Eight cases of COVID-19 are reported in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts
None of those patients are currently hospitalized on the island
The number is a jump from the three cases reported Sunday
Surge follows the exodus of the nation’s wealthy to their summer homes on the New England island to avoid the coronavirus pandemic
Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is now bracing for a surge in cases
‘People flocking from places like New York, which have such a high incidence, we are just assuming everyone is positive,’ the hospital president said
At current capacity, the small hospital can only hold nine COVID-19 patients
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By MARLENE LENTHANG and MEGAN SHEETS
31 March 2020
Eight cases of coronavirus have been reported in Martha’s Vineyard, after the nation’s wealthy fled to their summer homes on the idyllic New England island to escape the pandemic.
Initially three cases were reported on Sunday. That number rose to eight on Monday, the hospital said in a press briefing.
The sudden spike follows the exodus of New York City’s elite to their summer and vacation homes upstate and throughout the East Coast – sending local communities reeling as grocery stores are suddenly emptied and hospitals overwhelmed.
Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is now bracing for a potential surge in COVID-19 patients on the island that stretches 87 square miles and boasts a population of 15,000.
Statewide in Massachusetts 5,752 cases were reported on Monday – a massive 12 percent jump from the 797 reported on Sunday.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health there are been 56 deaths in the state.
No deaths have been reported so far in Dukes and Nantucket counties. Martha’s Vineyard falls under Dukes County.
As of Tuesday morning Martha’s Vineyard Hospital has tested 101 people for COVID-19 and eight of those tests have proved positive, 76 negative and 17 are pending results.
However, officials said no one is currently hospitalized on the island for COVID-19 and none of the positive cases were hospital employees.
While it’s not clear if the positive patients were people who flocked to the Island in light of the pandemic, the influx of Vineyard summer residents is concerning local officials.
‘That’s why we urged the governor to do a travel ban,’ hospital president and CEO Denise Schepici said, according to the Vineyard Gazette.
‘Because people flocking from places like New York, which have such a high incidence, we are just assuming everyone is positive. That’s why quarantine is essential. That’s the golden nugget,’ she added.