Island health agents reported the highest weekly Covid-19 case total since the pandemic began on Monday, with 101 Island residents testing positive for the virus since last Sunday as a recent surge continues.

Health officials also identified two new case clusters, traced back to Shirley’s Hardware and The Barn, Bowl and Bistro.

The 101 new cases come after a months-long case lull, in which positive test numbers had been on the decline since early January, prompting health agents to stop providing daily updates.

But last week agents reported 47 new positive Covid-19 tests — a number doubled in an expanded weekly report that came out Monday.

And due to the recent high case counts, Island health agents announced last Friday that they would be reversing course, reporting case numbers three times per week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Health agents stopped providing daily updates as cases declined in February.

The update Monday reported 101 new positive tests between Sunday, March 28 and Saturday, April 2. Of those positive tests, 71 came from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, 24 from TestMV, one from public school testing and four from off-Island providers.

The report stated that 63 of the patients are symptomatic, 17 are asymptomatic and 21 are unknown. There are currently 104 active cases on the Island, according to the report.

Tisbury health agent Maura Valley also said that two new clusters had been traced back to Island businesses, with six cases connected to Shirley’s Hardware in Tisbury and nine cases connected to the Barn, Bowl and Bistro in Oak Bluffs.

In a follow up email with the Gazette, Ms. Valley said that all six cases at Shirley’s Hardware were among staff members. She did not have a breakdown for cases at the bowling alley.

The 101 new cases since last Sunday marks the highest weekly total reported by health agents since the pandemic started last March. Cases on the Island previously reached a peak the first week in January, when 99 positive tests were reported. Numbers had been on the decline since last week.

The Island has now reported 1,097 total PCR-positive tests since the pandemic began, with 669, or 61 per cent, coming in patients under the age of 40.

The 14-day case total is now at more than 150 cases. 

Meanwhile, first-dose vaccine appointments have remained in short supply at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital even as vaccine shot eligibility expanded to state residents 55 and older and those with one co-morbidity.

The hospital, which opens vaccine appointment sign-ups biweekly at 8 a.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Monday and is the only vaccination site on-Island, has offered approximately 100 new appointments per signup for the past three weeks, due to federal and state supply issues.

Marissa Lefebvre, a hospital spokesman, said that the hospital opened 130 appointments on Saturday. She did not immediately respond to an inquiry regarding the number of signups available Monday afternoon.

According to state Department of Public Health numbers made available on Thursday, approximately 40 per cent of Dukes County has received their first dose vaccine shots, and 28 per cent have received a second shot. Barnstable County has provided the highest percentage of residents with a first-dose shot, at 44 per cent. Nantucket County is at 41 per cent.

The hospital has performed 6,853 first-dose shots, and 5,524 second dose shots.

Statewide, cases rates risen but recently flatlined, with the state averaging about 2,000 cases daily. There have now been 16,938 patients who have died from the virus in the commonwealth.