Confirmed cases of coronavirus on the Island continued to creep upward on Thursday. The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital marked its third day in a row reporting a new case of Covid-19, bringing the Islandwide total to 19 positives since the outbreak began in late March.

And late Thursday the Steamship Authority announced it would begin requiring face coverings for travelers and employees on boat line ferries.

Martha’s Vineyard started the weekend with 15 positive cases — a number that has grown by one each day as the week has progressed.

In its daily testing update on Thursday, the hospital reported that it has tested 413 patients for the virus. Of those, 19 were positive, 388 have come back negative and six are still pending.

There are no patients currently hospitalized for the virus, the hospital report said.

Statewide, cases and deaths stayed steady, despite seeing downward trends earlier in the week. The state reported 1,940 new cases, up 100 from the day before, and 157 new deaths.

The state now has over 62,000 cases of the virus. More than 3,500 people have died from the virus throughout the state, including a resident of Nantucket.

Martha’s Vineyard Hospital officials reported earlier in the week that a Covid-positive patient from the Island had died in Boston of causes “not proven to be related to” the virus.

In a press briefing Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker lamented the increase in deaths but noted that new hospitalizations had remained relatively flat over the past two weeks. He again used the term “plateau” to describe the trend of the virus.

Earlier in the week, the governor extended the statewide stay-at-home advisory until May 18, saying the state was still dealing with its surge. On Thursday, he said that he expected the state to institute a phased approach to re-opening businesses. Non-essential businesses with less face-to-face customer interaction, for example, would be allowed to open first, he suggested.

Meanwhile, limited construction resumed on the Island under new back-to-work guidelines. The guidelines allow one and two-man crews to work under strict guidelines adopted by the six Island towns.

And two towns and several more businesses opted to require face masks. Cape Air joined Hyline Cruises in mandating that passengers cover their faces. And on Thursday, the Oak Bluffs Board of Health voted to require face coverings in all enclosed businesses and on Vineyard Transit Authority buses. The VTA and the town of Tisbury had previously mandated face masks.

In a press statement late Thursday, the Steamship Authority announced it would begin requiring face coverings on board ferries, effective immediately.

“After thorough investigation and consideration of best practices in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority has implemented new policies regarding the usage of cloth face coverings for its employees and customers. These new policies go into effect immediately,” a press release said.

The boat line came under sharp public criticism this week after the Gazette ran a picture of passengers exiting an early-morning ferry in Vineyard Haven. Many were not wearing face masks.

Soon after, boat line spokesman Sean Driscoll said the SSA could not legally require travelers on ferries to wear face coverings. Employyes also were not required to wear masks, Mr. Driscoll said.

Thursday, the boat line changed course.

“All employees of the authority are required to wear cloth face coverings in public settings, including maintenance facilities, terminals and vessels, where physical distancing measures (i.e. physical separation of six feet or greater) are difficult or, in some cases, impossible to maintain,” the press statement said. “The policy is consistent with recommendations from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

The statement continues:

“All passengers when boarding, disembarking and while onboard the Authority’s vessels are required to wear a cloth face coverings in interior passenger areas, including vessel freight decks. Passengers who choose to remain in their vehicles when boarding shall be required to remain inside their vehicles for the duration of the voyage if they do not possess a cloth face covering to wear outside of their vehicle.”