Leaders at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital said Wednesday morning they expect to see the first positive case of Covid-19 on the Island within a matter of days.

Speaking at a press briefing that was conducted by teleconference, hospital chief executive officer Denise Schepici reassured the public that the hospital is well organized and meeting around the clock to manage the unfolding coronavirus pandemic emergency.

“We have a well-defined emergency preparedness plan here, and it is fluid,” Ms. Schepici said.

In addition to Ms. Schepici, the briefing was attended by hospital chief nursing and operations officer Claire Seguin, and communications director Katrina Delgadillo.

No cases of the virus have been reported on the Vineyard yet, but testing is under way and the situation is expected to change, Ms. Seguin said.

“We have cases pending,” she said. “It is a matter of days before we will probably have a positive result, so we are here at the hospital preparing that way.”

Although hospital officials declined to say how many people had been tested, they confirmed that testing has occurred over the past few weeks.

As of Monday, one person on-Island had been tested for the virus, and that test came back negative, according to Tisbury health agent Maura Valley, coordinator for the Island boards of health during the emergency.

The test, a nasal or oral swab that is sent to the state Department of Public Health, takes three days to complete, according to hospital leaders. There were still no positive tests as of Wednesday morning, but hospital officials cited privacy and the rapidly changing nature of the pandemic as one of the reasons they declined to give more detailed numbers on the quantity of people tested.

“I could give you a number, but it is going to change by the hour,” Ms. Seguin said. “At this time, I can tell you that we have tested patients.”

Responding to questions about the hospital’s capacity for handling sick patients, Ms. Schepici said the hospital currently has 25 licensed beds, with two full-time respiratory therapists. She said she is confident that the hospital has a much greater “surge” capacity, if the situation worsens.

“We have an ability to expand capacity,” Ms. Schepici said.

The hospital is issuing daily updates to Island newspapers with information for the public.

The briefing Wednesday came a day after the hospital announced drastic measures to curb the spread of the virus and protect the public health, both inside and outside the Island’s only hospital. The building is now locked, and all non-essential visits, including pediatric walk-ins, routine clinic visits and most rehab appointments have been canceled.

Elective surgeries are canceled for the next six weeks to preserve medical supplies, hospital officials said, with surgery patients receiving rescheduling calls.

The emergency room entrance has been converted to a triage tent area for patients with respiratory symptoms, separating possible coronavirus patients from others.

Hospital leaders reiterated a request that patients with scheduled appointments call ahead to their doctors — and they were adamant that anyone showing symptoms of the virus or who believes they have been exposed to Covid-19 call their primary care doctor for further instructions before coming to the building.

For now, medical evacuation flights will continue as usual, but traveling doctors and nursing staff are being asked to stay put, Ms. Schepici said.

“This is not business as usual,” she said.

Ms. Schepici said while she expects the pandemic to be a long-term issue for the hospital and the Island, she expressed extreme confidence in her doctors and staff.

“Here at the hospital, I have a staff full of warriors,” Ms. Schepici said. “Yes, they are concerned, but they go to war, they are courageous. They are putting their fears aside and they are galvanizing for this thing, and we are preparing every day to be ready.”

State numbers released Wednesday afternoon by the state Department of Public Health show both cases and hospitalizations are on the rise.

Statewide, there are now 256 confirmed cases, up 38 cases from the day prior. There are two confirmed bases in Barnstable County. Statewide, 2054 people have been subject to quarantine, 886 have come out of quarantine and 1,168 are still under monitoring, the DPH reports.

The state posts daily updates on its website.

Most of Martha’s Vineyard is now closed for business. A state of emergency is in effect throughout the commonwealth, and the country.

On the Island, all public buildings are closed, with some town halls open by appointment. Martha’s Vineyard Community Services is staffing its emergency hotlines around the clock. The mental health number is 508-693-0032; the domestic or sexual violence number is 508-696-7233.

Bars and restaurants were restricted to takeout beginning Tuesday, per an emergency order issued by Gov. Charlie Baker. Some are still offering takeout service, but more are simply closing.

Recreation centers have closed, cultural events are canceled or postponed, the Edgartown courthouse is closed and visitors are being limited at the Dukes County jail.

Stop & Shop stores are scheduling special early-morning hours for people over the age of 60: 6 to 7:30 a.m. for both the grocery store and pharmacy, Edgartown store manager Alyse Hyde confirmed.

Vineyard businesses, including grocery stores, were beginning to feel the blow from the shutdowns in myriad ways.

“I have been doing retail for 57 years and I have never seen anything like this,” said Steve Bernier, owner of Cronig’s Markets in Vineyard Haven. “I don’t know if it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

He urged customers not to panic or hoard.

“Everyone is very concerned, and everyone is buying to protect themselves. But we need to think of our neighbors. The more we can keep our buying under control the more the system will stabilize,” he said.

Robert Pacheco, owner of the Reliable Market in Oak Bluffs, said his store is part of a co-op of 300 grocers in the New England, with bulk suppliers prepared to increase supplies as necessary.

“Everybody is being civil, I think they appreciate the job we are doing,” he said.

“We are all in shock right now,” said Nancy Gardella, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce. She sent out an email newsletter to Island business owners Tuesday that includes information about state assistance from a new loan fund for small businesses.

Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank revenues saw a sharp drop late last week, falling to $67,844 from around $136,000 the week prior. The land bank collects a small fee on most Island real estate transactions.

Government offices began shutting down Monday, with plans being formulated on a town-by-town basis to hold meetings and conduct other business remotely, by video conference and telephone.

Martha’s Vineyard schools are closed, with roughly 2,300 students now at home. With about half the students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, meal distribution for families began Wednesday at the high school. In a letter that went out to parents, Vineyard schools superintendent Matthew D'Andrea announced a plan to begin online instruction next Monday. The Edgartown School sent parents a detailed letter, explaining that iPads and Chrome Books would be distributed to children for at-home instruction. The Edgartown School will also begin a grab-and-go meal pickup program for families and children.

Late Wednesday the Permanent Endowment Fund for Martha’s Vineyard announced that an emergency fund has been set up to provide relief for Island nonprofits.

More than a dozen Island nonprofit and volunteer leaders gathered Monday afternoon to consider how best to serve Vineyard residents who are vulnerable to food insecurity and social isolation during the coronavirus crisis.

Community Services is acting as a clearing house for volunteers. A private Facebook group called Islanders Help has also sprung up to match volunteers with needs in their towns.

Island Grown Initiative executive director Rebecca Haag said a portion of the nonprofit’s Farm Hub greenhouses in Oak Bluffs will be reopened to begin starting additional hydroponic and container crops ahead of the regular spring planting season, to help with food production if needed.

The Steamship Authority is running without interruption, but all ferry food concession service was shut down Wednesday, as anxiety rose about people gathering in public spaces.

Vineyard boat line governor James Malkin has said throughout the week that SSA leaders are actively monitoring the situation.

Will Sennott and Aaron Wilson contributed reporting.