Martha’s Vineyard health agents have reported 25 new cases of Covid-19 since last Sunday, marking a spike in case numbers after a long period of declining counts following the New Year holiday.

In an email to the Gazette, Tisbury health agent Maura Valley said that several of the new cases are linked, including cases connected to King’s Barber Shop in Tisbury. Ms. Valley said that although most exposed individuals have been contact-traced, she requested that any customers who visited the shop between Thursday, March 18 and Saturday, March 20 reach out to their Board of Health if they have not heard from a tracer.

“We got as good a list as we could, but we’re not sure it’s a complete list because of walk-ins,” Ms. Valley said in an interview. “This is just to be safe and make sure we catch everybody that may have been in.”

So far, four cases have been connected to the barber shop, Ms. Valley said. Both of those cases are employees; the other two cases are family members of one of the employees. No customers of the barber shop have tested positive for the virus as of Friday morning, according to Ms. Valley.

Ms. Valley said that the shop has followed all proper social distancing and safety protocols. The shop has been closed since Sunday.

“A couple of people that I’ve spoken to that are regular customers there said they’re all very careful, that they space six feet apart and that they always wear masks,” Ms. Valley said.

Health agents stopped releasing daily case reports last week, after months of declining case numbers that saw daily Covid-19 positive tests counts dip into the low single digits. The Island health departments will now release weekly case reports on Monday.

But Ms. Valley said in her email and in an interview Friday that the Island has seen an “uptick” in cases since Sunday, like much of the state. She added that many of the new cases are connected. Four of the cases this week are linked to a family member who tested positive last week, and three additional cases are household members that had two positive cases last week as well.

“We’ve had two groups of five, but they are family or household clusters,” Ms. Valley said. “If cases increase, we may go back to daily reports.”

Ms. Valley said that she did not know of any cases connected to travel, but hoped that residents would exercise caution if traveling over the spring break period.

“I’m not going to be surprised if we do see [travel-related spread],” Ms.Valley said. “There’s a lot of pandemic fatigue. People want this to be over, but it’s just a little bit too early for that.”

Statewide, the Department of Public Health reported 2,274 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, up from the 14-day average of 1,350. Both the Island and state saw cases peak in the first weeks of January, with the state reporting more than 6,000 cases daily and the Island seeing weekly case numbers reach triple-digits.

Ms. Valley said the recent spike was a good opportunity to remind residents to remain vigilant.

“There is still community spread,” Ms. Valley wrote in her email.

Meanwhile, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital has vaccinated 6,622 residents with first-dose shots and 3,918 residents have received their second vaccine dose, according to a daily update from the hospital.

The state DPH reported on Thursday that 38 per cent of Dukes County residents had received their first dose of the vaccine, trailing only Barnstable County for the highest percentage in the state. Approximately 21 per cent of the county population is fully vaccinated, according to the report, behind only Barnstable and Berkshire County.

Although a large swath of Islanders became eligible for the vaccine earlier this week, the state has not increased its weekly vaccinate allocation to the hospital. A new round of signups is set to begin Saturday morning at 8 a.m., but it is not known how many appointments are available.

Ms. Valley hoped that the case spike would not turn into a longer-term trend.

“I’m really hoping this is just a little blip,” Ms. Valley said.