Island health agents reported 61 new cases of Covid-19 during the past week and nine cases on Sunday, marking a slight decline as the floodgates opened on the Vineyard’s vaccination process.
In a weekly update Monday morning, health agents reported the 61 cases between Sunday, April 18 and Saturday, April 24, with 43 tested at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, 17 at TestMV and one at another provider.
According to the report, 38 patients are symptomatic, 12 are asymptomatic and 11 are unknown.
In an email Monday, Tisbury health agent Maura Valley reported an additional nine cases Sunday and two on Monday.
The 61 new cases from last week mark the lowest total in the past month, after cases spiked in late March. Health agents have reported 101, 73 and 77 cases in the past three weeks respectively.
The Island has now had 1,308 patients test positive for the virus since the pandemic began, the vast majority coming in the late fall and early winter, along with about 350 cases during the recent spike.
Most of the cases are among younger people. According to data provided by health agents, 66 per cent of the past week’s new positive cases involved patients under the age of 40, and 48 per cent under the age of 30. Only two new patients over the age of 60 tested positive.
Health agents reported no new case clusters, and both patients who were hospitalized with the virus last week have been discharged, according to a report from the hospital.
Meanwhile, the Island’s vaccination process received a jump start this week with the arrival of 1,700 Moderna vaccines on Friday afternoon. The vaccines are part of a larger shipment this week of 4,040 vaccines — about half Moderna, half Pfizer — made possible through a new federal partnership with the community health center Island Health Care.
The vaccines will be administered at the hospital clinics.
On Saturday morning, the hospital officials confirmed that it had scheduled 684 first dose appointments for the upcoming week, and that an additional 1,250 first-dose appointments would become available Monday afternoon — the most since vaccinations opened to the broader public 75 and older in early February.
After bottlenecks in late February and March prompted many eligible Islanders to go off-Island for shots — vaccine supply has increased with the new federal partnership with IHC. According to state Department of Public Health and 2019 census data, 59 per cent of Dukes County residents have received their first-dose vaccine shot, and 39 per cent have been fully vaccinated.
The rates are on par with Barnstable and Nantucket counties for the highest in the state.