Steve Bernier, the owner of Cronig’s Market and a fixture in the Island community, was due to return home to the Island in good health Tuesday, after recovering from a severe case of coronavirus at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Mr. Bernier’s wife Constance Messmer confirmed.

After a weeklong stay at the hospital, where Mr. Bernier was treated for pneumonia, low blood pressure and cardiac complications related to the virus, Mr. Bernier has made a strong recovery and was headed back to the Island just in time for the holiday.

“We’re blessed,” Ms. Messmer told the Gazette by phone Tuesday, on her way to Boston to collect her husband from the hospital. “He is good enough to come home, his vitals look good and we’re really excited.”

The news of Mr. Bernier’s homecoming comes as a sigh of relief nearly two weeks after he tested positive for the virus amid a cluster of 19 infected employees at the store.

Last Monday, a worsening condition sent Mr. Bernier to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, where he was diagnosed with two counts of severe pneumonia and transferred via air-evacuation to the Beth Israel Hospital later that evening. He has since been treated for low oxygen intake, blood pressure troubles and irregular heartbeats, Ms. Messmer said.

The family chose to keep the news of Mr. Bernier’s condition private until this week, when more information about his recovery was available, she also said.

“It was a rough and scary start when he was airlifted, and we didn’t have the words or want to share his day-to-day condition outside of family, too soon,” said Ms. Messmer, recalling his first days at the hospital. “It was hard for him because he’s such a do-er and this really knocked him down.”

Since Mr. Bernier’s diagnosis, the community grocer and his family have received an outpouring of support from Islanders who have sent letters, emails and phone messages wishing him a speedy recovery.

Ms. Messmer credits much of Mr. Bernier’s recent recovery to overwhelming community support. “It brought me to tears,” she said. “We are all grateful for everybody’s care and concern because I think it makes a difference. I think it’s just as important a medicine as the doctors’ medicine.”

Ms. Messmer also cited the team of doctors at Beth Israel, two trial medications for the virus, and Mr. Bernier’s famous ironclad will as factors in his quickening recovery.

“It is a blessing that we’re so many months into the pandemic because they could treat him in a way that they might not have been able to earlier,” said Ms. Messmer. In an email message to the Gazette, she added: “Plus, anyone who knows Steve, knows he’s pretty dang stubborn and determined.”

Mr. Bernier, a longtime resident and familiar face on the Island, has become something of a leader in the community since the pandemic began.

Under his guidance, Cronig’s has supplied resources to Islanders throughout the many months of the pandemic, and especially in the early spring months, when other staple businesses closed or curtailed their hours.

Mr. Bernier also set a high standard for health and safety, putting myriad precautions in place at the store, adapting hours to meet the challenges of a shrunken workforce, and closing the Cronig’s up-Island store at the start of the pandemic.

Over the past few weeks of Mr. Bernier’s absence, the community has shown up in full force to return the favor, sweeping the grocery store’s parking lot, delivering meals to Mr. Bernier’s family and showing support for the market in any way they have been able.

“It was so beautiful. You just realize we’re this sort of village, we’re all like any family,” said Ms. Messmer. “[Steve] was really moved by all the outpouring of the community. I know that helped him — it was palpable.” With a laugh, she added: “You know, I knew my husband was popular, but I didn’t know how much.”

Reflecting on the experience, Ms. Messmer stressed the importance of remaining cautious and adhering to safety protocols as the virus worsens Island- and nationwide.

“That’s one thing I know Steve would want to express — people just have to be careful,” said Ms. Messmer. “You just don’t think that it’s going to get you because you can’t see it, but we still have to be vigilant.”

Ms. Messmer also reiterated Mr. Bernier’s hope that Islanders support one another through the pandemic’s challenging times. “He’s concerned about the health of the Island in regards to people not being able to work. The food pantry and places to support and help each other, in the way that we do on the Vineyard, are going to be so important,” she said.

Once he is back on the Island, Mr. Bernier will face a long journey of healing ahead. For the next week, he will remain at home, rebuilding his strength and will likely not return to his normal routines until the new year, Ms. Messmer said.

Mr. Bernier is looking forward to being back in his own home, with his own bed, and most of all, his own food. “He’s such a grocer,” Ms. Messmer said, laughing.

And even with the rest period, Mr. Bernier surely will not be away from his Cronig’s family for long.

“He loves interacting with the community, his staff, his friends and family. If I know him, he’s probably going to be back to work sooner than the week to make sure everybody sees him and he sees everybody,” said Ms. Messmer. “He needs that, it’s going to be healing for him.”