “The total confirmed case number is the current total of unique individuals with a confirmed positive test result regardless of where they were tested. Repeat positive test results are not included in this count. Some of the individuals included in that count are Island residents who have been tested at off-island facilities.”
It is not immediately known whether the new cases are connected to a case cluster that health agents traced back to a wedding early in October. Ten cases have been connected to the wedding, eight of which remain on the Island and in isolation.
Overall, 48 men and 68 women have tested positive for the virus on the Island. The age breakdown for cases is as follows: 15 under the age of 20; 24 in their 20s; 23 in their 30s; 11 in their 40s; 22 in their 50s; 14 in their 60s and seven over the age of 70.
The Island has continued to test thousands of new and repeat patients each week, with the total number of tests conducted at the TestMV site nearing 20,000 since early May and the hospital approaching 7,000 total tests. Department of Public Health metrics show the Island with one of the highest testing rates in the state.
Statewide, the DPH reported 1,761 new cases on Friday — the most in a single day since mid-May — as well as 23 new deaths. More than 160,000 patients have now tested positive for the virus in the state, and 9,859 have died. No deaths have occurred on Martha’s Vineyard.
But new state metrics show that Dukes County is experiencing a rising case rate. All three down-Island towns reported positive test rates of between 1.2 and 1.6 per cent, likely the highest numbers since early in the pandemic.
Those rates are still below the state seven-day positive test rate average, which is sitting between 1.8 and 1.9 per cent.